Now and Then
Curled up you sleep, or stirring
kick in the darkness of an imageless dream,
trying your strength. Rapt stranger
what is your sex, that we may give you a name?
your tastes, that we may make our house your home?
What is your form, your nature,
that love may know the object of its thought?
what secret force could gather
you, form and soul, in this drop, mingled straight
from love’s well and the fountain of delight?
Waters distilled, secreted,
strained through the sand and rich soil of our lives,
and all those lives of others
the silt of whose brief or eternal loves
now beds the wood where ours are now the leaves.