Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Wedding Night

Considers, musing at the sleeper’s side,

the initiated bride

cycle of seed and growth, strength and decay;

tomorrow’s natural course

following simply out of yesterday

through a pillar of fire.

Tonight; intrusive memory’s sudden force:

chastity and desire,

acts of childhood, parents, affection, age;

necessary and unnecessary death;

recurring terror of the unfenced edge,

meaningless life; and love’s affirming faith.