Martin Robertson

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.