Saturday, October 15

The Harbor Dawn

Insistently through sleep -- a tide of voices --
They meet you listening midway in your dream,
The long, tired sounds, fog-insulated noises:
Gongs in white surplices, beshrouded wails,
Far strum of fog horns...signals dispersed in veils.

And then a truck will lumber past the wharves
As winch engines begin throbbing on some deck;
Or a drunken stevedore's howl and thud below
Comes echoing alley-upward through dim snow.

And if they take your sleep away sometimes
They give it back again. Soft sleeves of sound
Attend the darkling harbor, the pillowed bay;
Somewhere out there in blankness steam

Spills into steam, and wanders, washed away
-- Flurried by keen fifings, eddied
Among distant chiming buoys -- adrift. The sky,
Cool feathery fold, suspends, distills
This wavering slumber....Slowly --
Immemorially the window, the half-covered chair
Ask nothing but this sheath of pallid air.

And you beside me, blessèd now while sirens
Sing to us, stealthily weave us into day --
Serenely now, before day claims our eyes
Your cool arms murmurously about me lay.
While myriad snowy hands are clustering at the panes --

your hands within my hands are deeds;
my tongue upon your throat -- singing
arms close; eyes wide, undoubtful
drink the dawn --
a forest shudders in your hair!

The window goes blond slowly. Frostily clears.
From Cyclopean towers across Manhattan waters
-- Two --three bright window-eyes aglitter, disk
The sun, released -- aloft with cold gulls hither.

The fog leans one last moment on the sill.
Under the mistletoe of dreams, a star --
As though to join us at some distant hill --
Turns in the waking west and goes to sleep.

-- Hart Crane