The Poetry Corner

Scenes Of The Mind

By Aldous Leonard Huxley

I have run where festival was loud With drum and brass among the crowd Of panic revellers, whose cries Affront the quiet of the skies; Whose dancing lights contract the deep Infinity of night and sleep To a narrow turmoil of troubled fire. And I have found my heart's desire In beechen caverns that autumn fills With the blue shadowiness of distant hills; Whose luminous grey pillars bear The stooping sky: calm is the air, Nor any sound is heard to mar That crystal silence - as from far, Far off a man may see The busy world all utterly Hushed as an old memorial scene. Long evenings I have sat and been Strangely content, while in my hands I held a wealth of coloured strands, Shimmering plaits of silk and skeins Of soft bright wool. Each colour drains New life at the lamp's round pool of gold; Each sinks again when I withhold The quickening radiance, to a wan And shadowy oblivion Of what it was. And in my mind Beauty or sudden love has shined And wakened colour in what was dead And turned to gold the sullen lead Of mean desires and everyday's Poor thoughts and customary ways. Sometimes in lands where mountains throw Their silent spell on all below, Drawing a magic circle wide About their feet on every side, Robbed of all speech and thought and act, I have seen God in the cataract. In falling water and in flame, Never at rest, yet still the same, God shows himself. And I have known The swift fire frozen into stone, And water frozen changelessly Into the death of gems. And I Long sitting by the thunderous mill Have seen the headlong wheel made still, And in the silence that ensued Have known the endless solitude Of being dead and utterly nought. Inhabitant of mine own thought, I look abroad, and all I see Is my creation, made for me: Along my thread of life are pearled The moments that make up the world.