The Poetry Corner


By Aldous Leonard Huxley

Darkness had stretched its colour, Deep blue across the pane: No cloud to make night duller, No moon with its tarnish stain; But only here and there a star, One sharp point of frosty fire, Hanging infinitely far In mockery of our life and death And all our small desire. Now in this hour of waking From under brows of stone, A new pale day is breaking And the deep night is gone. Sordid now, and mean and small The daylight world is seen again, With only the veils of mist that fall Deaf and muffling over all To hide its ugliness and pain. But to-day this dawn of meanness Shines in my eyes, as when The new world's brightness and cleanness Broke on the first of men. For the light that shows the huddled things Of this close-pressing earth, Shines also on your face and brings All its dear beauty back to me In a new miracle of birth. I see you asleep and unpassioned, White-faced in the dusk of your hair-- Your beauty so fleetingly fashioned That it filled me once with despair To look on its exquisite transience And think that our love and thought and laughter Puff out with the death of our flickering sense, While we pass ever on and away Towards some blank hereafter. But now I am happy, knowing That swift time is our friend, And that our love's passionate glowing, Though it turn ash in the end, Is a rose of fire that must blossom its way Through temporal stuff, nor else could be More than a nothing. Into day The boundless spaces of night contract And in your opening eyes I see Night born in day, in time eternity.