Into Broad Daylight

Out of silence walks delight.
Delight comes on a soundless foot
Into the silence of night, Or into broad daylight.

Delight comes like surprise. Delight will prepare you never.
Delight waits beyond range of your eyes Till the moment of surprise.

Delight knows its own reason, A reason you will never know.
Your will, nor hand, can never seize on Delight. Delight knows its own season.

I have met delight at dawn-crest. I have met delight at dove-fall
When sunset reddens the dove’s breast. I may not divulge the rest;

Nor may it be guessed.

It Is Not To Be Trusted

Delight is not to be trusted.
It will betray you.
Delight will undo the work of your hands
In a secret way. You

Cannot trust delight
As I have told you,
It undoes the ambition of the young and
The wisdom of the old. You

Are not exempt. Though it yet
Has never undone you,
Look!—in that bush, wolf-fang white, delight
Humps now for some one: You.

Something Is Going To Happen

Something is going to happen, I tell you I know.
This morning, I tell you, I saw ice in the bucket.
Something is going to happen and you can’t duck it.
The way the wind blows is the way the dead leaves go.
Something is going to happen, and I’m telling you so.

Something is going to happen, I declare it.
It always happens on days like this, Mother said.
No, I didn’t make the world, or make apples red,
But if you’re a man you’ll buck up and try to bear it.
For this morning the sun rose in the east, I swear it.

Something is going to happen, I swear it will.
Men have wept watching water flow,
And feet move fastest down the old track they know.
Look, look!—how light is lying across that hill!
Something may happen today if you don’t sit still.

Something is going to happen without a doubt.
If you aren’t careful it may happen this very minute.
Have you looked in a drawer and found nothing in it?
Have you ever opened your mouth and tried to shout,
But something happened and the shout would not come out?

Something is going to happen whatever you say.
Whether you look out the window or walk in the door
Some things will be less, and other things more.
It’s simply no use to turn your head away.
Something is bound to happen on a day like today

To change everything, any-which-a-way,
For the sound of your name is only a mouthful of air
And the lost and the found may be found or lost anywhere.
‘Therefore to prepare you there’s one more thing I must say:
Delight may dawn, as the day dawned, calmly, today.


Mist drifts on the bay’s face
And the last of day, it would seem, goes under,
But it’s hard to tell in this northern place
If this, now, is truly the day’s end, or

If, in a new shift of mist,
The light may break through yonder
To stab gold to the gray sea, and twist
Your heart to a last delight—or at least wonder.

This Issue

February 1, 1963