Insubstantial, without form
How they cluster, how they come!
Songs like falling leaves descend
Tossed to earth by heaven’s wind.
Blackbird, warble! Nightingale,
Break your heart but tell your tale!
In spite of all your shocking sins
Angels scrape their violins
For you. This music’s from the gods.
They chop the meanings, slice the words.
And yet who cares? So many sounds
Ping like hailstones all around.
Who gives a damn for singing bird?
O goldsmith of the golden word
Know this: the best songs have been lost
And nothing beautiful will last.
Flower and leaf and Flora fall
Onto the compost heap of All.
Into the witch’s cauldron go
Love and beauty there to stew,
And out of the universal froth
These songs arise and body forth.
Though our life’s blood supplies the juice,
The golden wine gleams in the glass.