Sleep, garden, in your beauty now:
You may, nor fear a meddling hand
Will dare disturb a single leaf.
Be what you are, your time is brief:
Do not attempt to understand
Or wonder when or why or how
This moment will disintegrate.
It is, and while it is, you are.
The day is windless, and it seems
To hold the present fast: our dreams
Vanish into a distant star
Insensitive to human fate.
Extended leaves and petals fat
Exactly into the still air
And neither proffer nor refuse.
The quiet is complete. No clues
Suggest another time will dare
To force your beauty to submit.
C. H. Sisson
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 10 Number 6, on page 40
Copyright © 2019 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com