O Heron wan in water wading!
Thou opus of untailored fashion—
Sure-footed on the shoreline's footing—
A tulle train, dawnlight's glisten,
Gowns thy form in matchless morning!
Heron! Ready in verdure reedy—
Agéd angler, weedmidst waiting,
Patient, still in silence stolen
From the olden deep unending
'Til the wide world's wild breaking—
Hunter haunting on the march and
interstice of world and world;
Sea and sky, blade of beak
Azure upon azure rending—
Virtue of a vise unyielding.
What crooked timber frames thy neck?
Methinks that it is not so stiff.
Whence the whittling of thy wing?
What the aurum of thine eye?
Where, thy heartblood's ceaseless spring?
Are thou Plato's man-of-gold,
Who rules a tribe of bronzéd fins?
Or yet a hermit cynical,
Who tossed aside his needless dish?
Is this thy solemn sandy porch?
Nay, for thou art too like me:
We bear the stamp of origins.
Fatherless thou wert so feathered,
Motherless milked on thy sweet streams,
And here, alone, we stand together—
No more! Aye, fly! Fly to thine pleasure
Great noble bird, sun-midst sailing,
Prow a-gleaming, southward seeking;
Seek thee still a sweeter shore
And I, a sweet philosophy.
Yet I will linger here a time
Tasting of the morning's fruits—
'Ere long the yawning sea shall call:
The tide shall fail, and then the light,
And we shall mingle, you and I
Void with void, and mote with mote.