38. On a camping one night
Awake before dawn,on a camping, one night,
in the shelter of trees,
on a patch of marsh,clasped between lakes,
in st. Fargeau.
The clang of a ropeon a mast carries far,
a chapel’s chime.
A low green rustle,a shiver of wind.
Echo of ancient tribes,
huddled safe in communalsquat, they sniff the musk
of rotting leaves.
Stare ahead to apprehendwhat they cannot grasp,
whether to fear or not.
Grasp at a flighty thought,which ever may dawn,
sink back in their dimness.
How much more than the cow,with its soft, stolid stare,
as it churns its cud?
How much less than usdullards with our dream
of brilliance and wit?