DOWN-SLIPPING Time, sweet, swift, and shallow stream, Here, like a boulder, lies this afternoon Across your eager flow. So you shall stay, Deepened and dammed, to let me breathe and be. Your troubled fluency, your running gleam Shall pause, and circle idly, still and clear: The while I lie and search your glassy pool Where, gently coiling in their lazy round, Unseparable minutes drift and swim, Eddy and rise and brim. And I will see How many crystal bubbles of slack Time The mind can hold and cherish in one Now!
Now, for one concious vacancy of sense, The stream is gathered in a depening pond, Not a mere moving mirror. Through the sharp Correct reflection of the standing scene The mind can dip, and cleanse itself with rest, And see, slow spinning in the lucid gold, Your liquid notes, imperishable Time.
It cannot be. The runnel slips away: The clear smooth downward sluice begins again, More brightly slanting for that trembling pause, Leaving the sense its conscious vague unease As when a sonnet flashes on the mind, Trembles and burns an instant, and is gone.