Self- Unconscious


      Along the way
      He walked that day,
Watching shapes that reveries limn,
      And seldom he
      Had eyes to see
The moment that encompassed him.

      Bright yellowhammers
      Made mirthful clamours,
And billed long straws with a bustling air,
      And bearing their load
      Flew up the road
That he followed, alone, without interest there.

      From bank to ground
      And over and round
They sidled along the adjoining hedge;
      Sometimes to the gutter
      Their yellow flutter
Would dip from the nearest slatestone ledge.

      The smooth sea-line
      With a metal shine,
And flashes of white, and a sail thereon,
      He would also descry
      With a half-wrapt eye
Between the projects he mused upon.

      Yes, round him were these
      Earth's artistries,
But specious plans that came to his call
      Did most engage
      His pilgrimage,
While himself he did not see at all.

      Dead now as sherds
      Are the yellow birds,
And all that mattered has passed away;
      Yet God, the Elf,
      Now shows him that self
As he was, and should have been shown, that day.

      O it would have been good
      Could he then have stood
At a focussed distance, and conned the whole,
      But now such vision
      Is mere derision,
Nor soothes his body nor saves his soul.

      Not much, some may
      Incline to say,
To see in him, had it all been seen.
      Nay! he is aware
      A thing was there
That loomed with an immortal mien.


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