I.

For Philip

Cicadas sing at midday, metal-bright
Murmur hymning indolence to earth,
While painted ladies dart in fevered flight,
Knowing of all most poignantly life’s worth.

Fond sunlight coaxes salt scent from marrow
Of warm-breasted marsh, and drows’d palms breeze-wake
With green rapier-rattle. An arrow
Pierces yet—Summer to her flight betakes.

A silver ribbon sparks athwart the blue
As homing cranes outdistance creeping cold—
The sight wrings cry from heart of mine, “I do
Not want death! I do not want to grow old!”

But, ah, my love, while you are you, and I
Am I, Love’s high summer shall never die.