Theodore Roethke

Love’s Progress

The possibles we dare!
O rare propinquity! —
I have considered and found
A mouth I cannot leave.
The great gods arch my bones.

The long veins of the vine
Journey around a tree;
Light strides the rose;
A woman’s naked in water,
And I know where she is.

True, she can think a bird
Until it broods in her eyes.
Love me, my violence,
Light of my spirit, light
Beyond the look of love.

It’s midnight on the mouse,
The rabbit, and the wren;
A log sings in its flame.
Father, I’m far from home,
And I have gone nowhere.

The close dark hugs me hard,
And all the birds are sone.
I fear for my own joy;
I fear myself in the field,
For I would drown in fire.