Evening: it ripples cool to our held feet
like the bay's blacker crests, which idly crawl
along the stone seawall;
and as these, multitudinous, repeat
so the new darkness crumpled against this town
bears in its every fold that brave deceit
which lets the world seem playtime, and our scars
(won in low skirmish) badges of pure renown.
This is the moment there returns to us
late memory of old bargains with such stars
as made the night-skies of man's infancy
fearful to walk in but miraculous.
Nor has that wonder gone: we square our debt
by sheer surrender to stark mystery,
staining its altars with spilt ecstasy
which in our fathers was a howl to the moon
round lit doors, ransomed, we do not forget.