Free-spread the wings of mystery,
Free-spread to the hills and dales of my youth,
Yearn for the ancient calling’s touch
And the bitter-sweet lessons of truth.
Yearn for the hours that made up my days
And the silence in that dark song,
Yearn for the pain within that blunt haze,
For that’s where delight most belonged –
For there was I most a child in its dreams
And the sun was a fevered mask high,
And the breeze in the trees controlled my young limbs
And the birds were my echoing cry,
And there were the calls, and there were the tales,
And there was the rhythm most sprung;
There’s beauty in age but that beauty most fails
In that beauty that lives with the young.
And there were the times, and there was the hand,
And the hand on the clock was stood still:
It trickles away with the desperate sand,
This beauty that time has to kill.
This poem revisits the mysteries of childhood, where there was sometimes intense pain but also intense delight.