15 MAY 1936, Page 22

The Journey

FIRST in the North : The black sea-tangle beaches, Brine-bitter stillness, tablet strewn morass, Shawled women against the sky with heads covered, The witch's house below the black-toothed mountain, Sea-echo in the roofless chapel,

The dead castle on the swamp-green mound, Darkness at noonday, wheel of fire at midnight, The level sun and the wild shooting shadows.

How long ago ? Then sailing up to summer Over the cant of the world, black hill of water, Rivers of running gold. The sun The sun Then the free summer isles.

But the ship hastened on and brought him to The towering walls of life and the great kingdom.

Where long he wandered seeking that which sought him Through all the little hills and shallow valleys Of the green world. That whose form and features, Race and speech he knew not, faceless, tongueless, Known to him only by the impotent heart, And whether on earth the place of meeting, Beyond all knowing. Only the little hills, Head-high, and the twisting valleys Twisting, returning, until there grew a pattern, And it was held. And there stood each in his station With the hills between them. And that was the vision, The meaning, the consummation. And not a meeting.

Though often through the wavering light and shadow He thought he saw it a moment, watching The red deer walking by still waters At evening, when the bells were ringing, And the bright stream leapt silent from the mountain High in the sunset. But as he looked, nothing Was there but lights and shadows.

And then the vision Of the conclusion without consummation, The plain like glass beneath him And in the crystal grave that which had sought him, Glittering in death. And all the dead scattered Like nether stars, gathered like leaves hanging From the sad boughs of the heavy tree of Adam Planted far down in Eden's plot. Conclusion Without consummation. And on the mountains The gods reclined and conversed with each other From summit to summit.

Conclusion Without consummation. Thence the dream rose upward, The living dream sprung from the dying vision, Overarching all. Beneath its branches He builds in faith and doubt his shaking house.