O Dreams, O Destinations: C Day Lewis


Children look down upon the morning-grey
Tissue of mist that veils a valley’s lap:
Their fingers itch to tear it and unwrap
The flags, the roundabouts, the gala day.
They watch the spring rise inexhaustibly—
A breathing thread out of the eddied sand,
Sufficient to their day: but half their mind
Is on the sailed and glittering estuary.
Fondly we wish their mist might never break,
Knowing it hides so much that best were hidden:
We’d chain them by the spring, lest it should broaden
For them into a quicksand and a wreck.
But they must slip through our fingers like the source,
Like mist, like time that has flagged out their course.

C. Day Lewis

This is the second of a sequence of nine sonnets called ‘O Dreams O Destinations’. You can hear the poet read it himself in the You Tube video below.

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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