- By Daniel Leach
The clock is ticking in the pallid rays
Of ghost-like morning hour’s waning moonlight,
And though it orders all my waking days,
It has no power over me tonight;
For I am borne upon the dream time’s mystic flow,
And freely through the many regions go,
Wherever in my spirit’s wandering ways
Appeared, as real, or but imagined sight.
Like some strange odyssey, my ship is blown
To far-off islands in Time’s boundless sea,
Where all the people I have ever known
In past or present, can appear to me—
The friends that long-forgotten storms had tossed
To other shores, and those I thought were lost—
For the heart has a time, which all its own,
Is like a mirror of eternity.
How strange it is, and sad, and yet so sweet,
To see them as if time had never passed—
Those living, breathing images I meet,
From my own life, or imagination’s vast,
Unfathomed deep—and those that I hold dear,
Though known but through their timeless thoughts, appear
And I, in present age and body greet
Them, as if seeing dear old friends at last.
And there, in my boyhood’s most sacred place,
Where first I dreamed beneath the summer skies,
I recognize the oft-imagined face
Of Shelley, with wild hair and intense eyes,
And voice like music, full of holy fire;
An other-worldly being sent to inspire
The infinite in our life’s brief embrace,
And from the seen, to unseen beauties, rise.
And Keats, that large and deeply dreaming soul,
Who heard the music of truths yet unsung,
That often from somewhere within me roll
And sweetly chanting, play upon my tongue,
Sits musing with his lustrous eyes upturned
To all eternal things for which he yearned,
And sensuous lips that never drained life’s bowl,
Yet smiling, ever whisper thoughts, forever young.
Yes, young they are, like brothers they might be;
Or sons I never had, so real it seems,
Though they are, in the world that mortals see,
The fathers of my soul, and oldest dreams.
And I am left wondering what is real;
What the eyes see or in the heart we feel,
As I wake to the dim reality
Of a clock beating in the faint moonbeams.
Daniel is a poet living in Houston, Texas. He has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and poetry. His volume of poetry, compiling over 20 years of composition, is entitled "Voices on the Wind."