From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds, Out of the peak's black angularity of shadow, riding The last tumultuous avalanche of Light above pines and the guttural gorge, The hawk comes. His wing Scythes down another day, his motion Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear The crashless fall of stalks of Time. The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error. Look! Look! he is climbing the last light Who knows neither Time nor error, and under Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings Into shadow. Long now, The last thrush is still, the last bat Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom Is ancient, too, and immense. The star Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain. If there were no wind we might, we think, hear The earth grind on its axis, or history Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.
From New and Selected Poems 1923-1985 by Robert Penn Warren, published by Random House. Copyright © 1985 by Robert Penn Warren. Used by permission of William Morris Agency, Inc., on behalf of the author.