My laughter rings in the highest mountains,
My mockery echoes vividly over the peaks,
My laughter and my mockery dance lightly together
Like derisive imps… But my soul never speaks.
My wisdom sits on a promontory
And remotely overwatches the world;
My pain stays forever in that cave
Where the ragged ends of life come unfurled.
My love cuts downward between mountains
Like a torrential, cataract, to the deeps,
For love, like life, is a down-going.
But my soul is like a thing that sleeps.
It knows the remorseless depths,
The thinnest ether of the farthest height;
There are no lights or darkness for its discovering
It has crawled on the earth and it knows the joy of flight
It is speechless because it knows all speeches,
Future and present and what has gone before.
It waits sphinxlike, and I myself
Cannot guess what it is waiting for.
From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.