SONG OF POPLARS
by: Aldous Huxley
to yon tall poplars tune your flute:
- Let them pierce keenly, subtly shrill,
- The slow blue rumour of the hill;
- Let the grass cry with an anguish of evening gold,
- And the great sky be mute.
- Then hearken how the poplar trees unfold
- Their buds, yet close and gummed and blind,
- In airy leafage of the mind,
- Rustling in silvery whispers the twin-hued scales
- That fade not nor grow old.
- "Poplars and fountains and you cypress spires
- Springing in dark and rusty flame,
- Seek you aught that hath a name?
- Or say, say: Are you all an upward agony
- Of undefined desires?
- "Say, are you happy in the golden march
- Of sunlight all across the day?
- Or do you watch the uncertain way
- That leads the withering moon on cloudy stairs
- Over the heaven's wide arch?
- "Is it towards sorrow or towards joy you lift
- The sharpness of your trembling spears?
- Or do you seek, through the grey tears
- That blur the sky, in the heart of the triumphing blue,
- A deeper, calmer rift?"
- So; I have tuned my music to the trees,
- And there were voices, dim below
- Their shrillness, voices swelling slow
- In the blue murmur of hills, and a golden cry
- And then vast silences.
POEMS BY ALDOUS HUXLEY
'Song of Poplars' is reprinted from
An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London:
Methuen & Co., 1921.