A Somewhat Static Barcarolle
Neutral and dull, the bricks that serve as shores
Enforce their color on the channeled water;
And if a distant movement, as of oars,
Has made that mirrored brick, its mortar scatter,
Now, as the soon abated force goes slack,
A leveling inertia lays them back.
Surface on surface to a depth of peace–
How little stirred to be so far from stagnant!
As if reflection and its slow release,
Its visions idly on that water regnant,
Themselves were substance and renewal; beat
Or silence; action, and the act complete.
As if our shadows, lengthening below,
Received us bodily to calm, to vision,
Always to rock with lifted oars; where, low
Beside the mirror, sense and its precision
Give to the arching sky, the dormered town,
A motion one brick up and one brick down.