Iris By Night
One misty evening, one another’s guide, We two were groping down a Malvern side The last wet fields and dripping hedges home. There came a moment of confusing lights, Such as according to belief in Rome Were seen of old at Memphis on the heights Before the fragments of a former sun Could concentrate anew and rise as one. Light was a paste of pigment in our eyes. And then there was a moon and then a scene So watery as to seem submarine; In which we two stood saturated, drowned. The clover-mingled rowan on the ground Had taken all the water it could as dew, And still the air was saturated too, Its airy pressure turned to water weight. Then a small rainbow like a trellis gate, A very small moon-made prismatic bow, Stood closely over us through which to go. And then we were vouchsafed a miracle That never yet to other two befell And I alone of us have lived to tell. A wonder! Bow and rainbow as it bent, Instead of moving with us as we went (To keep the pots of gold from being found), It lifted from its dewy pediment Its two mote-swimming many-colored ends And gathered them together in a ring. And we stood in it softly circled round From all division time or foe can bring In a relation of elected friends.