We may not stay, not even with the most familiar things.

No sooner is the image comprehended than the mind

Accelerates into the waiting emptiness: and therefore

Only in eternity shall we encounter lakes.

Falling is all we must hope for, falling

From the known into the guessed-at, falling further.

For you the hero, for you who forswore it, life

In its entirety was the insistent image;

And when you gave that life a name

The line would seal itself like destiny. Though even

In your gentlest word a death was resident.

The god who walked ahead would lead you out and over.

Wandering spirit, none wandered further.

The others are proud to keep house in small poems.

To linger in narrow comparisons. Professionals. You alone

Pull like the moon: see now, below it grows light, it grows dark,

Your landscape, the sacred and startled night-landscape

That you comprehended in your leaving. No one

Renounced this more nobly intact, or asked for less.

So too, in the years you stopped counting, you played

With an infinite joy, as though joy were not shut inside us,

But lay in the grass of this earth, without ownership, left by

                                                        celestial children.

What the best desire you built without desire,

Brick on brick: and there it stood. And when it fell

It could not discompose you.

How can we, after this timeless example,

Mistrust life still, when we could learn

To sense from all that’s passing now

The planet’s inclination to the earth, the world to come?

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