The shepherd asks for her hand, but
she refuses and later hires him
onto her farm, and the neighbouring farmer
falls in love with her, but she falls
in love with the handsome sergeant,
and marries him, but the one he loves
dies, and he leaves and so it goes.
Like the changes of Stella by Starlight,
chords falling to cadence,
and falling, start another sequence.
Or like when Pegasus took a plunge
behind the ridge of new maples last night.
And, almost always, there’s a rising back,
against the grain, so that, just when
Pandarus is about to skewer Menelaus
Homer gives us his bow- how it’s made
Of polished ibex horn, where he shot it,
how he fashioned it- and so it goes
And holds us there. And there
is almost always something like a ruffle
against the grain, a countervail
That suspends us against the gravity,
that takes shape for a moment, and then
Is folded in, and takes its place
in the joyful general collapse again.