Scenes of the Mind

I have run where festival was loud
   With drum and brass among the crowd
   Of panic revellers, whose cries
   Affront the quiet of the skies;
   Whose dancing lights contract the deep
   Infinity of night and sleep
   To a narrow turmoil of troubled fire.
   And I have found my heart’s desire
   In beechen caverns that autumn fills
   With the blue shadowiness of distant hills;
   Whose luminous grey pillars bear
   The stooping sky: calm is the air,
   Nor any sound is heard to mar
   That crystal silence—as from far,
   Far off a man may see
   The busy world all utterly
   Hushed as an old memorial scene.
   Long evenings I have sat and been
   Strangely content, while in my hands
   I held a wealth of coloured strands,
   Shimmering plaits of silk and skeins
   Of soft bright wool. Each colour drains
   New life at the lamp’s round pool of gold;
   Each sinks again when I withhold
   The quickening radiance, to a wan
   And shadowy oblivion
   Of what it was. And in my mind
   Beauty or sudden love has shined
   And wakened colour in what was dead
   And turned to gold the sullen lead
   Of mean desires and everyday’s
   Poor thoughts and customary ways.
   Sometimes in lands where mountains throw
   Their silent spell on all below,
   Drawing a magic circle wide
Liked or faved by...
Other works by Aldous Huxley...