I could sleep for a morning,
And for that morning a year.
Flowers will wink open, stir in the sunlight
Under our windows. Stretch and yawn
Open to the morn,
And still we would sleep through the morning.
My head on your shoulder, loose-leafed willows, for over
A long-lived century;
The bluebells will creep like seconds
Over a glade, untouched by history,
Gently and forever keeping ground:
I could not stir for hearing them.
And if after countless ages
Of stone-carved tales of reminiscence,
Left as a headstone in a woodland we dwell,
As statues, my cheek to your shoulder, each arm in arm,
And never come to harm,
And the low arc of a perfect sun descends
And as idle stone we were,
I could not lift my eyes for them:
For here is the meaning of morning,
And I could sleep for a morning,
And that morning for a year.
Spring mornings like today: sometimes I want to “seize the day,” relish the new sunlight and the fresh, bright world. Other times I simply want to doze with the person I love, dwelling in that sleepy haze and comfort of easy companionship. Everything about this piece is relaxed: its subject, its rhythm, its imagery. It gently echoes refrains from Keats’ Odes, but doesn’t even do that with any great urgency.
It’s all about the internal rhymes here. The structure, though by no means strict, is present: but only to keep each thought drifting at its own gentle pace.
This poem is really not trying too hard to do anything, except say one thing: that I love my partner, and that whether we “wake or sleep,” sometimes, I still find myself dreaming.