NIGHT LETTER

An excerpt from a poem by Stanley Kunitz.
  1. Violence shakes my dreams; I am so cold,
  2. Chilled by the persecuting wind abroad,
  3. The oratory of the rodent's tooth,
  4. The slaughter of the blue-eyed open towns,
  5. And principle disgraced, and art denied.
  6. My dear, is it too late for peace, too late
  7. For men to gather at the wells to drink
  8. The sweet water; too late for fellowship
  9. and laughter at the forge; too late for us
  10. To say, "Let us be good to one another"?
  11. The lamps go singly out; the valley sleeps;
  12. I tend the last light shining on the farms
  13. And keep for you the thought of love alive,
  14. As scholars dungeoned in an ignorant age
  15. Tended the embers of the Trojan fire.
  16. Cities shall suffer siege and some shall fall,
  17. But man's not taken. What the deep heart means,
  18. Its message of the big, round, childish hand,
  19. Its wonder, its simple lonely cry,
  20. The bloodied envelope addressed to you,
  21. Is history, that wide and mortal pang.