All things are words of some strange tongue, in thrall
To Someone, Something, who both day and night
Proceeds in endless gibberish to write
The history of the world. In that dark scrawl
Rome is set down, and Carthage, I, you, all,
And this my being which escapes me quite,
My anguished life that’s cryptic, recondite,
And garbled as the tongues of Babel’s fall.
Beyond the name there lies what has no name;
Today I have felt its shadows stir the aim
Of this blue needle, light and keen, whose sweep
Homes to the utmost of the sea its love,
Suggestive of a watch in dreams, or of
Some bird, perhaps, who shifts a bit in sleep.