For C.W.B.

Elizabeth Bishop


Let us live in a lull of the long winter winds
      Where the shy, silver-antlered reindeer go
On dainty hoofs with their white rabbit friends
      Amidst the delicate flowering snow.

All of our thoughts will be fairer than doves.
     We will live upon wedding-cake frosted with sleet.
We will build us a house from two red tablecloths,
      And wear scarlet mittens on both hands and feet.


Let us live in the land of the whispering trees,
    Alder and aspen and poplar and birch,
Singing our prayers in a pale, sea-green breeze,
    With star-flower rosaries and moss banks for church.

All of our dreams will be clearer than glass.
    Clad in the water or sun, as you wish,
We will watch the white feet of the young morning pass
    And dine upon honey and small shiny fish.


Let us live where the twilight lives after the dark,
    In the deep, drowsy blue, let us make us a home.
Let us meet in the cool evening grass, with a stork
    And a whistle of willow, played by a gnome.

Half-asleep, half-awake, we shall hear, we shall know
    The soft "Miserere" the wood-swallow tolls.
We will wander away where wild raspberries grow
    And eat them for tea from two lily-white bowls.