There used to be gods in everything, and now they’ve gone.
A small one I remember, in a green-gray stone,
Would watch me go by with his still eyes of a toad,
And in the branch of an elm that hung across the road
Another was; he creaked at me on windless days.
Now that he’s gone I think he might have wanted praise
For trying to speak my language and getting that far at least
Along on the imitiation of a speaking beast.
Maybe he wanted help, maybe they all cried out
As they could, or stared helpless to enter into thought
With “read me,” “answer me,” or “teach me how to be
Whatever I am, and in return for teaching me
I’ll tell you what I was in you, how greater far
Than I are seeking you in fountain, sun, and star.”
That’s but interpretation, the deep folly of man
To think that things can squeak at him more than things can.
And yet there came those voices up out of the ground
And got into my head, until articulate sound
Might speak them to themselves. We went a certain way
Together on that road, and then I turned away.
I must have done, I guess, to have grown so abstract
That all the lonely summer nights become but fact,
That when the cricket signals I no longer listen,
Nor read the glowworms’ constellations when they glisten.