Today's poem is by Clive Watkins

The Old Fountain

for Timothy Murphy

Put out the lamp and sleep. The only sound
Is the old fountain's wakeful pattering.
Soon you will find, as all my house guests do,
That you are accustomed to its murmuring.

Yet sometimes, in the middle of a dream,
Through the whole house a strange unease can spill.
Heavy footsteps crunch on the courtyard gravel,
The bright splashing suddenly falls still,

And you awake. — But do not be afraid.
Above the earth the numbered stars still stand.
It's just a wanderer come to the stone trough
To scoop a little water into his hand.

Soon he will leave, and the pattering resume.
Rejoice that in this place you are not alone.
So many walk abroad in the starlight,
And others journey towards you, yet unknown.

      From the German of Hans Carossa

Copyright © 2003 Clive Watkins All rights reserved
from Jigsaw
Waywiser Press / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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