The albatross of discord--should it light--
Casts far its gloomy shadow. While the choice,
Gay-plumaged birds with sweeter song take flight
Before its somber spell, its raucous voice
Brings castles crashing. (When the mute batons
Of aspens twirl while from the lark's glad throat
There spills a star-splashed fountain in the bronze,
Hushed hour of dawn, a magpie's zither note
Shatters the fragile moment.) The retreat
Illumined by love's tapers knows the dread,
Dark, heavy wings of gloom, the gray web-feet--
No haven which they have not visited.
Yet man may keep, if he will guard the gate,
The Eden of his mind inviolate.
First in MFCP Sonnet Contest, Spring 1953