Inviolate Eden

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