by Dylan Thomas

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

paraphrased by Leon Malinofsky

The divine and mystic energy behind all life

Is in my generation and in me;  that which is the entropic impulse

  in nature, is my destroyer too.

Yet I cannot commune with nature's straggling flowers

And sympathize with them, that my youth varies with the same

   withering, wintry force, and fever.

The same divine force, that erodes the rocks away

Is in me and in my blood;  that force that dries the generative streams

Dries my blood, ages me.

Yet I cannot convince myself viscerally that this is so,

That my reason and energy are those of nature, of the mountain spring.

The hand that rejoices in the tasks of life

Is bound to do tasks of death;  the life that rejoices in the breeze

Is destined for a shroud.

Yet how can I relate that death, its trappings, in an eternal circle

Is itself composed of things of past life?

Time devours the fountains of youth, dries them;

Love is anguished and torn, but the dissolution

Shall calm love's quakings.

Yet despite this intimate involvement of man and time, I cannot

   integrate my understanding with nature's elemental force, the wind,

And appreciate how time creates a universe for us by acting upon the stars.

And I can't tell my fellow elemental, my dead lover

That I am caught up in the same process as she, only at a different stage.

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