Donald Hall



                  The Impossible Marriage


The bride disappears. After twenty minutes of searching
we discover her in the cellar, vanishing against a pillar
in her white gown and her skin's original pallor.
When we guide her back to the altar, we find the groom
in his slouch hat, open shirt, and untended beard
withdrawn to the belltower with the healthy young sexton
from whose comradeship we detach him with difficulty.
Oh, never in all the cathedrals and academies
of compulsory Democracy and free-thinking Calvinism
will these poets marry! – O pale, passionate
anchoret of Amherst! O reticent kosmos of Brooklyn!


Donald Hall, White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected
Poems 1946-2006, Mariner Books, 2007.