A Loose Mountain



Did you stay up last night (the Magi did)

To see the star shower known as Leonid

That once a year by hand or apparatus

Is so mysteriously pelted at us?

It is but fiery puffs of dust and pebbles,

No doubt directed at our heads as rebels

In having taken artificial light

Against the ancient sovereignty of night.

A fusillade of blanks and empty flashes,

It never reaches earth except as ashes

Of which you feel no least touch on your face

Nor find in dew the slightest cloudy trace.

Nevertheless it constitutes a hint

That the loose mountain lately seen to glint

In sunlight near us in momentous swing

Is something in a Balearic sling

The heartless and enormous Outer Black

Is still withholding in the Zodiac

But from irresolution in his back

About when best to have us in our orbit,

So we won't simply take it and absorb it.


Robert Frost