The Lake

By Daryl Hine 1936–2012 Daryl Hine

dans le simple appareil
D’une beauté qu’on vient d’arracher au sommeil.

Smoothed by sleep and ruffled by your dreams   
The surface of the little lake
Fed by unconscious tributary streams,   
Unbroken by the breezes nightmares make,   
Like your face looks fathomless and seems   
Bottomless till light or noises wake.
You move and murmur and almost awake.

I admire but do not wish to enter,
Like any wanderer beside
Moonlit water in midwinter
Who as a simulacrum for the tide
Casting a pebble into the calm centre   
Watches the circles spread from side to side.   
I wait for you and morning at your side.

Such sources feed the mirror of your mind,   
I dare not touch the surface of your sleep.   
But to love by ignorance resigned,
Infatuated guardian, I keep
Watch beside a fountain where I find   
No image, for images too deep,
Above your breathing regular and deep.

Daryl Hine, “The Lake” from Wooden Horses (New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1965). Copyright © 1965 by Daryl Hine. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: The Wooden Horse: Poems (1965)

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Poet Daryl Hine 1936–2012


Subjects Relationships, Love, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Simile

 Daryl  Hine


Poet, editor, and translator Daryl Hine was born in 1936 in British Columbia and grew up in New Westminster. His mother’s death while he was still a teenager had a profound influence on him. He studied Classics and philosophy at McGill University, and he earned his PhD in comparative literature from the University of Chicago. The editor of Poetry from 1968-78, Hine was also a highly regarded translator of Classical writers such . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes


Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Simile

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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