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The Angel and the Girl

Edwin Muir 1887 (Orkney) – 1959 (Cambridge)



The angel and the girl are met
Earth was the only meeting place.
For the embodied never yet
Travelled beyond the shore of space.
The eternal spirits in freedom go.

See, they have come together, see,
While the destroying minutes flow,
Each reflects the other's face
Till heaven in hers and earth in his
Shine steady there. He's come to her
From far beyond the farthest star,
Feathered through time. Immediacy
Of strangest strangeness is the bliss
That from their limbs all movement takes.
Yet the increasing rapture brings
So great a wonder that it makess
Each feather tremble on his wings

Outside the window footsteps fall
Into the ordinary day
And with the sun along the wall
Pursue their unreturning way
Sound's perpetual roundabout
Rolls its numbered octaves out
And hoarsely grinds its battered tune

But through the endless afternoon
These neither speak nor movement make.
But stare into their deepening trance
As if their grace would never break.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Edwin Muir

Edwin Muir was an Orcadian poet, novelist and translator, born on a farm in Deerness on the Orkney Islands. He is remembered for his deeply felt and vivid poetry in plain language with few stylistic preoccupations. more…

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