The Reef

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My green aquarium of phantom fish,
  Goggling in on me through the misty panes;
  My rotting leaves and fields spongy with rains;
  My few clear quiet autumn days--I wish

  I could leave all, clearness and mistiness;
  Sodden or goldenly crystal, all too still.
  Yes, and I too rot with the leaves that fill
  The hollows in the woods; I am grown less

  Than human, listless, aimless as the green
  Idiot fishes of my aquarium,
  Who loiter down their dim tunnels and come
  And look at me and drift away, nought seen

  Or understood, but only glazedly
  Reflected. Upwards, upwards through the shadows,
  Through the lush sponginess of deep-sea meadows
  Where hare-lipped monsters batten, let me ply

  Winged fins, bursting this matrix dark to find
  Jewels and movement, mintage of sunlight
  Scattered largely by the profuse wind,
  And gulfs of blue brightness, too deep for sight.

  Free, newly born, on roads of music and air
  Speeding and singing, I shall seek the place
  Where all the shining threads of water race,
  Drawn in green ropes and foamy meshes. There,

  On the red fretted ramparts of a tower
  Of coral rooted in the depths, shall break
  An endless sequence of joy and speed and power:
  Green shall shatter to foam; flake with white flake

  Shall create an instant's shining constellation
  Upon the blue; and all the air shall be
  Full of a million wings that swift and free
  Laugh in the sun, all power and strong elation.

  Yes, I shall seek that reef, which is beyond
  All isles however magically sleeping
  In tideless seas, uncharted and unconned
  Save by blind eyes; beyond the laughter and weeping

  That brood like a cloud over the lands of men.
  Movement, passion of colour and pure wings,
  Curving to cut like knives--these are the things
  I search for:--passion beyond the ken

  Of our foiled violences, and, more swift
  Than any blow which man aims against time,
  The invulnerable, motion that shall rift
  All dimness with the lightning of a rhyme,

  Or note, or colour. And the body shall be
  Quick as the mind; and will shall find release
  From bondage to brute things; and joyously
  Soul, will and body, in the strength of triune peace,

  Shall live the perfect grace of power unwasted.
  And love consummate, marvellously blending
  Passion and reverence in a single spring
  Of quickening force, till now never yet tasted,

  But ever ceaselessly thirsted for, shall crown
  The new life with its ageless starry fire.
  I go to seek that reef, far down, far down
  Below the edge of everyday's desire,

  Beyond the magical islands, where of old
  I was content, dreaming, to give the lie
  To misery. They were all strong and bold
  That thither came; and shall I dare to try?

© Aldous Huxley