Going West

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Just as I came
Into the empty, westward--facing room,
A sudden gust blew wide
The tall window; at once
A shock of sudden light, vibrating like a flame,
Entered, as if it were the wind's bright spirit
Stealing to me upon some secret quest.
The wonder of the West
Burst open: under dark and rushing cloud
That rained illumined drops, it glorified
Each corner where so dazzlingly it struck:
The shadows cowered, the brilliance overflowed.
As suddenly, all faded.
Wet, wild air blew in
At the idly--swinging door
Stormily crumpled fallen shreds of leaves,
Dried scarlet and burnt yellow and ashy brown:
They fluttered in like fears and blew across the floor
And I, to the heart invaded,
Felt as that wild light palpitated through me
And died in a moment down,
Exalted by a visionary fear
That from the light more than the shadow fell;
A divination of splendid spirits near,
Of glorious parting and of great farewell.

© Robert Laurence Binyon