The Apple Boughs

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Round apples, burning upon the apple boughs,
As the evening flush withdraws,
Perfect and satiate, earth's completed vows,
In a stillness nothing flaws,

You burn in the branching golden green, you float
In humid blue immersed,
Strange as if gleaming out of an air remote
Where unknown tongues conversed.

Coloured and orbed by the hours, in motionless poise,
You are timed, and rounded, and still:
But in me is the want that springs, creates, destroys,
The want no hours fulfil.

Stirred but a wing, stole but a tremor of light
From the cloud, and my heart were aware
That its will is to be with the spirit whose joy is flight;
I have tasted a timeless air.

Spiritual laughter promises all things free,
The heart has a heaven to spend.
Where the mind imagines its own, perfection to me
Is a prison, a date, and an end.

© Robert Laurence Binyon