Samuel Palmer prepares to etch " The Lonely Tower ". by Ian Emberson
I must return to that valley of vision, gather again to me flocks, crescent moon and star; God - let the last lights burn at this down-dusking of heaven's intermission, grant a rebirth to things I used to see seeming so close - yet known to be so far.
Long since I knocked at the Interpreter's door, explained whence I came and what I hoped to find; with kindred spirits flocked to him, and asked of the path that lay before - how to win valid praise ( avoiding shame ) we who were young - vigorous - yet so blind.
Now in tired age sharpening my needles rubbing herbs on my forehead to wake my brains ! - yet - if it evokes that sage ( farcical though it be ) - if it inveigles my failing soul to final glimpse of Godhead it is enough - recompense for all pains.
Cut image now wax hold my dream, and let the acid bite and show its power; my hand is on the plough which cut deep furrows to hold the harvest's sheen; tremblingly I vision this final light, and place it high in the lonely tower.