Ten Thousand Forgotten Things

When I was young, I saw ten thousand things
Of which my older eyes have now grown blind.
The shadows of them haunt me, but the sight
Is now forbidden. Secrets they might tell
Have poured into the belly of my ear
But they are past recall - the child's mind
Is painted white,
A house where nothing dwells.

And it was queer,

To try to think of things when I was young,
To try to tell the secrets I had heard.
Until I learned the way of elder men,
And learned to keep them safe within
the keep of memory:
The virtuous sin,
Of turning flying thoughts into caged birds
So as to know the songs that they had sung.

And then the birds without the cages flee,
And leave the keep to memory and me.
The mind builds moats around its  storyland:
To keep what's in within, what's out is banned.


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