Acceptance. Collection – West-Running Brook. 1928

When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened. Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, ‘Safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night bee too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be.’

Acceptance begins and ends with acceptance. The poet observes that when the sun sets and darkness falls, nothing in Nature seems to protest. There is absolute acceptance in Nature for the inevitable.

The setting sun is ‘spent’ – tired and energy less, it like all other living beings is retiring for the night. The change from the brightness of the day to the darkness that is falling, is so visible, yet there is no resistance from anyone in Nature. Nature is used to this cycle. The natural beings accept that darkness after sunlight is inevitable. Instead of ‘crying aloud’ or protesting, they reconcile themselves and do what must be done.

The poet wonders that the birds who fly in the sky ‘at least’ must be able to feel this difference. But they too start settling down for the night – flying back to their nests and going off to sleep.

Let what will be, be

Men must learn from Nature to accept their fate.  What will happen will happen and it cannot be controlled. Just as the sun leaves up to darkness, our future is in darkness – the darkness is not that of pessimism but stand for the inability to see.

We must learn to live in the moment. Do what must be done at that moment instead of worrying about the future.

Home is safe

Just as the safety of their nests is sought by the birds at the end of the day, men must have an anchor in life. We may soar – explore the world and take risks in life but we must be able to return to the safety of a home, family, love or career. We may not know what the future holds for us but we must be assured of the sense of security that comes from having a home to go back to – in a larger sense, also relationships and purpose in life.

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

– The Death of the Hired Man

Read the poem Reluctance (1915) about man’s unwillingness to accept destiny. The poem, as opposed to this one, is melancholy.

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