A Poem by Mark Van Doren

Because this ground is mine it presses firmer
And softer up against my morning feet.
The grass ever is whispering as I walk.
The trees lean a little, and the spring,
There at the head of the road, leaps out to meet me.
Some afternoons I think these hundred acres,
Knowing I lie on the mountainside in the sun,
Curl over as if to fold me in; then, rising,
I smile and go, and they are level again.
But all of this is nothing to the night
I climbed that path and came into my own.
The darkness—my own darkness—was a warm
Still wind upon my face, until I reached
The topmost meadow, open to the sky.
One step, and I stood naked among stars—
White stars, that clustered closer and larger down;
Closer, until they entered my two eyes. . . .
When, deep inside, they burst without a sound.