These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foilage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods--
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.
From “Committed To Memory: 100 Best Poems to Memorize,” edited by John Hollander (Riverhead Books: 196 pp., $12 paper). Copyright 1997 The Academy of American Poets