The vision will come - the Truth be revealed - but

Not even in its vaguest nature do you now know - ah! truth

About what? But deep in the sibilant dark

Of your mind, that conviction irregularly

Gleams like foxfire in sump-woods where,

In distance, lynx scream or owl stammer

Freezes the blood in a metaphysical shudder -

Which might be the first, feather-fine brush of Grace. Such

An event may well come in your deepest

Moment of loneliness, with rain on the roof,

As the season changes, and bed too wide. Or even

At moments of irrational depression. But

May come at any time, when, for instance,

The past is de-fogged and foot tracks

Of old folly show fleetingly clear, before retionalization

Again descends as from seaward.

Or even, when again the shadow of the past teasingly

Lifts, and you remember having caught

A glint of the nature of virtue like

The electrically exposed white of a flicker's

Rump feathers at the moment it flashes for the black thicket.

Or even in a section of the city

Where no acquaintance would ever come,

You watch snowflakes slash at automobile headlights

As you move toward the first

Illicit meeting, naturally at a crummy

Cafe. Your pace slows. You see her

Slip from the cab, dash for the door, dark fur coat

Collar up, head down. Inside,

As you order two highballs,

All eyes seem to focus on you. Drinks come, but

There is nothing to say. Hands

Do, damply, clutch, though no bed yet. Each stares

Into the other's eyes, like despair, and doom

Grows slow, and fat, and dark, like a burgundy begonia.

Soon, you will watch the pale silken flash

Of the well turned ankles beneath dark fur,

As she hurries away on her stolen time, cab-hunting, and the future

Scarcely breathes. Your chest is a great clot. Perhaps now.

Oh, no. It may not happen, in fact, until

A black orderly, white-coated, on rubber soles, at 5 A.M.

Enters the hospital room, suds and razor in hand, to shave,

With no greeting, the area the surgeon

Will penetrate. He goes away. No one

Comes yet. Do not give up hope.

There is still time. Watch dawn blur the windows.

Can it be that vision has, long back, come -

And you just didn't recognize it? CAPTION: Picture, ROBERT PENN WARREN, who contributed "Vision" to this inaugural issue of the new Book World, is one of America's most honored men-of-letters. He has received the Pulitzer Prize three times - in poetry for Now and Then and Promises, and in fiction for his novel, All the King's Men.