70 Topophilia Cold dead light, and the beach, from the long rain, Like a mud-flat under this low cloud-cope; though where Sun lights the cloud’s far edge a pane of clear Yellow sky joins it to the steady line Of the horizon; and tiny and black, and fine In detail, an oil rig sits precisely there On the skyline, like some miniature Electronic component, the thin struts showing plain. And the space out there clear and empty and fine, Ready for God to fill — like an Inness, a Lane, Or even a Hopper: and I think of their Frank and mystical love of light, and plain Shapes in the great vacancies of air, And taking comfort in the bare and spare. Hopper, to whom the ‘mystical’ doesn’t exactly apply, said, ‘What I wanted to do was to paint the sunlight on the side of a house.’ Inness spoke of ‘the hidden story of the real.’ With Lane I had especially in mind the wonderful Owl’s Head, Maine. — Santayana writes of the ‘something in the human spirit (which is not merely human), something unreclaimed and akin to the elements,’ that is perhaps at work in these things. 137