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Breathing light against thy face,
WITH a half-glance upon the sky
He spake of beauty: that the dull
Life in dead stones, or spirit in air;
He smoothed his chin and sleeked his hair,
He spake of virtue: not the gods
Most delicately hour by hour
With lips depressed as he were meek,
THE poet in a golden clime was born,
Dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
He saw through life and death, through good and ill,
The marvel of the everlasting will,
Before him lay with echoing feet he threaded
The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed And winged with flame,
Like Indian reeds blown from his silver tongue,
From Calpe unto Caucasus they sung,
And vagrant melodies the winds which bore
Then, like the arrow-seeds of the field-flower,
Cleaving, took root, and springing forth anew
Like to the mother plant in semblance, grew
And bravely furnished all abroad to fling
To throng with stately blooms the breathing spring
So many minds did gird their orbs with beams,
Heaven flowed upon the soul in many dreams
Thus truth was multiplied on truth, the world
And through the wreaths of floating dark upcurled
And Freedom reared in that august sunrise
When rites and forms before his burning eyes
There was no blood upon her maiden robes
But round about the circles of the globes
And in her raiment's hem was traced in flame
All evil dreams of power,-a sacred name.
Her words did gather thunder as they ran,
So was their meaning to her words. No sword
But one poor poet's scroll, and with his word
THE POET'S MIND.
VEX not thou the poet's mind
For thou canst not fathom it.
Dark-browed sophist, come not anear;
Come not here.
Holy water will I
pour Into every spicy flower
Of the laurel-shrubs that hedge it around.
The flowers would faint at your cruel cheer.
Which would blight the plants.
From the groves
In the heart of the garden the merry bird chants,
It would fall to the ground if you came in.
With a low melodious thunder; All day and all night it is ever drawn From the brain of the purple mountain Which stands in the distance yonder: It springs on a level of bowery lawn, And the mountain draws it from Heaven above, And it sings a song of undying love; And yet, though its voice be so clear and full, You never would hear it-your ears are so dull; So keep where you are: you are foul with sin; It would shrink to the earth if you came in.
THE DYING SWAN.
THE plain was grassy, wild and bare,
An under-roof of doleful gray.
And loudly did lament.
Ever the weary wind went on,
Some blue peaks in the distance rose,