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Breathing light against thy face,
While his locks a-dropping twined
Round thy neck in subtle ring
Make a carcanet of rays
And ye talk together still,
In the language wherewith Spring
Letters cowslips on the hill?
Hence that look and smile of thine,
Spiritual Adeline.



WITH a half-glance upon the sky
At night he said, "The wanderings
Of this most intricate Universe
Teach me the nothingness of things."
Yet could not all creation pierce
Beyond the bottom of his eye.


He spake of beauty: that the dull
Saw no divinity in grass,

Life in dead stones, or spirit in air;
Then looking as 'twere in a glass,

He smoothed his chin and sleeked his hair,
And said the earth was beautiful.


He spake of virtue: not the gods
More purely, when they wish to charm
Pallas and Juno sitting by:
And with a sweeping of the arm,
And a lack-lustre dead-blue eye,
Devolved his rounded periods.


Most delicately hour by hour
He canvassed human mysteries,
And trod on silk, as if the winds
Blew his own praises in his eyes,
And stood aloof from other minds
In impotence of fancied power.


With lips depressed as he were meek,
Himself unto himself he sold:
Upon himself himself did feed:
Quiet, dispassionate, and cold,
And other than his form of creed,
With chiselled features clear and sleek.


THE poet in a golden clime was born,
With golden stars above;

Dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
The love of love.

He saw through life and death, through good and ill,
He saw through his own soul.

The marvel of the everlasting will,
An open scroll,

Before him lay with echoing feet he threaded
The secret'st walks of fame :

The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed And winged with flame,

Like Indian reeds blown from his silver tongue,
And of so fierce a flight,

From Calpe unto Caucasus they sung,
Filling with light

And vagrant melodies the winds which bore
Them earthward till they lit;

Then, like the arrow-seeds of the field-flower,
The fruitful wit,

Cleaving, took root, and springing forth anew
Where'er they fell, behold,

Like to the mother plant in semblance, grew
A flower all gold,

And bravely furnished all abroad to fling
The winged shafts of truth,

To throng with stately blooms the breathing spring
Of Hope and Youth.

So many minds did gird their orbs with beams,
Though one did fling the fire.

Heaven flowed upon the soul in many dreams
Of high desire.

Thus truth was multiplied on truth, the world
Like one great garden showed,

And through the wreaths of floating dark upcurled
Rare sunrise flowed.

And Freedom reared in that august sunrise
Her beautiful bold brow,

When rites and forms before his burning eyes
Melted like snow.

There was no blood upon her maiden robes
Sunned by those orient skies;

But round about the circles of the globes
Of her keen eyes

And in her raiment's hem was traced in flame
WISDOM, a name to shake

All evil dreams of power,-a sacred name.
And when she spake,

Her words did gather thunder as they ran,
And as the lightning to the thunder
Which follows it, riving the spirit of man,
Making earth wonder,

So was their meaning to her words. No sword
Of wrath her right arm whirled,

But one poor poet's scroll, and with his word
She shook the world.



VEX not thou the poet's mind
With thy shallow wit:
Vex not thou the poet's mind;

For thou canst not fathom it.
Clear and bright it should be ever,
Flowing like a crystal river;
Bright as light, and clear as wind.


Dark-browed sophist, come not anear;
All the place is holy ground;
Hollow smile and frozen sneer

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.
In your eye there is death,
There is frost in your breath

Which would blight the plants.
Where you stand you cannot hear


From the groves
The wild-bird's din.

In the heart of the garden the merry bird chants,

It would fall to the ground if you came in.
In the middle leaps a fountain
Like sheet lightning,
Ever brightening

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 plain was grassy, wild and bare,
Wide, wild, and open to the air,
Which had built up everywhere

An under-roof of doleful gray.
With an inner voice the river ran,
Adown it floated a dying swan,

And loudly did lament.
It was the middle of the day.

Ever the weary wind went on,
And took the reed-tops as it went.

Some blue peaks in the distance rose,
And white against the cold-white sky
Shone out their crowning snows.
One willow over the river wept,
And shook the wave as the wind did sigh;
Above in the wind was the swallow,
Chasing itself as its own wild will,
And far through the marish green and still

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