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WITH THE FOLLOWING POEM.
I Send you here a sort of allegory, (For you will understand it,) of a soul, A sinful soul possessed of many gifts, A spacious garden full of flowering weeds, A glorious Devil, large in heart and brain, That did love Beauty only, (Beauty seen In all varieties of mould and mind,) And Knowledge for its beauty; or if Good, Good only for its beauty, seeing not That Beauty, Good, and Knowledge, are three sisters That dote upon each other, friends to man, Living together under the same roof, And never can be sundered without tears. And he that shuts Love out, in turn shall be Shut out from Love, and on her threshold lie Howling in outer darkness. Not for this Was common clay ta'en from the common earth, Moulded by God, and tempered with the tears Of angels to the perfect shape of man.
THE PALACE OF ART.
I Built my soul a lordly pleasure-house,
Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
A huge crag-platform, smooth as burnished brass,
I chose. The ranged ramparts bright From level meadow-bases of deep grass Suddenly scaled the light
Thereon I built it firm. Of ledge or shelf
The rock rose clear, or winding stair. My soul would live alone unto herself In her high palace there.
And " while the world runs round and round," I said,
"Reign thou apart, a quiet king, Still as, while Saturn whirls, his steadfast shade Sleeps on his luminous ring."
To which my soul made answer readily:
"Trust me, in bliss I shall abide
Four courts I made, East, West, and South and
And round the cool green courts there ran a row
Of cloisters, branched like mighty woods,
And round the roofs a gilded gallery
That lent broad verge to distant lands,
From those four jets four currents in one swell
Across the mountain streamed below
And high on every peak a statue seemed
A cloud of incense of all odor steamed
So that she thought, "And who shall gaze upon
My palace with unblinded eyes,
For that sweet incense rose and never failed,
And, while day sank or mounted higher,
Likewise the deep-set windows, stained and traced, Would seem slow-flaming crimson fires
Full of long-sounding corridors it was,
That over-vaulted grateful gloom, Through which the livelong day my soul did pass, Well-pleased, from room to room.
Full of great rooms and small the palace stood,
All various, each a perfect whole From living Nature, fit for every mood And change of my still soul.
For some were hung with arras green and blue,
Showing a gaudy summer-morn, Where with puffed cheek the belted hunter blew His wreathed bugle-horn.
One seemed all dark and red—a tract of sand,
And some one pacing there alone,
One showed an iron coast and angry waves.
You seemed to hear them climb and fall
And one, a full-fed river winding slow
By herds upon an endless plain,
And one, the reapers at their sultry toil.
In front they bound the sheaves. Behind
And one, a foreground black with stones and slags,
Beyond a line of heights, and higher All barred with long white cloud the scornful crags, And highest, snow and fire.
And one, an English home—gray twilight poured
On dewy pastures, dewy trees,
Nor these alone, but every landscape fair,
As fit for every mood of mind,
* * * *
* * * *
Or in a clear-walled city on the sea,
Or thronging all one porch of Paradise,
A group of Houris bowed to see
Or mythic Uther's deeply-wounded son In some fair space of sloping greens
Or hollowing one hand against his ear,
To list a footfall, ere he saw The wood-nymph, stayed the Ausonian king to heai Of wisdom and of law.
Or over hills with peaky tops engrailed,
And many a tract of palm and rice,
Or sweet Europa's mantle blew unclasped
Or else flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh
Half-buried in the Eagle's down,
Nor these alone: but every legend fair
* * * *
* * * *
Then in the towers I placed great bells that swung
Moved of themselves, with silver sound; And with choice paintings of wise men I hung The royal dais round.