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Answered no less, where no answer needs be : : Off start the Two on their ways.
Straight must a Third interpose,
Volunteer necdlessly help ;
So the cry 's open, the kennel 's a-yelp,
XIV One dissertates, he is candid;
Two must discept,-has distinguished; Three helps the couple, if ever yet man did;
Four protests; Five makes a dart at the thing wished : Back to One, goes the case bandied.
One says his say with a difference ;
More of expounding, explaining !..
Now there's a truce, all's subdued, self-restraining : Five, though, stands out all the stiffer hence.
One is incisive, corrosive ;
Two retorts, nettled, curt, crepitant ;
Four overbears them all, strident and strepitant: Five .. 0 Danaides, O Sieve!
Now, they prick pins at a tissue
Worked on the bone of a lie. To what issue ?
Est fuga, volvitur rota.
On we drift : where looms the dim port ? One, Two, Three, Four, Five, contribute their quota ;
Something is gained, if one caught but the importShow it us, Hugues of Saxe-Gotha !
XIX What with affirming, denying,
Holding, risposting, subjoining, All 's like .... it's like . . . . for an instance I 'm
trying ... There ! See our roof, its gilt moulding and groining Under those spider-webs lying !
Greatens and deepens and lengthens,
“Blot ye the gold, while your spider-web strengthens " —Blacked to the stoutest of tickens ? "
I for man's effort am zealous :
Prove me such censure unfounded ! Seems it surprising a lover grows jealous
Hopes 't was for something, his organ pipes sounded Tiring three boys at the bellows ?
Such a web, simple and subtle,
Backward and forward each throwing his shuttle, Death ending all with a knife ?
Over our heads truth and nature
Still our life's zigzags and dodges,
God's gold just shining its last where that lodges, Palled beneath man's usurpature.
So we o'ershroud stars and roses,
Cherub and trophy and garland ;
Heaven's earnest eye: not a glimpse of the far land Gets through our comments and glozes.
XXV Ah but traditions, inventions,
(Say we and make up a visage) So many men with such various intentions,
Down the past ages, must know more than this age ! Leave we the web its dimensions !
Who thinks Hugues wrote for the deaf,
Proved a mere mountain in labour ? Better submit; try again ; what 's the clef?
'Faith, 't is no trifle for pipe and for taborFour flats, the minor in F.
Learning it once, who would lose it?
Truth 's golden o'er us although we refuse itNature, thro' cobwebs we string her.
XXVIII Hugues! I advise meâ pæna
(Counterpoint glares like a Gorgon) Bid One, Two, Three, Four, Five, clear the arena !
Say the word, straight I unstop the full-organ, Blare out the mode Palestrina.
... Lo you, the wick in the socket ! Hallo, you sacristan, show us a light there!
Down it dips, gone like a rocket.
Do I carry the moon in my pocket?
TER HE HAS BEEN EXTEMPORIZING UPON THE MUSICAL
INSTRUMENT OF HIS INVENTION.)
WOULD that the structure brave, the manifold music I
build, Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work, Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when
Solomon willed Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk, Man, brute, reptile, fly,—alien of end and of aim, Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep
Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable
Name, And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess
he loved !
Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of
mine, This which my keys in a crowd pressed and impor
tuned to raise ! Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart now and
now combine, Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their master his
praise ! And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down
to hell, Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of
things, Then up again swim into sight, having based me my
palace well, Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs.
III And another would mount and march, like the excellent
minion he was, Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many
a crest, Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as
glass, Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest : For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire,
When a great illumination surprises a festal nightOutlining round and round Rome's dome from space to
spire) Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my
soul was in sight.