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To him the simple spell who knows
The spirits of the ring to sway,
Fresh power with every sunrise flows,
And royal pursuivants are those
That fly his mandates to obey.
SOMETIMES come pauses of calm, when the
rapt bard, holding his heart back, Over his deep mind muses, as when o'er
awe-stricken ocean Poises a heapt cloud luridly, ripening the
gale and the thunder; Slow rolls onward the verse with a long
swell heaving and swinging, Seeming to wait till, gradually widning
from far-off horizons, Piling the deeps up, heaping the glad
hearted surges before it, Gathers the thought as a strong wind
darkening and cresting the tumult. Then every pause, every heave, each trough
in the waves, has its meaning;
But he that with a slackened will
Dreams of things past or things to be,
From him the charm is slipping still,
And drops, ere he suspect the ill,
Into the inexorable sea.
The path from me to you that led,
Untrodden long, with
grown, Mute carpet that his lieges spread
Ah, did we know to give her all her right,
What wonders even in our poor clay
It is not Woman leaves us to our night,
But our brute earth that grovels from
Where shine you ? On what happier fields
and flowers ? Heaven's lamps renew their lustre less
divine, But only serve to count my darkened hours.
If with your presence went your image too, Our nobler cultured fields and gracious That brain-born ghost iny path would never
domes We whirl too oft from her who still Which meets me now where'er I once met shines on
you, To light in vain our caves and clefts, the Then vanishes, to multiply my loss.
homes Of night-bird instincts pained till she be gone.
I am the halcyon, this my nest;
And all is safely for the best
While the World's there and I am here.
So I turn tory for the nonce,
And think the radical a bore,
Who cannot see, thick-witted dunce,
That what was good for people once
Must be as good forevermore.
Seek we first an altar fit
For such victims laid on it:
It shall be this slab brought home
In old happy days from Rome,
Lazuli, once blest to line
Dian's inmost cell and shrine.
Gently now I lay them there,
Pure as Dian's forehead bare,
Yet suffused with warmer hue,
Such as only Latmos knew.
Sun, sink no deeper down the sky;
Earth, never change this summer mood;
Breeze, loiter thus forever by,
Stir the dead leaf or let it lie;
Since I am happy, all is good.
ON BURNING SOME OLD
WITH what odorous woods and spices
Spared for royal sacrifices,
With what costly gums seld-seen,
Hoarded to embalm a queen,
With what frankincense and myrrh,
Burn these precious parts of her,
Full of life and light and sweetness
As a summer day's completeness,
Joy of sun and song of bird
Running wild in every word,
Full of all the superhuman
Grace and winsomeness of woman?
Fire I gather from the sun
In a virgin lens: 't is done !
Mount the flames, red, yellow, blue,
As her moods were shining through,
Of the moment's impulse born,
Moods of sweetness, playful scorn,
Half defiance, half surrender,
More than cruel, more than tender,
Flouts, caresses, sunshine, shade,
Gracious doublings of a maid
Infinite in guileless art,
Playing hide-seek with her heart.
On the altar now, alas,
There they lie a crinkling mass,
Writhing still, as if with grief
Went the life from every leaf;
Then (heart-breaking palimpsest I)
Vanishing ere wholly guessed,
Suddenly some lines flash back,
Traced in lightning on the black,
And confess, till now denied,
All the fire they strove to hide.
What they told me, sacred trust,
Stays to glorify my dust,
There to burn through dust and damp
Like a mage's deathless lamp,
While an atom of this frame
Lasts to feed the dainty flame.
O'er these leaves her wrist has slid,
Thrilled with veins where fire is hid
'Neath the skin's pellucid veil,
Like the opal's passion pale;
This her breath has sweetened; this
Still seems trembling with the kiss
She half-ventured on my name,
Brow and cheek and throat aflame;
Over all caressing lies
Sunshine left there by her eyes;
From them all an effluence rare
With her nearness fills the air,
Till the murmur I half-hear
Of her light feet drawing near.
All is ashes now, but they
In my soul are laid away,
And their radiance round me hovers
Soft as moonlight over lovers,
Shutting her and me alone
In dream-Edens of our own;
First of lovers to invent
Love, and teach men what it meant.
Rarest woods were coarse and rough,
Sweetest spice not sweet enough,
Too impure all earthly fire
For this sacred funeral-pyre;
These rich relics must suffice
For their own dear sacrifice.
I COULD not bear to see those eyes On all with wasteful largess shine,