The mountainous wrack of a création hurled.
Who made the splendid rose
Saturate with purple glows;
Cupped to the marge with beauty; a perfume-press.
Whence the wind vintages
Gushes of warmèd fragrance richer far
Than all the flavorous ooze of Cyprus* vats ?
Lo, in yon gale which waves her green cymar,
With dusky cheeks burnt red
She sways her heavy head,
Drunk with the must of her own odorousness ;
While in a moted trouble the vexed gnats
Maze, and vibrate, and tease the noontide hush.
Who girt dissolvèd lightnings in the grape?
Summered the opal with an Irised flush?
Is it not thou that dost the tulip drape,
And huest the daffodilly,
Yet who hast snowed the lily;
And her frail sister, whom the waters name,
Dost vestal-vesture 'mid the blaze of June,
Cold as the new-sprung girlhood of the moon
Ere Autumn's kiss sultry her cheek with dame?
Thou sway'st thy sceptred beam
O'er aU delight and dream ;
Beauty is beautiful but in thy glance:
And, like a jocund maid
In garland-flowers arrayed,
Before thy ark Earth keeps her sacred dance.
And now, O shaken from thine antique throne,
And sunken from thy ccerule empery,
Now that the red giare of thy fall is blown
In smoke and flame about the windy sky,
Where are the wailing voices that should meet
From hill, stream, grove, and all of mortai shape
Who tread thy gifts, in vineyards as stray feet
Pulp the globed weight of juiced Iberia's grape?
Where is the threne q9 the sea ?
And why not dirges thee
The wind, that sings to himself as he makes stride
Lonely and terrible on the Andéan height?
Where is the Naiad 'mid her sworded sedge?
The Nymph wan-glimmering by her wan fount's
The Dryad at timid gaze by the wood-side?
The Oread jutting light
On one up-strainèd sole from the rock-ledge?
The Nereid tip-toe on the scud o' the surge,
With whistling tresses dank athwart her face,
And all her figure poised in lithe Circean grace?
Why withers their lament?
Their tresses tear-besprent,
Have they sighed hence with trailing garment-hem ?
0 sweet, O sad, O fair,
1 catch your flying hair,
Draw your eyes down to me, and dream on them !
A space, and they fleet from me. Must ye fade-
O old, essential candours, ye who made
The earth a living and a radiant thing-
And leave her corpse in our strained, cheated arms ?
Lo ever thus, when Song with chorded charms
Draws from dull death his lost Eurydice,
Lo ever thus, even at consummating,
Even in the swooning minute that claims her his,
Even as he trembles to the impassioned kiss
Of reincarnate Beauty, his control
Clasps the cold body, and f oregoes the soul !
Whatso looks lovelily
Is but the rainbow on life's weeping rain.
Why have we longings of immortai pain,
And all we long for mortai ? Woe is me,
And all our chants but chaplet some decay,
As mine this vanishing-nay, vafiished Day.
The low sky-line dusks to a leaden hue,
No rift disturbs the heavy shade and chili,
Save one, where the charred firmament lets through
The scorching dazzle of Heaven; 'gainst which the
Stands black as life against eternity.
A lifting light in me
Burns through the leaden broodings of the mind:
O blessèd Sun, thy state
Uprisen or derogate
Dafts me no more with doubt; I seek and find.
If with exultant tread
Thou foot the Eastern sea,
Or like a golden bee
Sting the West to angry red,
Thou dost image, thou dost follow
That King-Maker of Création,
Who, ere Hellas hailed Apollo,
Gave thee, angel-god, thy station ;
Thou art of Him a type mémorial.
Like Him thou hang'st in-dreadful pomp of blood
Upon thy Western rood;
And His stained brow did veil like thine to-night,
Yet lift once more Its light,
And, risen, again departed from our ball,
But when It set on earth arose in Heaven.
Thus hath He unto death His beauty given:
And so of all which form inheriteth
The fall doth pass the rise in worth;
For birth hath in itself the germ of death,
But death hath in itself the germ of birth.
It is the falling acorn buds the tree,
The falling rain that bears the greenery,
The fern-plants moulder when the ferns arise.
For there is nothing lives but something dies,
And there is nothing dies but something lives.
Till skies be fugitives,
Till Time, the hidden root of change, updries,
Are Birth and Death inséparable on earth;
For they are twain yet one, and Death is Birth.
NOW with wan ray that other sun of Song
Sets in the bleakening waters of my soul:
One step, and lo ! the Cross stands gaunt and long
'Twixt me and yet bright skies, a presaged dole.
Even so, O Cross ! thine is the victory.
Thy roots are fast within our fairest fields;
Brightness may emanate in Heaven from thee,
Here thy dread symbol only shadow yields.
Of reapèd joys thou art the heavy sheaf
Which must be lifted, though the reaper groan;
Yea, we may cry till Heaven's great ear be deaf,
But we must bear thee, and must bear alone.
Vain were a Simon; of the Antipodes
Our night not borrows the superfluous day.
Yet woe to him that from his burden flees,
Crushed in the fall of what he cast away.
Therefore, O tender Lady, Queen Mary,
Thou gentleness that dost enmoss and drape
The Cross's rigorous austerity,
Wipe thou the blóod from wounds that needs must
" Lo, though suns rise and set, but crosses stay,
I leave thee ever," saith she, " light of cheer."
'Tis so: yon sky still thinks upon the Day,
And showers aërial blossoms on his bier.
Yon cloud with wrinkled fîre is edgèd sharp ;
And once more welling through the air, ah me !
How the sweet viol plains him to the harp,
Whose pangèd sobbings throng tumultuously.
Oh, this Medusa-pleasure with her stings !
This essence of all suffering, which is joy!
I am not thankless for the spell it brings,
Though tears must be told down for the charmed toy.
No; while soul, sky, and music bleed together,
Let me give thanks even for those griefs in me,
The restless windward stirrings of whose feather
Prove them the brood of immortality*
My soul is quitted of death-neighbouring swoon,
Who shall not slake her immitigable scars
Until she hear " My sister! " from the moon,
And take the kindred kisses of the stars.