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Watching the daylight fade,
It throbbed up from the brook.
River, and rose, and crag, and bird,
Frost, and sun, and eldest night,
To me their aid preferred,
To me their comfort plight:
*Courage! we are thine allies;
And with this hint be wise,-
The chains of kind
The distant bind.
Deed thou doest she must do,-
Above her will, be true;
And, in her strict resort
To winds and waterfalls,
And autumn's sun-lit festivals,
To music, and to music's thought,
She shall find thee, and be found.
Follow not her flying feet;
Come to us, herself to meet.'”
BACCHUS. Bring me wine, but wine which never grew In the belly of the grape, Or grew on vine whose taproots reaching through Under the Andes to the Cape, Suffered no savour of the world to scape.
Let its grapes the morn salute
From a nocturnal root
Which feels the acrid juice
Of Styx and Erebus,
And turns the woe of night,
By its own craft, to a more rich delight.
We buy ashes for bread,
We buy diluted wine;
Give me of the true,
Whose ample leaves and tendrils, curled
Among the silver hills of heaven,
Draw everlasting dew;
Wine of wine,
Blood of the world,
Form of forms and mould of statures,
That I, intoxicated,
And by the draught assimilated,
May float at pleasure through all natures,
The bird-language rightly spell,
And that which roses say so well.
Wine that is shed
Like the torrents of the sun
Up the horizon walls;
Or like the Atlantic streams which run
When the South Sea calls.
Water and bread;
Food which needs no transmuting,
Wine which is already man,
Food which teach and reason can.
Wine which music is;
Music and wine are one ;
That I, drinking this,
Shall hear far chaos talk with me,
Kings unborn shall walk with me,
And the poor grass shall plot and plan
What it will do when it is man :
Quickened so, will I unlock
Every crypt of every rock.
I thank the joyful juice
For all I know;
Winds of remembering
Of the ancient being blow,
And seeming-solid walls of use
Open and flow.
Pour, Bacchus, the remembering wine;
Retrieve the loss of me and mine;
Vine for vine be antidote,
And the grape requite the lote.
Haste to cure the old despair,
Reason in Nature's lotus drenched,
The memory of ages quenched;-
Give them again to shine.
Let wine repair what this undid;
And, where the infection slid,
A dazzling memory revive.
Refresh the faded tints,
Recut the aged prints,
And write my old adventures, with the pen
Which, on the first day, drew
Upon the tablets blue
The dancing Pleiads, and the eternal men.
TREES in groves,
Kine in droves,
In ocean sport the scaly herds,
Wedge-like cleave the air the birds,
To northern lakes fly wind-borne ducks,
Browse the mountain sheep in flocks,
Men consort in camp and town:
But the poet dwells alone.
God who gave to him the lyre,
Of all mortals the desire,
For all breathing men's behoof,
Straitly charged him, “Sit aloof;"
Annexed a warning, poets say,
To the bright premium, -
“Ever when twain together play,
Shall the harp be dumb.”
Many may come,
But one shall sing;
Two touch the string,
The harp is dumb.
Though there come a million,
Wise Saadi dwells alone.
Yet Saadi loved the race of men,-
No churl immured in cave or den,-
In bower and hall
He wants them all,
Nor can dispense
With Persia for his audience;
They must give ear,
Grow red with joy, and white with fear.
Yet he has no companion;
Come ten, or come a million,
Good Saadi dwells alone.
Be thou ware where Saadi dwells.
Gladly round that golden lamp
Sylvan deities encamp,
And simple maids and noble youth
Are welcome to the man of truth.
Most welcome they who need him most,
They feed the spring which they exhaust :
For greater need
Draws better deed.
But, critic, spare thy vanity,
Nor show thy pompous parts,
To vex with odious subtlety
The cheerer of men's hearts.
Sad-eyed Fakirs swiftly say
Endless dirges to decay;
Never in the blaze of light
Lose the shudder of midnight;
And at overflowing noon
Hear wolves barking at the moon;
In the bower of dalliance sweet
Hear the far Avenger's feet;
And shake before those awful Powers
Who in their pride forgive not ours.
Thus the sad-eyed Fakirs preach;
“Bard, when thee would Allah teach,
And lift thee to his holy mount,
He sends thee, from his bitter fount,
Wormwood, saying, 'Go thy ways;
Drink not the Malaga of praise,
But do the deed thy fellows hate,
And compromise thy peaceful state.
Smite the white breasts which thee fed,
Stuff sharp thorns beneath the head
Of them thou shouldst have comforted.
For out of woe and out of crime
Draws the heart a lore sublime.'"
And yet it seemeth not to me
That the high gods love tragedy;
For Saadi sat in the sun,
And thanks was his contrition ;
For haircloth and for bloody whips,
Had active hands and smiling lips;
And yet his runes he rightly read,
And to his folk his message sped.
Sunshine in his heart transferred
Lighted each transparent word;
And well could honouring Persia learn
What Saadi wished to say;
For Saadi's nightly stars did burn
Brighter than Dschami's day.
Whispered the Muse in Saadi's cot;
“O gentle Saadi, listen not,
Tempted by thy praise of wit,
Or by thirst and appetite
For the talents not thine
To sons of contradiction.
Never, sun of eastern morning,
Follow falsehood, follow scorning.
Denounce who will, who will, deny,
And pile the hills to scale the sky;