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Breathing light against thy face,
Round thy neck in subtle ring
And ye talk together still,
Hence that look and smile of thine,
With a half-glance upon the sky
He spake of beauty: that the dull
He spake of virtue : not the gods
Most delicately hour by hour
With lips depressed as he were meek,
Tie poet in a golden clime was born,
With golden stars above; Dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
The love of love.
He saw through life and death, through good and ill,
He saw through his own soul. The marvel of the everlasting will,
An open scroll,
Before him lay: with echoing feet he threaded
The secret'st walks of fame : The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed
And winged with flame,
Like Indian reeds blown from his silver tongue,
And of so fierce a flight,
Filling with light
And vagrant melodies the winds which bore
Them earthward till they lit;
The fruitful wit,
Cleaving, took root, and springing forth anew
Where'er they fell, behold,
A flower all gold,
And bravely furnished all abroad to fling
The winged shafts of truth, To throng with stately blooms the breathing spring
Of Hope and Youth.
So many minds did gird their orbs with beams,
Though one did fling the fire.
Of high desire.
Thus truth was multiplied on truth, the world
Like one great garden showed, And through the wreaths of floating dark upcurled
Rare sunrise flowed.
And Freedom reared in that august sunrise
Her beautiful bold brow,
Melted like snow.
There was no blood upon her maiden robes
Sunned by those orient skies;
Of her keen eyes
And in her raiment's hem was traced in flame
WISDOM, a name to shake
And when she spake,
Her words did gather thunder as they ran,
And as the lightning to the thunder Which follows it, riving the spirit of man,
Making earth wonder,
So was their meaning to her words. No sword
Of wrath her right arm whirled,
She shook the world.
. THE POET'S MIND.
VEX not thou the poet's mind
With thy shallow wit :
For thou canst not fathom it.
Dark-browed sophist, come not anear;
All the place is holy ground;
Come not here.
Into every spicy flower
In your eye there is death,
There is frost in your breath Which would blight the plants. Where you stand you cannot hear
From the groves within
The wild-bird's din. In the heart of the garden the merry bird chants,
It would fall to the ground if you came in.
Like sheet lightning,
From the brain of the purple mountain
Which stands in the distance yonder: It springs on a level of bowery lawn, And the mountain draws it from Heaven above, And it sings a song of undying love; And yet, though its voice be so clear and full, You never would hear it-your ears are so dull; So keep where you are: you are foul with sin; It would shrink to the earth if you came in.
THE DYING SWAN.
The plain was grassy, wild and bare,
An under-roof of doleful gray.
And loudly did lament.
Ever the weary wind went on,
Some blue peaks in the distance rose,
Shone out their crowning snows.