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Title: Canzoni & Ripostes - Whereto are appended the Complete Poetical Works of T.E. Hulme
Author: Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972, Hulme, T.E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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            II. (THE SEA OF GLASS)
                      II. SATIEMUS
                     III. ABELARD




       "Et huiusmodi stantiae usus est fere in omnibus
       cantionibus suis Arnaldus Danielis et nos eum secuti
                          DANTE, _De Vulgari Eloquio_, II. 10.


  Ah! red-leafed time hath driven out the rose
  And crimson dew is fallen on the leaf
  Ere ever yet the cold white wheat be sown
  That hideth all earth's green and sere and red;
  The Moon-flower's fallen and the branch is bare,
  Holding no honey for the starry bees;
  The Maiden turns to her dark lord's demesne.


  Fairer than Enna's field when Ceres sows
  The stars of hyacinth and puts off grief,
  Fairer than petals on May morning blown
  Through apple-orchards where the sun hath shed
  His brighter petals down to make them fair;
  Fairer than these the Poppy-crowned One flees,
  And Joy goes weeping in her scarlet train.


  The faint damp wind that, ere the even, blows
  Piling the west with many a tawny sheaf,
  Then when the last glad wavering hours are mown
  Sigheth and dies because the day is sped;
  This wind is like her and the listless air
  Wherewith she goeth by beneath the trees,
  The trees that mock her with their scarlet stain.


  Love that is born of Time and comes and goes!
  Love that doth hold all noble hearts in fief!
  As red leaves follow where the wind hath flown,
  So all men follow Love when Love is dead.
  O Fate of Wind! O Wind that cannot spare,
  But drivest out the Maid, and pourest lees
  Of all thy crimson on the wold again,


  Korè my heart is, let it stand sans gloze!
  Love's pain is long, and lo, love's joy is brief!
  My heart erst alway sweet is bitter grown;
  As crimson ruleth in the good green's stead,
  So grief hath taken all mine old joy's share
  And driven forth my solace and all ease
  Where pleasure bows to all-usurping pain.


  Crimson the hearth where one last ember glows!
  My heart's new winter hath no such relief,
  Nor thought of Spring whose blossom he hath known
  Hath turned him back where Spring is banished.
  Barren the heart and dead the fires there,
  Blow! O ye ashes, where the winds shall please,
  But cry, "Love also is the Yearly Slain."


  Be sped, my Canzon, through the bitter air!
  To him who speaketh words as fair as these,
  Say that I also know the "Yearly Slain."



  'Tis the clear light of love I praise
  That steadfast gloweth o'er deep waters,
  A clarity that gleams always.
  Though man's soul pass through troubled waters,
  Strange ways to him are openèd.
  To shore the beaten ship is sped
  If only love of light give aid.


  That fair far spear of light now lays
  Its long gold shaft upon the waters.
  Ah! might I pass upon its rays
  To where it gleams beyond the waters,
  Or might my troubled heart be fed
  Upon the frail clear light there shed,
  Then were my pain at last allay'd.


  Although the clouded storm dismays
  Many a heart upon these waters,
  The thought of that far golden blaze
  Giveth me heart upon the waters,
  Thinking thereof my bark is led
  To port wherein no storm I dread;
  No tempest maketh me afraid.


  Yet when within my heart I gaze
  Upon my fair beyond the waters,
  Meseems my soul within me prays
  To pass straightway beyond the waters.
  Though I be alway banished
  From ways and woods that she doth tread,
  One thing there is that doth not fade,


  Deep in my heart that spear-print stays,
  That wound I gat beyond the waters,
  Deeper with passage of the days
  That pass as swift and bitter waters,
  While a dull fire within my head
  Moveth itself if word be said
  Which hath concern with that far maid.


  My love is lovelier than the sprays
  Of eglantine above clear waters,
  Or whitest lilies that upraise
  Their heads in midst of moated waters.
  No poppy in the May-glad mead
  Would match her quivering lips' red
  If 'gainst her lips it should be laid.


  The light within her eyes, which slays
  Base thoughts and stilleth troubled waters,
  Is like the gold where sunlight plays
  Upon the still o'ershadowed waters.
  When anger is there mingled
  There comes a keener gleam instead,
  Like flame that burns beneath thin jade.


  Know by the words here mingled
  What love hath made my heart his stead,
  Glowing like flame beneath thin jade.




  Heart mine, art mine, whose embraces
  Clasp but wind that past thee bloweth
  E'en this air so subtly gloweth,
  Guerdoned by thy sun-gold traces,
  That my heart is half afraid
  For the fragrance on him laid;
  Even so love's might amazes!


  Man's love follows many faces,
  My love only one face knoweth;
  Towards thee only my love floweth,
  And outstrips the swift stream's paces.
  Were this love well here displayed,
  As flame flameth 'neath thin jade
  Love should glow through these my phrases.


  Though I've roamed through many places,
  None there is that my heart troweth
  Fair as that wherein fair groweth
  One whose laud here interlaces
  Tuneful words, that I've essayed.
  Let this tune be gently played
  Which my voice herward upraises.


  If my praise her grace effaces,
  Then 'tis not my heart that showeth,
  But the skilless tongue that soweth
  Words unworthy of her graces.
  Tongue, that hath me so betrayed,
  Were my heart but here displayed,
  Then were sung her fitting praises.



  Thy gracious ways,
                    O Lady of my heart, have
  O'er all my thought their golden glamour cast;
  As amber torch-flames, where strange men-at-arms
  Tread softly 'neath the damask shield of night,
  Rise from the flowing steel in part reflected,
  So on my mailed thought that with thee goeth,
  Though dark the way, a golden glamour falleth.


  The censer sways
                  And glowing coals some art have
  To free what frankincense before held fast
  Till all the summer of the eastern farms
  Doth dim the sense, and dream up through the light,
  As memory, by new-born love corrected--
  With savour such as only new love knoweth--
  Through swift dim ways the hidden pasts recalleth.


  On barren days,
                  At hours when I, apart, have
  Bent low in thought of the great charm thou hast,
  Behold with music's many-stringed charms
  The silence groweth thou. O rare delight!
  The melody upon clear strings inflected
  Were dull when o'er taut sense thy presence floweth,
  With quivering notes' accord that never palleth.


  The glowing rays
                  That from the low sun dart, have
  Turned gold each tower and every towering mast;
  The saffron flame, that flaming nothing harms
  Hides Khadeeth's pearl and all the sapphire might
  Of burnished waves, before her gates collected:
  The cloak of graciousness, that round thee gloweth,
  Doth hide the thing thou art, as here befalleth.


  All things worth praise
                         That unto Khadeeth's mart have
  From far been brought through perils over-passed,
  All santal, myrrh, and spikenard that disarms
  The pard's swift anger; these would weigh but light
  'Gainst thy delights, my Khadeeth! Whence protected
  By naught save her great grace that in him showeth,
  My song goes forth and on her mercy calleth.


  O censer of the thought that golden gloweth,
  Be bright before her when the evening falleth.


  Fragrant be thou as a new field one moweth,
  O song of mine that "Hers" her mercy calleth.



  He that is Lord of all the realms of light
  Hath unto me from His magnificence
  Granted such vision as hath wrought my joy.
  Moving my spirit past the last defence
  That shieldeth mortal things from mightier sight,
  Where freedom of the soul knows no alloy,
  I saw what forms the lordly powers employ;
  Three splendours, saw I, of high holiness,
  From clarity to clarity ascending
  Through all the roofless, tacit courts extending
  In aether which such subtle light doth bless
  As ne'er the candles of the stars hath wooed;
  Know ye herefrom of their similitude.


  Withdrawn within the cavern of his wings,
  Grave with the joy of thoughts beneficent,
  And finely wrought and durable and clear,
  If so his eyes showed forth the mind's content,
  So sate the first to whom remembrance clings,
  Tissued like bat's wings did his wings appear,
  Not of that shadowy colouring and drear,
  But as thin shells, pale saffron, luminous;
  Alone, unlonely, whose calm glances shed
  Friend's love to strangers though no word were said,
  Pensive his godly state he keepeth thus.
  Not with his surfaces his power endeth,
  But is as flame that from the gem extendeth.


  My second marvel stood not in such ease,
  But he, the cloudy pinioned, winged him on
  Then from my sight as now from memory,
  The courier aquiline, so swiftly gone!
  The third most glorious of these majesties
  Give aid, O sapphires of th' eternal see,
  And by your light illume pure verity.
  That azure feldspar hight the microcline,
  Or, on its wing, the Menelaus weareth
  Such subtlety of shimmering as beareth
  This marvel onward through the crystalline,
  A splendid calyx that about her gloweth,
  Smiting the sunlight on whose ray she goeth.


  The diver at Sorrento from beneath
  The vitreous indigo, who swiftly riseth,
  By will and not by action as it seemeth,
  Moves not more smoothly, and no thought surmiseth
  How she takes motion from the lustrous sheath
  Which, as the trace behind the swimmer, gleameth
  Yet presseth back the aether where it streameth.
  To her whom it adorns this sheath imparteth
  The living motion from the light surrounding;
  And thus my nobler parts, to grief's confounding,
  Impart into my heart a peace which starteth
  From one round whom a graciousness is cast
  Which clingeth in the air where she hath past.


  Canzon, to her whose spirit seems in sooth
  Akin unto the feldspar, since it is
  So clear and subtle and azure, I send thee, saying:
  That since I looked upon such potencies
  And glories as are here inscribed in truth,
  New boldness hath o'erthrown my long delaying,
  And that thy words my new-born powers obeying--
  Voices at last to voice my heart's long mood--
  Are come to greet her in their amplitude.




  Who are you that the whole world's song
  Is shaken out beneath your feet
  Leaving you comfortless,
  Who, that, as wheat
  Is garnered, gather in
  The blades of man's sin
  And bear that sheaf?
  Lady of wrong and grief,


  All souls beneath the gloom
  That pass with little flames,
  All these till time be run
  Pass one by one
  As Christs to save, and die;
  What wrong one sowed,
  Behold, another reaps!
  Where lips awake our joy
  The sad heart sleeps

  No man doth bear his sin,
  But many sins
  Are gathered as a cloud about man's way.


  Dante and I are come to learn of thee,
  Ser Guido of Florence, master of us all,
  Love, who hath set his hand upon us three,
  Bidding us twain upon thy glory call.
  Harsh light hath rent from us the golden pall
  Of that frail sleep, _His_ first light seigniory,
  And we are come through all the modes that fall
  Unto their lot who meet him constantly.
  Wherefore, by right, in this Lord's name we greet thee,
  Seeing we labour at his labour daily.
  Thou, who dost know what way swift words are crossed
  O thou, who hast sung till none at song defeat thee,
  Grant! by thy might and hers of San Michele,
  Thy risen voice send flames this pentecost.



  "O Thou mocked heart that cowerest by the door
  And durst not honour hope with welcoming,
  How shall one bid thee for her honour sing,
  When song would but show forth thy sorrow's store?
  What things are gold and ivory unto thee?
  Go forth, thou pauper fool! Are these for naught?
  Is heaven in lotus leaves? What hast thou wrought,
  Or brought, or sought, wherewith to pay the fee?"


  "If naught I give, naught do I take return.
  '_Ronsard me celebroit!_' behold I give
  The age-old, age-old fare to fairer fair
  And I fare forth into more bitter air;
  Though mocked I go, yet shall her beauty live
  Till rimes unrime and Truth shall truth unlearn."


  Who is she coming, that the roses bend
  Their shameless heads to do her passing honour?
  Who is she coming with a light upon her
  Not born of suns that with the day's end end?
  Say is it Love who hath chosen the nobler part?
  Say is it Love, that was divinity,
  Who hath left his godhead that his home might be
  The shameless rose of her unclouded heart?
  If this be Love, where hath he won such grace?
  If this be Love, how is the evil wrought,
  That all men write against his darkened name?
  If this be Love, if this ...
                              O mind give place!
  What holy mystery e'er was noosed in thought?
  Own that thou scan'st her not, nor count it shame!



  Full well thou knowest, song, what grace I mean,
  E'en as thou know'st the sunlight I have lost.
  Thou knowest the way of it and know'st the sheen
  About her brows where the rays are bound and crossed,
  E'en as thou knowest joy and know'st joy's bitter cost.
  Thou know'st her grace in moving,
  Thou dost her skill in loving,
  Thou know'st what truth she proveth,
  Thou knowest the heart she moveth,
  O song where grief assoneth!



  When first I saw thee 'neath the silver mist,
  Ruling thy bark of painted sandal-wood,
  Did any know thee? By the golden sails
  That clasped the ribbands of that azure sea,
  Did any know thee save my heart alone?
  O ivory woman with thy bands of gold,
  Answer the song my luth and I have brought thee!


  Dream over golden dream that secret cist,
  Thy heart, O heart of me, doth hold, and mood
  On mood of silver, when the day's light fails,
  Say who hath touched the secret heart of thee,
  Or who hath known what my heart hath not known
  O slender pilot whom the mists enfold,
  Answer the song my luth and I have wrought thee!


  When new love plucks the falcon from his wrist,
  And cuts the gyve and casts the scarlet hood,
  Where is the heron heart whom flight avails?
  O quick to prize me Love, how suddenly
  From out the tumult truth has ta'en his own,
  And in this vision is our past unrolled.
  Lo! With a hawk of light thy love hath caught me.


  And I shall get no peace from eucharist,
  Nor doling out strange prayers before the rood,
  To match the peace that thine hands' touch entails;
  Nor doth God's light match light shed over me
  When thy caught sunlight is about me thrown,
  Oh, for the very ruth thine eyes have told,
  Answer the rune this love of thee hath taught me.


  After an age of longing had we missed
  Our meeting and the dream, what were the good
  Of weaving cloth of words? Were jewelled tales
  An opiate meet to quell the malady
  Of life unlived? In untried monotone
  Were not the earth as vain, and dry, and old,
  For thee, O Perfect Light, had I not sought thee?


  Calais, in song where word and tone keep tryst
  Behold my heart, and hear mine hardihood!
  Calais, the wind is come and heaven pales
  And trembles for the love of day to be.
  Calais, the words break and the dawn is shown.
  Ah, but the stars set when thou wast first bold,
  Turn! lest they say a lesser light distraught thee.


  O ivory thou, the golden scythe hath mown
  Night's stubble and my joy. Thou royal souled,
  Favour the quest! Lo, Truth and I have sought thee


  Fine songs, fair songs, these golden usuries
  A Her beauty earns as but just increment,
  And they do speak with a most ill intent
  Who say they give when they pay debtor's fees.

  I call him bankrupt in the courts of song
  Who hath her gold to eye and pays her not,
  Defaulter do I call the knave who hath got
  Her silver in his heart, and doth her wrong.


  If on the tally-board of wasted days
  They daily write me for proud idleness,
  Let high Hell summons me, and I confess,
  No overt act the preferred charge allays.

  To-day I thought--what boots it what I thought?
  Poppies and gold! Why should I blurt it out?
  Or hawk the magic of her name about
  Deaf doors and dungeons where no truth is bought?

  Who calls me idle? I have thought of her.
  Who calls me idle? By God's truth I've seen
  The arrowy sunlight in her golden snares.

  Let him among you all stand summonser
  Who hath done better things! Let whoso hath been
  With worthier works concerned, display his wares!


  The light became her grace and dwelt among
  Blind eyes and shadows that are formed as men
  Lo, how the light doth melt us into song:

  The broken sunlight for a healm she beareth
  Who hath my heart in jurisdiction.
  In wild-wood never fawn nor fallow fareth
  So silent light; no gossamer is spun
  So delicate as she is, when the sun
  Drives the clear emeralds from the bended grasses
  Lest they should parch too swiftly, where she passes.


  Clear is my love but shadowed
  By the spun gold above her,
  Ah, what a petal those bent sheaths discover!

    _The olive wood hath hidden her completely._
    _She was gowned that discreetly_
    _The leaves and shadows concealed her completely._

  Fair is my love but followed
  In all her goings surely
  By gracious thoughts, she goeth so demurely.


  Era mea
  In qua terra
  Dulce myrti floribus,
  Rosa amoris
  Via erroris
  Ad te coram


  Mistress mine, in what far land,
  Where the myrtle bloweth sweet
  Shall I weary with my way-fare,
  Win to thee that art as day fair,
  Lay my roses at thy feet?


  No more for us the little sighing,
  No more the winds at twilight trouble us.

  Lo the fair dead!

  No more do I burn.
  No more for us the fluttering of wings
  That whirred in the air above us.

  Lo the fair dead!

  No more desire flayeth me,
  No more for us the trembling
  At the meeting of hands.

  Lo the fair dead!

  No more for us the wine of the lips,
  No more for us the knowledge.

  Lo the fair dead!

  No more the torrent,
  No more for us the meeting-place
  (Lo the fair dead!)


  I stood still and was a tree amid the wood,
  Knowing the truth of things unseen before;
  Of Daphne and the laurel bow
  And that god-feasting couple old
  That grew elm-oak amid the wold.
  'Twas not until the gods had been
  Kindly entreated, and been brought within
  Unto the hearth of their heart's home
  That they might do this wonder thing;
  Nathless I have been a tree amid the wood
  And many a new thing understood
  That was rank folly to my head before.


  "Being no longer human why should I
  Pretend humanity or don the frail attire?
  Men have I known, and men, but never one
  Was grown so free an essence, or become
  So simply element as what I am.
  The mist goes from the mirror and I see!
  Behold! the world of forms is swept beneath--
  Turmoil grown visible beneath our peace,
  And we, that are grown formless, rise above--
  Fluids intangible that have been men,
  We seem as statues round whose high-risen base
  Some overflowing river is run mad,
  In us alone the element of calm!"


  I even I, am he who knoweth the roads
  Through the sky, and the wind thereof is my body.

  I have beheld the Lady of Life,
  I, even I, who fly with the swallows.

  Green and gray is her raiment,
  Trailing along the wind.

  I, even I, am he who knoweth the roads
  Through the sky, and the wind thereof is my body.

  Manus animam pinxit,
  My pen is in my hand

  To write the acceptable word....
  My mouth to chant the pure singing!

  Who hath the mouth to receive it,
  The song of the Lotus of Kumi?

  I, even I, am he who knoweth the roads
  Through the sky, and the wind thereof is my body.

  I am flame that riseth in the sun,
  I, even I, who fly with the swallows.

  The moon is upon my forehead,
  The winds are under my lips.

  The moon is a great pearl in the waters of sapphire,
  Cool to my fingers the flowing waters.

  I, even I, am he who knoweth the roads
  Through the sky, and the wind thereof is my body.

  I will return to the halls of the flowing,
  Of the truth of the children of Ashu.

  I, even I, am he who knoweth the roads
  Of the sky, and the wind thereof is my body.


  That castle stands the highest in the land
  Far seen and mighty. Of the great hewn stones
  What shall I say? And deep foss way
  That far beneath us bore of old
  A swelling turbid sea
  Hill-born and tumultuous
  Unto the fields below, where
  Staunch villein and
  Burgher held the land and tilled
  Long labouring for gold of wheat grain
  And to see the beards come forth
  For barley's even time.

  But archèd high above the curl of life
  We dwelt amid the ancient boulders,
  Gods had hewn and druids turned
  Unto that birth most wondrous, that had grown
  A mighty fortress while the world had slept,
  And we awaited in the shadows there
  When mighty hands had laboured sightlessly
  And shaped this wonder 'bove the ways of men.
  Me seems we could not see the great green waves
  Nor rocky shore by Tintagoel
  From this our hold,
  But came faint murmuring as undersong,
  E'en as the burghers' hum arose
  And died as faint wind melody
  Beneath our gates.



  Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,
  Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness.
  So many thousand beauties are gone down to Avernus
  Ye might let one remain above with us.

  With you is Iope, with you the white-gleaming Tyro,
  With you is Europa and the shameless Pasiphae,
  And all the fair from Troy and all from Achaia,
  From the sundered realms, of Thebes and of aged Priamus;
  And all the maidens of Rome, as many as they were,
  They died and the greed of your flame consumes them.

    _Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,_
    _Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness._
    _So many thousand fair are gone down to Avernus,_
    _Ye might let one remain above with us._


  All night, and as the wind lieth among
  The cypress trees, he lay,
  Nor held me save as air that brusheth by one
  Close, and as the petals of flowers in falling
  Waver and seem not drawn to earth, so he
  Seemed over me to hover light as leaves
  And closer me than air,
  And music flowing through me seemed to open
  Mine eyes upon new colours.
  O winds, what wind can match the weight of him!


  What hast thou, O my soul, with paradise?
  Will we not rather, when our freedom's won,
  Get us to some clear place wherein the sun
  Lets drift in on us through the olive leaves
  A liquid glory? If at Sirmio
  My soul, I meet thee, when this life's outrun,
  Will we not find some headland consecrated
  By aery apostles of terrene delight,
  Will not our cult be founded on the waves,
  Clear sapphire, cobalt, cyanine,
  On triune azures, the impalpable
  Mirrors unstill of the eternal change?

  Soul, if She meet us there, will any rumour
  Of havens more high and courts desirable
  Lure us beyond the cloudy peak of Riva?


  "Thank you, whatever comes." And then she turned
  And, as the ray of sun on hanging flowers
  Fades when the wind hath lifted them aside,
  Went swiftly from me. Nay, whatever comes
  One hour was sunlit and the most high gods
  May not make boast of any better thing
  Than to have watched that hour as it passed.



  O ivory, delicate hands!
  O face that hovers
  Between "To-come" and "Was,"
  Ivory thou wast,
  A rose thou wilt be.



  I looked and saw a sea
                    roofed over with rainbows,
  In the midst of each
                    two lovers met and departed;
  Then the sky was full of faces
                    with gold glories behind them.


       Dante to an unknown lady, beseeching her not to
       interrupt his cult of the dead Beatrice. From "Il
       Canzoniere," Ballata II.

  Ah little cloud that in Love's shadow lief
  Upon mine eyes so suddenly alightest,
  Take some faint pity on the heart thou smitest
  That hopes in thee, desires, dies, in brief.

  Ah little cloud of more than human fashion
  Thou settest a flame within my mind's mid space
  With thy deathly speech that grieveth;

  Then as a fiery spirit in thy ways
  Createst hope, in part a rightful passion,
  Yet where thy sweet smile giveth
  His grace, look not! For in Her my faith liveth.

  Think on my high desire whose flame's so great
  That nigh a thousand who were come too late,
  Have felt the torment of another's grief.


  A rose I set within my "Paradise"
  Lo how his red is turned to yellowness,
  Not withered but grown old in subtler wise
  Between the empaged rime's high holiness
  Where Dante sings of that rose's device
  Which yellow is, with souls in blissfulness.
  Rose whom I set within my paradise,
  Donor of roses and of parching sighs,
  Of golden lights and dark unhappiness,
  Of hidden chains and silvery joyousness,
  Hear how thy rose within my Dante lies,
  O rose I set within my paradise.



  In the bright season when He, most high Jove,
  From welkin reaching down his glorying hand,
  Decks the Great Mother and her changing face,
  Clothing her not with scarlet skeins and gold
  But with th' empurpling flowers and gay grass,
  When the young year renewed, renews the sun,

  When, then, I see a lady like the sun,
  One fashioned by th' high hand of utmost Jove,
  So fair beneath the myrtles on gay grass
  Who holdeth Love and Truth, one by each hand,
  It seems, if I look straight, two bands of gold
  Do make more fair her delicate fair face.

  Though eyes are dazzled, looking on her face
  As all sight faileth that looks toward the sun,
  New metamorphoses, to rained gold,
  Or bulls or whitest swans, might fall on Jove
  Through her, or Phoebus, his bag-pipes in hand,
  Might, mid the droves, come barefoot o'er our grass,

  Alas, that there was hidden in the grass
  A cruel shaft, the which, to wound my face,
  My Lady took in her own proper hand.
  If I could not defend me 'gainst that sun
  I take no shame, for even utmost Jove
  Is in high heaven pierced with darts of gold.

  Behold the green shall find itself turned gold
  And spring shall be without her flowers and grass,
  And hell's deep be the dwelling place of Jove
  Ere I shall have uncarved her holy face
  From my heart's midst, where 'tis both Sun and sun
  And yet she beareth me such hostile hand!

  O sweet and holy and O most light hand,
  O intermingled ivory and gold,
  O mortal goddess and terrestrial sun
  Who comest not to foster meadow grass,
  But to show heaven by a likened face
  Wert sent amongst us by th' exalted Jove,

  I still pray Jove that he permit no grass
  To cover o'er thy hands, thy face, thy gold
  For heaven's sufficed with a single sun.



       "Troica Roma resurges."

  O thou new comer who seek'st Rome in Rome
  And find'st in Rome no thing thou canst call Roman;
  Arches worn old and palaces made common,
  Rome's name alone within these walls keeps home.

  Behold how pride and ruin can befall
  One who hath set the whole world 'neath her laws,
  All-conquering, now conquered, because
  She is Time's prey and Time consumeth all.

  Rome that art Rome's one sole last monument,
  Rome that alone hast conquered Rome the town,
  Tiber alone, transient and seaward bent,
  Remains of Rome. O world, thou unconstant mime!
  That which stands firm in thee Time batters down,
  And that which fleeteth doth outrun swift time.



  (Written 1831-3 circa)

  Such wast thou,
  Who art now
  But buried dust and rusted skeleton.
  Above the bones and mire,
  Motionless, placed in vain,
  Mute mirror of the flight of speeding years,
  Sole guard of grief
  Sole guard of memory
  Standeth this image of the beauty sped.

  O glance, when thou wast still as thou art now,
  How hast thou set the fire
  A-tremble in men's veins; O lip curved high
  To mind me of some urn of full delight,
  O throat girt round of old with swift desire,
  O palms of Love, that in your wonted ways
  Not once but many a day
  Felt hands turn ice a-sudden, touching ye,
  That ye were once! of all the grace ye had
  That which remaineth now
  Shameful, most sad
  Finds 'neath this rock fit mould, fit resting place!

  And still when fate recalleth,
  Even that semblance that appears amongst us
  Is like to heaven's most 'live imagining.
  All, all our life's eternal mystery!
  To-day, on high
  Mounts, from our mighty thoughts and from the fount
  Of sense untellable, Beauty
  That seems to be some quivering splendour cast
  By the immortal nature on this quicksand,
  And by surhuman fates
  Given to mortal state
  To be a sign and an hope made secure
  Of blissful kingdoms and the aureate spheres;
  And on the morrow, by some lightsome twist,
  Shameful in sight, abject, abominable
  All this angelic aspect can return
  And be but what it was
  With all the admirable concepts that moved from it
  Swept from the mind with it in its departure.

  Infinite things desired, lofty visions
  'Got on desirous thought by natural virtue,
  And the wise concord, whence through delicious seas
  The arcane spirit of the whole Mankind
  Turns hardy pilot ... and if one wrong note
  Strike the tympanum,
  That paradise is hurled to nothingness.

  O mortal nature,
  If thou art
  Frail and so vile in all,
  How canst thou reach so high with thy poor sense;
  Yet if thou art
  Noble in any part
  How is the noblest of thy speech and thought
  So lightly wrought
  Or to such base occasion lit and quenched?




  Ah would you turn me back now from the flowers,
  You who are different as the air from sea is,
  Ah for the pollen from our wreath of hours,
  You who are magical, not mine as she is,
  Say will you call us from our time of flowers?

  You whom I loved and love, not understanding,
  Yea we were ever torn with constant striving,
  Seeing our gods are different, and commanding
  One good from them, and in my heart reviving
  Old discords and bent thought, not understanding.

  We who have wept, we who have lain together
  Upon the green and sere and white of every season,
  We who have loved the sun but for the weather
  Of our own hearts have found no constant reason,
  What is your part, now we have come together?

  What is your pain, Dear, what is your heart now
  A little sad, a little.... Nay, I know not
  Seeing I never had and have no part now
  In your own secret councils wherein blow not
  My roses. My vineyard being another heart now?

  You who were ever dear and dearer being strange,
  How shall I "go" who never came anear you?
  How could I stay, who never came in range
  Of anything that halved; could never hear you
  Rightly in your silence; nay, your very speech was strange.

  You, who have loved not what I was or will be,
  You who but loved me for a thing I could be,
  You who love not a song whate'er its skill be
  But only love the cause or what cause should be,
  How could I give you what I am or will be?

  Nay, though your eyes are sad, you will not hinder,
  You, who would have had me only near not nearer,
  Nay though my heart had burned to a bright cinder
  Love would have said to me: "Still fear her,
  Pain is thy lot and naught she hath can hinder,"

  So I, for this sad gladness that is mine now,
  Who never spoke aright in speaking to you,
  Uncomprehending anything that's thine now,
  E'en in my spoken words more wrong may do you
  In looking back from this new grace that's mine now.

        _Sic semper finis deest._



  What if I know thy speeches word by word?
  And if thou knew'st I knew them wouldst thou speak?
  What if I know thy speeches word by word,
  And all the time thou sayest them o'er I said,
  "Lo, one there was who bent her fair bright head,
  Sighing as thou dost through the golden speech."
  Or, as our laughters mingle each with each,
  As crushed lips take their respite fitfully,
  What if my thoughts were turned in their mid reach
  Whispering among them, "The fair dead
  Must know such moments, thinking on the grass;
  On how white dogwoods murmured overhead
  In the bright glad days!"
  How if the low dear sound within thy throat
  Hath as faint lute-strings in its dim accord
  Dim tales that blind me, running one by one
  With times told over as we tell by rote;
  What if I know thy laughter word by word
  Nor find aught novel in thy merriment?



       "_Pere Esbaillart a Sanct Denis._"

  "Because my soul cried out, and only the long ways
  Grown weary, gave me answer and
  Because she answered when the very ways were dumb
  With all their hoarse, dry speech grown faint and chill.
  Because her answer was a call to me,
  Though I have sinned, my God, and though thy angels
  Bear no more now my thought to whom I love;
  Now though I crouch afraid in all thy dark
  Will I once cry to thee:
                      Once more! Once more my strength!
  Yea though I sin to call him forth once more,
  Thy messengers for mine, Their wings my power!
  And let once more my wings fold down above her,
  Let their cool length be spread
  Over her feet and head
  And let thy calm come down
  To dwell within her, and thy gown of peace
  Clothe all her body in its samite.
  O Father of all the blind and all the strong,
  Though I have left thy courts, though all the throng
  Of thy gold-shimmering choir know me not,
  Though I have dared the body and have donned
  Its frail strong-seeming, and although
  Its lightening joy is made my swifter song,
  Though I have known thy stars, yea all, and chosen one.
  Yea though I make no barter, and repent no jot,
  Yet for the sunlight of that former time
  Grant me the boon, O God,
  Once more, once more, or I or some white thought
  Shall rise beside her and, enveloping
  All her strange glory in its wings of light,
  Bring down thy peace upon her way-worn soul.
  Oh sheathe that sword of her in some strong case,
  The doe-skin scabbard of thy clear Rafael!
  Yea let thy angels walk, as I have seen
  Them passing, or have seen their wings
  Spread their pavilions o'er our twin delight.
  Yea I have seen them when the purple light
  Hid all her garden from my drowsy eyes.



  _The Lords of the Air_:

       What light hath passed us in the silent ways?

  _The Spirits of Fire_:

       We are sustainèd, strengthened suddenly.

  _The Spirits of Water_:

       Lo, how the utmost deeps are clarified!

  _The Spirits Terrene_:

       What might is this more potent than the spring?
       Lo, how the night
       Which wrapped us round with its most heavy cloths
       Opens and breathes with some strange-fashioned brighness!


  _Christ, the eternal Spirit in Heaven speaketh thus,
  over the child of Mary_:

       O star, move forth and write upon the skies,
       "This child is born in ways miraculous."
                    * * * * *
       O windy spirits, that are born in Heaven,
       Go down and bid the powers of Earth and Air
       Protect his ways until the Time shall come.
                    * * * * *
       O Mother, if the dark of things to be
       Wrap round thy heart with cloudy apprehensions,
       Eat of thy present corn, the aftermath
       Hath its appointed end in whirling light.
       Eat of thy present corn, thou so hast share
       In mightier portents than Augustus hath.
                    * * * * *
       In every moment all to be is born,
       Thou art the moment and need'st fear no scorn.

  _Echo of the Angels singing "Exultasti"_:

       Silence is born of many peaceful things,
       Thus is the starlight woven into strings
       Whereon the Powers of peace make sweet accord.
       Rejoice, O Earth, thy Lord
       Hath chosen Him his holy resting-place.

       Lo, how the winged sign
       Flutters above that hallowed chrysalis.


  _The invisible Spirit of the Star answers them_:

       Bend in your singing, gracious potencies,
       Bend low above your ivory bows and gold!
       That which ye know but dimly hath been wrought
       High in the luminous courts and azure ways:
       Bend in your praise;
       For though your subtle thought
       Sees but in part the source of mysteries,
       Yet are ye bidden in your songs, sing this:

             _"Gloria! gloria in excelsis_
             _Pax in terra nunc natast."_

  _Angels continuing in song_:

       Shepherds and kings, with lambs and frankincense
       Go and atone for mankind's ignorance:
       Make ye soft savour from your ruddy myrrh.
       Lo, how God's son is turned God's almoner.
           Give ye this little
           Ere he give ye all.


  _One of the Magi_:

       How the deep-voicèd night turns councillor!
       And how, for end, our starry meditations
       Admit us to his board!

  _A Shepherd_:

       Sir, we be humble and perceive ye are
       Men of great power and authority,
       And yet we too have heard.


  (_Lucina dolentibus_:)

  "Behold the deed! Behold the act supreme!
  With mine own hands have I prepared my doom,
  Truth shall grow great eclipsing other truth,
  And men forget me in the aging years."




  You, who are touched not by our mortal ways
  Nor girded with the stricture of our bands,
  Have but to loose the magic from your hands
  And all men's hearts that glimmer for a day,
  And all our loves that are so swift to flame
  Rise in that space of sound and melt away.


  My love is a deep flame
                that hides beneath the waters.

  --My love is gay and kind,
  My love is hard to find
      as the flame beneath the waters.

  The fingers of the wind
                          meet hers
  With a frail
                swift greeting.
  My love is gay
                  and kind
                            and hard
                                      of meeting,
  As the flame beneath the waters
                  hard of meeting.


  When brightest colours seem but dull in hue
  And noblest arts are shown mechanical,
  When study serves but to heap clue on clue
  That no great line hath been or ever shall,
  But hath a savour like some second stew
  Of many pot-lots with a smack of all.
  'Twas one man's field, another's hops the brew,
  Twas vagrant accident not fate's fore-call.
  Horace, that thing of thine is overhauled,
  And "Wood notes wild" weaves a concocted sonnet.
  Here aery Shelley on the text hath called,
  And here, Great Scott, the Murex, Keats comes on it.
  And all the lot howl, "Sweet Simplicity!"
  'Tis Art to hide our theft exquisitely.


  O Woe, woe,
  People are born and die,
  We also shall be dead pretty soon
  Therefore let us act as if we were
                    dead already.

  The bird sits on the hawthorn tree
  But he dies also, presently.
  Some lads get hung, and some get shot.
  Woeful is this human lot.
                  _Woe! woe, etcetera_....

  London is a woeful place,
  Shropshire is much pleasanter.
  Then let us smile a little space
  Upon fond nature's morbid grace.
              _Oh, Woe, woe, woe, etcetera_....




  Is your hate, then, of such measure?
  Do you, truly, so detest me?
  Through all the world will I complain
  Of _how_ you have addressed me.

  O ye lips that are ungrateful,
  Hath it never once distressed you,
  That you can say such _awful_ things
  Of _any_ one who ever kissed you?


  So thou hast forgotten fully
  That I so long held thy heart wholly,
  Thy little heart, so sweet and false and small
  That there's no thing more sweet or false at all.

  Love and lay thou hast forgotten fully,
  And my heart worked at them unduly.
  I know not if the love or if the lay were better stuff,
  But I know now, they both were good enough.


  Tell me where thy lovely love is,
  Whom thou once did sing so sweetly,
  When the fairy flames enshrouded
  Thee, and held thy heart completely.

  All the flames are dead and sped now
  And my heart is cold and sere;
  Behold this book, the urn of ashes,
  'Tis my true love's sepulchre.


  I dreamt that I was God Himself
  Whom heavenly joy immerses,
  And all the angels sat about
  And praised my verses.


  The mutilated choir boys
  When I begin to sing
  Complain about the awful noise
  And call my voice too thick a thing.

  When light their voices lift them up,
  Bright notes against the ear,
  Through trills and runs like crystal,
  Ring delicate and clear.

  They sing of Love that's grown desirous,
  Of Love, and joy that is Love's inmost part,
  And all the ladies swim through tears
  Toward such a work of art.


  This delightful young man
  Should not lack for honourers,
  He propitiates me with oysters,
  With Rhine wine and liqueurs.

  How his coat and pants adorn him!
  Yet his ties are more adorning,
  In these he daily comes to ask me:
  Are you feeling well this morning?

  He speaks of my extended fame,
  My wit, charm, definitions,
  And is diligent to serve me,
  Is detailed in his provisions.

  In evening company he sets his face
  In most spiritu_el_ positions,
  And declaims before the ladies
  My _god-like_ compositions.

  O what comfort is it for me
  To find him such, when the days bring
  No comfort, at my time of life when
  All good things go vanishing.


    _O Harry Heine, curses be,_
    _I live too late to sup with thee!_
    _Who can demolish at such polished ease_
    _Philistia's pomp and Art's pomposities!_



  I am the Princess Ilza
  In Ilsenstein I fare,
  Come with me to that castle
  And we'll be happy there.

  Thy head will I cover over
  With my waves' clarity
  Till thou forget thy sorrow,
  O wounded sorrowfully.

  Thou wilt in my white arms there,
  Nay, on my breast thou must
  Forget and rest and dream there
  For thine old legend-lust.

  My lips and my heart are thine there
  As they were his and mine.
  His? Why the good King Harry's,
  And he is dead lang syne.

  Dead men stay alway dead men,
  Life is the live man's part,
  And I am fair and golden
  With joy breathless at heart.

  If my heart stay below there,
  My crystal halls ring clear
  To the dance of lords and ladies
  In all their splendid gear.

  The silken trains go rustling,
  The spur-clinks sound between,
  The dark dwarfs blow and bow there
  Small horn and violin.

  Yet shall my white arms hold thee,
  That bound King Harry about.
  Ah, I covered his ears with them
  When the trumpet rang out.


      Nay, dwells he in cloudy rumour alone?



  I am worn faint,
  The winds of good and evil
  Blind me with dust
  And burn me with the cold,
  There is no comfort being over-man;
  Yet are we come more near
  The great oblivions and the labouring night,
  Inchoate truth and the sepulchral forces.


  Confusion, clamour, 'mid the many voices
  Is there a meaning, a significance?

  That life apart from all life gives and takes,
  This life, apart from all life's bitter and life's sweet,
  Is good.

          Ye see me and ye say: exceeding sweet
  Life's gifts, his youth, his art,
  And his too soon acclaim.

  I also knew exceeding bitterness,
  Saw good things altered and old friends fare forth,
  And what I loved in me hath died too soon,
  Yea I have seen the "gray above the green";
  Gay have I lived in life;
                            Though life hath lain
  Strange hands upon me and hath torn my sides,
  Yet I believe.
                * * * * *
  Life is most cruel where she is most wise.


  The will to live goes from me.
                                I have lain
  Dull and out-worn
                    with some strange, subtle sickness.
  Who shall say
  That love is not the very root of this,
  O thou afar?

  Yet she was near me,
                      that eternal deep.
  O it is passing strange that love
  Can blow two ways across one soul.
                * * * * *
  And I was Aengus for a thousand years,
  And she, the ever-living, moved with me
  And strove amid the waves, and
                                would not go.



      "_Far buon tempo e trionfare_"

  "I have put my days and dreams out of mind'
  For all their hurry and their weary fret
  Availed me little. But another kind
  Of leaf that's fast in some more sombre wind,
  Is man on life, and all our tenuous courses
  Wind and unwind as vainly.
                * * * * *
  I have lived long, and died,
  Yea I have been dead, right often,
  And have seen one thing:
  The sun, while he is high, doth light our wrong
  And none can break the darkness with a song.

  To-day's the cup. To-morrow is not ours:
  Nay, by our strongest bands we bind her not,
  Nor all our fears and our anxieties
  Turn her one leaf or hold her scimitar.

  The deed blots out the thought
  And many thoughts, the vision;
  And right's a compass with as many poles
  As there are points in her circumference,
  'Tis vain to seek to steer all courses even,
  And all things save sheer right are vain enough.
  The blade were vain to grow save toward the sun,
  And vain th' attempt to hold her green forever.

  All things in season and no thing o'er long!
  Love and desire and gain and good forgetting,
  Thou canst not stay the wheel, hold none too long!


  How our modernity,
  Nerve-wracked and broken, turns
  Against time's way and all the way of things,
  Crying with weak and egoistic cries!
               * * * * *
  All things are given over,
  Only the restless will
  Surges amid the stars
  Seeking new moods of life,
  New permutations.
               * * * * *
  See, and the very sense of what we know
  Dodges and hides as in a sombre curtain
  Bright threads leap forth, and hide, and leave no pattern.


  I thought I had put Love by for a time
  And I was glad, for to me his fair face
  Is like Pain's face.
                        A little light,
  The lowered curtain and the theatre!
  And o'er the frail talk of the inter-act
  Something that broke the jest! A little light,
  The gold, and half the profile!
                                  The whole face
  Was nothing like you, yet that image cut
  Sheer through the moment.


  I have gone seeking for you in the twilight,
  Here in the flurry of Fifth Avenue,
  Here where they pass between their teas and teas.
  Is it such madness? though you could not be
  Ever in all that crowd, no gown
  Of all their subtle sorts could be your gown.

  Yet I am fed with faces, is there one
  That even in the half-light mindeth me.



  'Tis Evanoe's,
  A house not made with hands,
  But out somewhere beyond the worldly ways
  Her gold is spread, above, around, inwoven,
  Strange ways and walls are fashioned out of it.

  And I have seen my Lady in the sun,
  Her hair was spread about, a sheaf of wings,
  And red the sunlight was, behind it all.

  And I have seen her there within her house,
  With six great sapphires hung along the wall,
  Low, panel-shaped, a-level with her knees,
  And all her robe was woven of pale gold.

  There are there many rooms and all of gold,
  Of woven walls deep patterned, of email,
  Of beaten work; and through the claret stone,
  Set to some weaving, comes the aureate light.

  Here am I come perforce my love of her,
  Behold mine adoration
  Maketh me clear, and there are powers in this
  Which, played on by the virtues of her soul,
  Break down the four-square walls of standing time.



  'Tis not a game that plays at mates and mating,
  Provençe knew;
  'Tis not a game of barter, lands and houses,
  Provençe knew.
  We who are wise beyond your dream of wisdom,
  Drink our immortal moments; we "pass through."
  We have gone forth beyond your bonds and borders,
  Provençe knew;
  And all the tales they ever writ of Oisin
  Say but this:
  That man doth pass the net of days and hours.
  Where time is shrivelled down to time's seed corn
  We of the Ever-living, in that light
  Meet through our veils and whisper, and of love.

  O smoke and shadow of a darkling world,
  Barters of passion, and that tenderness
  That's but a sort of cunning! O my Love,
  These, and the rest, and all the rest we knew.

  'Tis not a game that plays at mates and mating,
  'Tis not a game of barter, lands and houses,
  'Tis not "of days and nights" and troubling years,
  Of cheeks grown sunken and glad hair gone gray;
  There _is_ the subtler music, the clear light

  Where time burns back about th' eternal embers.
  We are not shut from all the thousand heavens:
  Lo, there are many gods whom we have seen,
  Folk of unearthly fashion, places splendid,
  Bulwarks of beryl and of chrysophrase.

  Sapphire Benacus, in thy mists and thee
  Nature herself's turned metaphysical,
  Who can look on that blue and not believe?

  Thou hooded opal, thou eternal pearl,
  O thou dark secret with a shimmering floor,
  Through all thy various mood I know thee mine;

  If I have merged my soul, or utterly
  Am solved and bound in, through aught here on earth,
  There canst thou find me, O thou anxious thou,
  Who call'st about my gates for some lost me;
  I say my soul flowed back, became translucent.
  Search not my lips, O Love, let go my hands,
  This thing that moves as man is no more mortal.
  If thou hast seen my shade sans character,
  If thou hast seen that mirror of all moments,
  That glass to all things that o'ershadow it,
  Call not that mirror me, for I have slipped
  Your grasp, I have eluded.



  How will this beauty, when I am far hence,
  Sweep back upon me and engulf my mind!

  How will these hours, when we twain are gray,
  Turned in their sapphire tide, come flooding o'er us!



  Let us build here an exquisite friendship,
  The flame, the autumn, and the green rose of love
  Fought out their strife here, 'tis a place of wonder;
  Where these have been, meet 'tis, the ground is holy.



      Her grave, sweet haughtiness
      Pleaseth me, and in like wise
      Her quiet ironies.
      Others are beautiful, none more, some less.

  I suppose, when poetry comes down to facts,
  When our souls are returned to the gods
            and the spheres they belong in,
  Here in the every-day where our acts
  Rise up and judge us;

  I suppose there are a few dozen verities
  That no shift of mood can shake from us:

  One place where we'd rather have tea
  (Thus far hath modernity brought us)
  "Tea" (Damn you!)
                  Have tea, damn the Caesars,
  Talk of the latest success, give wing to some scandal,
  Garble a name we detest, and for prejudice?
  Set loose the whole consummate pack
                to bay like Sir Roger de Coverley's

  This our reward for our works,
                sic crescit gloria mundi:
  Some circle of not more than three
                that we prefer to play up to,

  Some few whom we'd rather please
                than hear the whole aegrum vulgrus
  Splitting its beery jowl
                a-meaowling our praises.

  Some certain peculiar things,
                cari laresque, penates,
  Some certain accustomed forms,
                the absolute unimportant.



  O You away high there,
                        you that lean
  From amber lattices upon the cobalt night,
  I am below amid the pine trees,
  Amid the little pine trees, hear me!

  "The jester walked in the garden."
                          Did he so?
  Well, there's no use your loving me
  That way, Lady;
  For I've nothing but songs to give you.

  I am set wide upon the world's ways
  To say that life is, some way, a gay thing,
  But you never string two days upon one wire
  But there'll come sorrow of it.
                                And I loved a love once,
  Over beyond the moon there,
                                I loved a love once,
  And, may be, more times,

  But she danced like a pink moth in the shrubbery.

  Oh, I know you women from the "other folk,"
  And it'll all come right,
  O' Sundays.

  "The jester walked in the garden."
                                Did he so?


  Gird on thy star, We'll have this out with fate




  DORIA [Greek]
             I. DEUX MOVEMENTS





  When I behold how black, immortal ink
  Drips from my deathless pen--ah, well-away!
  Why should we stop at all for what I think?
  There is enough in what I chance to say.

  It is enough that we once came together;
  What is the use of setting it to rime?
  When it is autumn do we get spring weather,
  Or gather may of harsh northwindish time?

  It is enough that we once came together;
  What if the wind have turned against the rain?
  It is enough that we once came together;
  Time has seen this, and will not turn again;

  And who are we, who know that last intent,
  To plague to-morrow with a testament!


       _On a certain one's departure_

  "Time's bitter flood"! Oh, that's all very well,
  But where's the old friend hasn't fallen off,
  Or slacked his hand-grip when you first gripped fame?

  I know your circle and can fairly tell
  What you have kept and what you've left behind:
  I know my circle and know very well
  How many faces I'd have out of mind.


  Golden rose the house, in the portal I saw
  thee, a marvel, carven in subtle stuff, a portent.
  Life died down in the lamp and flickered,
            caught at the wonder.

  Crimson, frosty with dew, the roses bend where
  thou afar moving in the glamorous sun
  drinkst in life of earth, of the air, the tissue
            golden about thee.

  Green the ways, the breath of the fields is thine there,
  open lies the land, yet the steely going
  darkly hast thou dared and the dreaded æther
            parted before thee.

  Swift at courage thou in the shell of gold, casting
  a-loose the cloak of the body, camest
  straight, then shone thine oriel and the stunned light
            faded about thee.

  Half the graven shoulder, the throat aflash with
  strands of light inwoven about it, loveliest
  of all things, frail alabaster, ah me!
            swift in departing,

  Clothed in goldish weft, delicately perfect,
  gone as wind! The cloth of the magical hands!
  Thou a slight thing, thou in access of cunning
            dar'dst to assume this?


  "I am thy soul, Nikoptis. I have watched
  These five millennia, and thy dead eyes
  Moved not, nor ever answer my desire,
  And thy light limbs, wherethrough I leapt aflame,
  Burn not with me nor any saffron thing.

  See, the light grass sprang up to pillow thee,
  And kissed thee with a myriad grassy tongues;
  But not thou me.

  I have read out the gold upon the wall,
  And wearied out my thought upon the signs.
  And there is no new thing in all this place.

  I have been kind. See, I have left the jars sealed,
  Lest thou shouldst wake and whimper for thy wine.
  And all thy robes I have kept smooth on thee.

  O thou unmindful! How should I forget!
  --Even the river many days ago,
  The river, thou wast over young.
  And three souls came upon Thee--

  And I came.
  And I flowed in upon thee, beat them off;
  I have been intimate with thee, known thy ways.
  Have I not touched thy palms and finger-tips,
  Flowed in, and through thee and about thy heels?
  How 'came I in'? Was I not thee and Thee?

  And no sun comes to rest me in this place,
  And I am torn against the jagged dark,
  And no light beats upon me, and you say
  No word, day after day.

  Oh! I could get me out, despite the marks
  And all their crafty work upon the door,
  Out through the glass-green fields....
             * * * * *
  Yet it is quiet here:
  I do not go."


  Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,
  London has swept about you this score years
  And bright ships left you this or that in fee:
  Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,
  Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price.
  Great minds have sought you--lacking someone else.
  You have been second always. Tragical?
  No. You preferred it to the usual thing:
  One dull man, dulling and uxorious,
  One average mind--with one thought less, each year.
  Oh, you are patient, I have seen you sit
  Hours, where something might have floated up.
  And now you pay one. Yes, you richly pay.
  You are a person of some interest, one comes to you
  And takes strange gain away:
  Trophies fished up; some curious suggestion;
  Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale for two,
  Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else
  That might prove useful and yet never proves,
  That never fits a corner or shows use,
  Or finds its hour upon the loom of days:
  The tarnished, gaudy, wonderful old work;
  Idols and ambergris and rare inlays,
  These are your riches, your great store; and yet
  For all this sea-hoard of deciduous things,
  Strange woods half sodden, and new brighter stuff:
  In the slow float of differing light and deep,
  No! there is nothing! In the whole and all,
  Nothing that's quite your own.
                  Yet this is you.


  My City, my beloved, my white!
  Ah, slender,
  Listen! Listen to me, and I will breathe into thee a soul.
  Delicately upon the reed, attend me!

  _Now do I know that I am mad,_
  _For here are a million people surly with traffic;_
  _This is no maid._
  _Neither could I play upon any reed if I had one._

  My City, my beloved,
  Thou art a maid with no breasts,
  Thou art slender as a silver reed.
  Listen to me, attend me!
  And I will breathe into thee a soul,
  And thou shalt live for ever.


  The tree has entered my hands,
  The sap has ascended my arms,
  The tree has grown in my breast--
  The branches grow out of me, like arms.

  Tree you are,
  Moss you are,
  You are violets with wind above them.
  A child--_so_ high--you are,
  And all this is folly to the world.


  This _papier-mâché_, which you see, my friends,
  Saith 'twas the worthiest of editors.
  Its mind was made up in "the seventies,"
  Nor hath it ever since changed that concoction.
  It works to represent that school of thought
  Which brought the hair-cloth chair to such perfection,
  Nor will the horrid threats of Bernard Shaw
  Shake up the stagnant pool of its convictions;
  Nay, should the deathless voice of all the world
  Speak once again for its sole stimulation,
  'Twould not move it one jot from left to right.

  Come Beauty barefoot from the Cyclades,
  She'd find a model for St Anthony
  In this thing's sure _decorum_ and behaviour.


  This thing, that hath a code and not a core,
  Hath set acquaintance where might be affections,
  And nothing now
  Disturbeth his reflections.


  This is another of our ancient loves.
  Pass and be silent, Rullus, for the day
  Hath lacked a something since this lady passed;
  Hath lacked a something. 'Twas but marginal.


  (_From the early Anglo-Saxon text_)

  May I for my own self song's truth reckon,
  Journey's jargon, how I in harsh days
  Hardship endured oft.
  Bitter breast-cares have I abided,
  Known on my keel many a care's hold,
  And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent
  Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head
  While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly afflicted,
  My feet were by frost benumbed.
  Chill its chains are; chafing sighs
  Hew my heart round and hunger begot
  Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not
  That he on dry land loveliest liveth,
  List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea,
  Weathered the winter, wretched outcast
  Deprived of my kinsmen;
  Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew,
  There I heard naught save the harsh sea
  And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries,
  Did for my games the gannet's clamour,
  Sea-fowls' loudness was for me laughter,
  The mews' singing all my mead-drink.
  Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern
  In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed
  With spray on his pinion.
                          Not any protector
  May make merry man faring needy.
  This he little believes, who aye in winsome life
  Abides 'mid burghers some heavy business,
  Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary oft
  Must bide above brine.
  Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north,
  Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then
  Corn of the coldest. Nathless there knocketh now
  The heart's thought that I on high streams
  The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone.
  Moaneth alway my mind's lust
  That I fare forth, that I afar hence
  Seek out a foreign fastness.
  For this there's no mood-lofty man over earth's midst,
  Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed;
  Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful
  But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare
  Whatever his lord will.
  He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having
  Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's delight
  Nor any whit else save the wave's slash,
  Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water.
  Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries,
  Fields to fairness, land fares brisker,
  All this admonisheth man eager of mood,
  The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks
  On flood-ways to be far departing.
  Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying,
  He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow,
  The bitter heart's blood. Burgher knows not--
  He the prosperous man--what some perform
  Where wandering them widest draweth.
  So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock,
  My mood 'mid the mere-flood,
  Over the whale's acre, would wander wide.
  On earth's shelter cometh oft to me,
  Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer,
  Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly,
  O'er tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow
  My lord deems to me this dead life
  On loan and on land, I believe not
  That any earth-weal eternal standeth
  Save there be somewhat calamitous
  That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain.
  Disease or oldness or sword-hate
  Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body.
  And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after--
  Laud of the living, boasteth some last word,
  That he will work ere he pass onward,
  Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his malice,
  Daring ado,...
  So that all men shall honour him after
  And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the English,
  Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast,
  Delight mid the doughty.
                      Days little durable,
  And all arrogance of earthen riches,
  There come now no kings nor Cæsars
  Nor gold-giving lords like those gone.
  Howe'er in mirth most magnified,
  Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest,
  Drear all this excellence, delights undurable!
  Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth.
  Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed low.
  Earthly glory ageth and seareth.
  No man at all going the earth's gait,
  But age fares against him, his face paleth,
  Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions,
  Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven,
  Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth,
  Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry,
  Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart,
  And though he strew the grave with gold,
  His born brothers, their buried bodies
  Be an unlikely treasure hoard.




  Befits me praise thine empery,
  Lady of Valour,
    Past all disproving;
  Thou art the flower to me--
    Nay, by Love's pallor--
  Of all good loving.

  Worthy to reap men's praises
  Is he who'd gaze upon
    Truth's mazes.
  In like commend is he,
  Who, loving fixedly,
  Love so refineth,

  Till thou alone art she
    In whom love's vested;
  As branch hath fairest flower
    Where fruit's suggested.

  This great joy comes to me,
    To me observing
  How swiftly thou hast power
    To pay my serving.


  Thou keep'st thy rose-leaf
    Till the rose-time will be over,
  Think'st thou that Death will kiss thee?
  Think'st thou that the Dark House
    Will find thee such a lover
  As I? Will the new roses miss thee?

  Prefer my cloak unto the cloak of dust
    'Neath which the last year lies,
  For thou shouldst more mistrust
    Time than my eyes.

  [1] Asclepiades, Julianus Ægyptus.


  Sing we for love and idleness,
  Naught else is worth the having.

  Though I have been in many a land,
  There is naught else in living.

  And I would rather have my sweet,
  Though rose-leaves die of grieving,

  Than do high deeds in Hungary
  To pass all men's believing.


       _From Charles D'Orleans_
           _For music_

  God! that mad'st her well regard her,
  How she is so fair and bonny;
  For the great charms that are upon her
  Ready are all folk to reward her.

  Who could part him from her borders
  When spells are alway renewed on her?
  God! that mad'st her well regard her,
  How she is so fair and bonny.

  From here to there to the sea's border,
  Dame nor damsel there's not any
  Hath of perfect charms so many.
  Thoughts of her are of dream's order:
  God! that mad'st her well regard her.



  One after one they leave thee,
  High Priest of Iacchus,
  Intoning thy melodies as winds intone
  The whisperings of leaves on sunlit days.
  And the sands are many
  And the seas beyond the sands are one
  In ultimate, so we here being many
  Are unity; nathless thy compeers,
      Knowing thy melody,
  Lulled with the wine of thy music
  Go seaward silently, leaving thee sentinel
  O'er all the mysteries,
      High Priest of Iacchus.
  For the lines of life lie under thy fingers,
  And above the vari-coloured strands
  Thine eyes look out unto the infinitude
  Of the blue waves of heaven,
  And even as Triplex Sisterhood
  Thou fingerest the threads knowing neither
  Cause nor the ending,
      High Priest of Iacchus,
  Draw'st forth a multiplicity
  Of strands, and, beholding
  The colour thereof, raisest thy voice
  Towards the sunset,
      O High Priest of Iacchus!
  And out of the secrets of the inmost mysteries
  Thou chantest strange far-sourced canticles:
      O High Priest of Iacchus!
  Life and the ways of Death her
  Twin-born sister, that is life's counterpart,
  And of night and the winds of night;
  Silent voices ministering to the souls
  Of hamadryads that hold council concealèd
  In streams and tree-shadowing
  Forests on hill slopes,
      O High Priest of Iacchus,
  All the manifold mystery
  Thou makest a wine of song,
  And maddest thy following even
  With visions of great deeds
  And their futility,
      O High Priest of Iacchus!
  Though thy co-novices are bent to the scythe
  Of the magian wind that is voice of Persephone,
  Leaving thee solitary, master of initiating
  Mænads that come through the
  Vine-entangled ways of the forest
  Seeking, out of all the world,
      Madness of Iacchus,
  That being skilled in the secrets of the double cup
  They might turn the dead of the world
  Into pæans,
      O High Priest of Iacchus,
  Wreathed with the glory of thy years of creating
  Entangled music,
  Now that the evening cometh upon thee,
  Breathe upon us, that low-bowed and exultant
  Drink wine of Iacchus, that since the conquering
  Hath been chiefly containèd in the numbers
  Of them that, even as thou, have woven
  Wicker baskets for grape clusters
  Wherein is concealèd the source of the vintage,
      O High Priest of Iacchus,
  Breathe thou upon us
          Thy magic in parting!
  Even as they thy co-novices,
  At being mingled with the sea,
  While yet thou madest thy canticles
  Serving upright before the altar
  That is bound about with shadows
  Of dead years wherein thy Iacchus
  Looked not upon the hills, that being
  Uncared for, praised not him in entirety.
      O High Priest of Iacchus,
  Being now near to the border of the sands
  Where the sapphire girdle of the sea
      Encinctureth the maiden
  Persephone, released for the spring,
  Look! Breathe upon us
  The wonder of the thrice encinctured mystery
  Whereby thou being full of years art young,
  Loving even this lithe Persephone
  That is free for the seasons of plenty;
  Whereby thou being young art old
  And shalt stand before this Persephone
      Whom thou lovest,
  In darkness, even at that time
  That she being returned to her husband
  Shall be queen and a maiden no longer,
  Wherein thou being neither old nor young
  Standing on the verge of the sea
  Shalt pass from being sand,
      O High Priest of Iacchus,
  And becoming wave
      Shalt encircle all sands,
  Being transmuted through all
  The girdling of the sea.

      O High Priest of Iacchus,
  Breathe thou upon us!

  _Note._--This apostrophe was written three years
  before Swinburne's death.

  DORIA [Greek]

  Be in me as the eternal moods of the bleak wind, and not
  As transient things are--gaiety of flowers.
  Have me in the strong loneliness of sunless cliffs
  And of grey waters.
            Let the gods speak softly of us
  In days hereafter,
            The shadowy flowers of Orcus
  Remember Thee.


  Come, or the stellar tide will slip away,
  Eastward avoid the hour of its decline,
  Now! for the needle trembles in my soul!

  Here have we had our vantage, the good hour.
  Here we have had our day, your day and mine.
  Come now, before this power
  That bears us up, shall turn against the pole.

  Mock not the flood of stars, the thing's to be.
  O Love, come now, this land turns evil slowly.
  The waves bore in, soon will they bear away.

  The treasure is ours, make we fast land with it.
  Move we and take the tide, with its next favour,
  Under some neutral force
  Until this course turneth aside.


  It is, and is not, I am sane enough,
  Since you have come this place has hovered round me,
  This fabrication built of autumn roses,
  Then there's a goldish colour, different.

  And one gropes in these things as delicate
  Algae reach up and out beneath
  Pale slow green surgings of the under-wave,
  'Mid these things older than the names they have,
  These things that are familiars of the god.


  I would bathe myself in strangeness:
  These comforts heaped upon me,
              smother me!
  I burn, I scald so for the new,
  New friends, new faces,
  Oh to be out of this,
  This that is all I wanted
              --save the new.
  And you,
  Love, you the much, the more desired!
  Do I not loathe all walls, streets, stones,
  All mire, mist, all fog,
  All ways of traffic?
  You, I would have flow over me like water,
  Oh, but far out of this!
  Grass, and low fields, and hills,
  And sun,
  Oh, sun enough!
  Out and alone, among some
  Alien people!


  No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately,
  I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,
  For my surrounding air has a new lightness;
  Slight are her arms, yet they have bound me straitly
  And left me cloaked as with a gauze of æther;
  As with sweet leaves; as with a subtle clearness.
  Oh, I have picked up magic in her nearness
  To sheathe me half in half the things that sheathe her.

  No, no! Go from me. I have still the flavour,
  Soft as spring wind that's come from birchen bowers.
  Green come the shoots, aye April in the branches,
  As winter's wound with her sleight hand she staunches,
  Hath of the tress a likeness of the savour:
  As white their bark, so white this lady's hours.


  Pan is dead. Great Pan is dead.
  Ah! bow your heads, ye maidens all,
  And weave ye him his coronal.

    There is no summer in the leaves,
  And withered are the sedges;
    How shall we weave a coronal,
  Or gather floral pledges?

  That I may not say, Ladies.
  Death was ever a churl.
  That I may not say, Ladies.
  How should he show a reason,
  That he has taken our Lord away
  Upon such hollow season?


  The eyes of this dead lady speak to me,
  For here was love, was not to be drowned out,
  And here desire, not to be kissed away.

  The eyes of this dead lady speak to me.

  [1] "Venus Reclining," by Jacopo del Sellaio (1442-93).


  This man knew out the secret ways of love,
  No man could paint such things who did not know.

  And now she's gone, who was his Cyprian,
  And you are here, who are "The Isles" to me.

  And here's the thing that lasts the whole thing out:
  The eyes of this dead lady speak to me.


  See, they return; ah, see the tentative
      Movements, and the slow feet,
      The trouble in the pace and the uncertain

  See, they return, one, and by one,
  With fear, as half-awakened;
  As if the snow should hesitate
  And murmur in the wind,
                  and half turn back;
  These were the "Wing'd-with-Awe,"

  Gods of the wingèd shoe!
  With them the silver hounds,
                  sniffing the trace of air!

  Haie! Haie!
      These were the swift to harry;
      These the keen-scented;
      These were the souls of blood.

  Slow on the leash,
                  pallid the leash-men.




  1. Temple qui fut.
  2. Poissons d'or.


  A soul curls back,
    Their souls like petals,
    Thin, long, spiral,
  Like those of a chrysanthemum curl
  Smoke-like up and back from the
  Vavicel, the calyx,
  Pale green, pale gold, transparent,
  Green of plasma, rose-white,
  Spirate like smoke,
  Slowly, waving slowly.
  O Flower animate!
  O calyx!
  O crowd of foolish people!


  The petals!
  On the tip of each the figure
  See, they dance, step to step.
  Flora to festival,
  Twine, bend, bow,
  Frolic involve ye.
  Woven the step,
  Woven the tread, the moving.
  Ribands they move,
  Wave, bow to the centre.
  Pause, rise, deepen in colour,
  And fold in drowsily.



  Breast high, floating and welling
  Their soul, moving beneath the satin,
  Plied the gold threads,
  Pushed at the gauze above it.
  The notes beat upon this,
  Beat and indented it;
  Rain dropped and came and fell upon this,
  Hail and snow,
  My sight gone in the flurry!

  And then across the white silken,
  Bellied up, as a sail bellies to the wind,
  Over the fluid tenuous, diaphanous,
  Over this curled a wave, greenish,
  Mounted and overwhelmed it.
  This membrane floating above,
  And bellied out by the up-pressing soul.

  Then came a mer-host,
  And after them legion of Romans,
  The usual, dull, theatrical!



  In publishing his _Complete Poetical Works_
  at thirty,[1] Mr Hulme has set an enviable
  example to many of his contemporaries
  who have had less to say.

  They are reprinted here for good
  fellowship; for good custom, a custom
  out of Tuscany and of Provence; and
  thirdly, for convenience, seeing their smallness
  of bulk; and for good memory,
  seeing that they recall certain evenings
  and meetings of two years gone, dull
  enough at the time, but rather pleasant
  to look back upon.

  As for the "School of Images," which
  may or may not have existed, its principles
  were not so interesting as those of the
  "inherent dynamists" or of _Les Unanimistes_,
  yet they were probably sounder
  than those of a certain French school
  which attempted to dispense with verbs
  altogether; or of the Impressionists who
  brought forth:

       "Pink pigs blossoming upon the hillside";

  or of the Post-Impressionists who beseech
  their ladies to let down slate-blue hair
  over their raspberry-coloured flanks.

  _Ardoise_ rimed richly--ah, richly and rarely
  rimed!--with _framboise_.

  As for the future, _Les Imagistes_, the
  descendants of the forgotten school of
  1909, have that in their keeping.

  I refrain from publishing my proposed
  _Historical Memoir_ of their forerunners,
  because Mr Hulme has threatened to
  print the original propaganda.


  [1] Mr Pound has grossly exaggerated my age.--T.E.H.


  A touch of cold in the Autumn night--
  I walked abroad,
  And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
  Like a red-faced farmer.
  I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
  And round about were the wistful stars
  With white faces like town children.


       Beauty is the marking-time, the stationary vibration,
       the feigned ecstasy of an arrested impulse unable to
       reach its natural end.

  Mana Aboda, whose bent form
    The sky in archèd circle is,
    Seems ever for an unknown grief to mourn.
  Yet on a day I heard her cry:
  "I weary of the roses and the singing poets--
  Josephs all, not tall enough to try."


  Above the quiet dock in mid night,
  Tangled in the tall mast's corded height,
  Hangs the moon. What seemed so far away
  Is but a child's balloon, forgotten after play.


  (The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a
  cold, bitter night.)

  Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
  In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
  Now see I
  That warmth's the very stuff of poesy.
  Oh, God, make small
  The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
  That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.


  Lighthearted I walked into the valley wood
  In the time of hyacinths,
  Till beauty like a scented cloth
  Cast over, stifled me. I was bound
  Motionless and faint of breath
  By loveliness that is her own eunuch.

  Now pass I to the final river
  Ignominiously, in a sack, without sound,
  As any peeping Turk to the Bosphorus.


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