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Rounder 'twixt the cypresses and rounder,
Perfect till the nightingales applauded.
Now, a piece of her old self, impoverished,
Hard to greet, she traverses the house-roofs,
Hurries with unhandsome thrift of silver,
Goes dispiritedly, - glad to finish.
What, there 's nothing in the moon note-worthy ?
Nay, — for if that moon could love a mortal,
Use, to charm him (so to fit a fancy)
All her magic ('t is the old sweet mythos)
She would turn a new side to her mortal,
Side unseen of herdsman, huntsman, steersman,
Blank to Zoroaster on his terrace,
Blind to Galileo on his turret,
Dumb to Homer, dumb to Keats, - him, even !
Think, the wonder of the moonstruck mortal, -
When she turns round, comes again in heaven,
Opens out anew for worse or better?
Proves she like some portent of an iceberg
Swimming full upon the ship it founders,
Hungry with huge teeth of splintered crystals ?
Proves she as the paved-work of a sapphire
Seen by Moses when he climbed the mountain ?
Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu
Climbed and saw the very God, the Highest,
Stand upon the paved-work of a sapphire.
Like the bodied heaven in his clearness
Shone the stone, the sapphire of that paved-work,
When they ate and drank and saw God also !
What were seen? None knows, none ever shall know.
Only this is sure, — the sight were other,
Not the moon's same side, born late in Florence,
Dying now impoverished here in London.
God be thanked, the meanest of his creatures
Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world with,
One to show a woman when he loves her.
This I say of me, but think of you, Love!
This to you, - yourself my moon of poets!
Ah, but that 's the world's side, - there 's the wonder,
Thus they see you, praise you, think they know you.
There, in turn I stand with them and praise you,
Out of my own self, I dare to phrase it.
But the best is when I glide from out them,
Cross a step or two of dubious twilight,
Come out on the other side, the novel
Silent silver lights and darks undreamed of,
Where I hush and bless myself with silence.
0, their Rafael of the dear Madonnas,
O, their Dante of the dread Inferno,
Wrote one song - and in my brain I sing it,
Drew one angel — borne, see, on my bosom!
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed in the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears ;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each !
OUND the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And straight was a path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.
ito feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in ,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go :
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
Though a battle 's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so, one fight more,
The best and the last !
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness, and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute 's at end,
And the elements’ rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend, Shall change, shall become first a peace, then a joy,
Then a light, then thy breast, O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!
WISH that when you died last May,
Charles, there had died along with you Three parts of spring's delightful things;
Ay, and, for me, the fourth part too.
A foolish thought, and worse, perhaps !
There must be many a pair of friends Who, arm in arm, deserve the warm
Moon-births and the long evening-ends.
So, for their sakes, be May still May !
Let their new time, as mine of old, Do all it did for me: I bid
Sweet sights and sounds throng manifold.
Only, one little sight, one plant,
Woods have in May, that starts up green Save a sole streak which, so to speak,
Is spring's blood, spilt its leaves between,
That, they might spare; a certain wood
Might miss the plant; their loss were small : But I, - whene'er the leaf grows there,
Its drop comes from my heart, that's all.