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Make a carcanet of rays,
And ye talk together still,
In the language wherewith Spring
WITH a half-glance upon the sky
He spake of beauty: that the dull
Life in dead stones, or spirit in air;
He smooth'd his chin and sleek'd his hair,
He spake of virtue: not the gods)
And with a sweeping of the arm,
Most delicately hour by hour
With lips depress'd as he were meek,
Quiet, dispassionate, and cold,
And other than his form of creed,
With chisell'd features clear and sleek.
THE lintwhite and the throstlecock
Alas! that one so beautiful
year, fair year, thy children call,
But thou art deaf as death;
All in the bloomèd May.
That from thee issueth,
Our life evanisheth :
Alas! that lips so cruel-dumb
Should have so sweet a breath!
Fair year, with brows of royal love
Alas! that eyes so full of light
Thy locks are all of sunny sheen
Thou art the fairest of thy feres,
1His crispè hair in ringis was yronne.—Chaucer, Knight's Tale.
THE poet in a golden clime was born,
With golden stars above;
Dower'd with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn, The love of love.
He saw thro' life and death, thro' good and ill,
The marvel of the everlasting will,
An open scroll,
Before him lay with echoing feet he threaded
The secretest walks of fame :
The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed
Like Indian reeds, blown from his silver tongue,
From Calpe unto Caucasus they sung,
And vagrant melodies the winds which bore
Then, like the arrow-seeds of the field flower,
Cleaving, took root, and springing forth anew
Like to the mother plant in semblance, grew
And bravely furnish'd all abroad to fling
To throng with stately blooms the breathing spring
So many minds did gird their orbs with beams,
Heaven flow'd upon the soul in many dreams
Thus truth was multiplied on truth, the world
And thro' the wreaths of floating dark upcurl'd,
And Freedom rear'd in that august sunrise
When rites and forms before his burning eyes
There was no blood upon her maiden robes
But round about the circles of the globes
And in her raiment's hem was traced in flame
All evil dreams of power-a sacred name.
Her words did gather thunder as they ran,
So was their meaning to her words. No sword
But one poor poet's scroll, and with his word
THE POET'S MIND
VEX not thou the poet's mind
For thou canst not fathom it.
Dark-brow'd sophist, come not anear;
Holy water will I pour
Into every spicy flower
Of the laurel-shrubs that hedge it around.
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,
In the middle leaps a fountain
Like sheet lightning,
With a low melodious thunder;