Page images

Most delicately hour by hour
He canvass'd human mysteries,
And trod on silk, as if the winds
Blew his own praises in his eyes,
And stood aloof from other minds
In impotence of fancied power.

With lips depress’d as he were meek,
Himself unto himself he sold :
Upon himself himself did feed :
Quiet, dispassionate, and cold,
And her than his form of creed,
With chiselsd features clear and sleek.


The poet in a golden clime was borr.,

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,

He saw thro' his own soul. 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

And wing’d with flame,

Like Indian reeds blown from his silver tongue,

And of so fierce a flight,
From Calpe unto Caucasus they sung,

Filling with light

And vagrant melodies the winds which bore

Them earthward till they lit;
Then, like the arrow-seeds of the field flower,

The fruitful wit

Cleaving, took root, and springing forth anew

Where'er they fell, behold,
Like to the mother plant in semblance, grew

A flower all gold,

And bravely furnish'd 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,

Tho' one did fling the fire. Heaven flow'd

upon the soul in many dreams Of high desire.

Thus truth was multiplied on trutn, the world

Like one great garden showd.
And thro' the wreaths of floating dark upcurl'd,

Rare sunrise flow'd.

And Freedom reard in that august sunrise

Her beautiful bold brow,
When rites and forms before his burning eyes

Melted like snow.

There was no blood upon her maiden robes

Sunn’d by those orient skies ;
But round about the circles of the globes

Of her keen eyes

And in her raiment's liem was traced in flame

Wisdom, a name to shake All evil dreams of power

-a sacred name. 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 whirld, But one poor poet's scroll, and with his word

She shook the world.



Vex not thou the poet's mind

With thy shallow wit:
Vex not thou the poet's mind ;

For thou canst not fathom it.
Clear and bright it should be ever,
Flowing like a crystal river;
Bright as light, and clear as wind.

2. Dark-brow'd sophist, come not anear ;

All the place is holy ground; Hollow smile and frozen sneer

Come not here. Holy water will I

pour Into every spicy flower Of the laurel-shrubs that hedge it around. The flowers would faint at your cruel cheer. In

your eye there is death, There is frost in



« PreviousContinue »