Enobles the heart and the eyes,
and unveils the meaning of all things
upon which the heart and the eyes dwell.
It discovers the secret rays of the universe,
and restores to us forgotten paradises.
Bells Of Gray Crystal
Bells of gray crystal
Break on each bough--
The swans' breath will mist all
The cold airs now.
Like tall pagodas
Two people go,
Trail their long codas
Of talk through the snow.
Lonely are these
And lonely and I ....
The clouds, gray Chinese geese
Sleek through the sky.
Came the Great Popinjay
CAME the great Popinjay
Smelling his nosegay:
In cages like grots
The birds sang gavottes.
Was named sweet Amanda,
She danced like a lady
From here to Uganda.
Oh, what a dance was there!
Long-haired, the candle
Salome-like tossed her hair
To a dance tune by Handel.' . . .
Dance they still? Then came
Blew out the candle flame
With civet breath.
Mid this hot green glowing gloom
A word falls with a raindrop's boom...
Like baskets of ripe fruit in air
The bird-songs seem, suspended where
Those goldfinches--the ripe warm lights
Peck slyly at them--take quick flights.
My feet are feathered like a bird
Among the shadows scarcely heard;
I bring you branches green with dew
And fruits that you may crown anew
Your whirring waspish-gilded hair
Amid this cornucopia--
Until your warm lips bear the stains
And bird-blood leap within your veins.
The Web Of Eros
Within your magic web of hair, lies furled
The fire and splendour of the ancient world;
The dire gold of the comet's wind-blown hair;
The songs that turned to gold the evening air
When all the stars of heaven sang for joy.
The flames that burnt the cloud-high city Troy.
The mænad fire of spring on the cold earth;
The myrrh-lit flame that gave both death and birth
To the soul Phoenix; and the star-bright shower
That came to Danaë in her brazen tower...
Within your magic web of hair lies furled
The fire and splendour of the ancient world.
By The Lake
ACROSS the flat and the pastel snow
Two people go . . . . 'And do you remember
When last we wandered this shore?' . . . 'Ah no!
For it is cold-hearted December.'
'Dead, the leaves that like asses's ears hung on the trees
When last we wandered and squandered joy here;
Now Midas your husband will listen for these
Whispers--these tears for joy's bier.'
And as they walk, they seem tall pagodas;
And all the ropes let down from the cloud
Ring the hard cold bell-buds upon the trees--codas
Of overtones, ecstasies, grown for love's shroud
I kept my answers small and kept them near;
Big questions bruised my mind but still I let
Small answers be a bullwark to my fear.
The huge abstractions I kept from the light;
Small things I handled and caressed and loved.
I let the stars assume the whole of night.
But the big answers clamoured to be moved Into my life. Their great audacity
Shouted to be acknowledged and believed.
Even when all small answers build up to
Protection of my spirit, still I hear
Big answers striving for their overthrow.
And all the great conclusions coming near.
The Dancers: (During A Great Battle, 1916)
The floors are slippery with blood:
The world gyrates too. God is good
That while His wind blows out the light
For those who hourly die for is –
We still can dance each night.
The music has grown numb with death –
But we will suck their dying breath,
The whispered name they breathed to chance,
To swell our music, make it loud
That we may dance, - may dance.
We are the dull blind carrion-fly
That dance and batten. Though God die
Mad from the horror of the light –
The light is mad, too, flecked with blood, -
We dance, we dance, each night.
When Cold December
WHEN cold December
Froze to grisamber
The jangling bells on the sweet rose-trees--
Then fading slow
And furred is the snow
As the almond's sweet husk--
And smelling like musk.
The snow amygdaline
Under the eglantine
Where the bristling stars shine
Like a gilt porcupine--
The snow confesses
The little Princesses
On their small chioppines
Dance under the orpines.
See the casuistries
Of their slant fluttering eyes--
Gilt as the zodiac
Only the snow slides
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Closes her slanting eyes:
Dead is she long ago.
From her fan, sliding slow,
Parrot-bright fire's feathers,
Gilded as June weathers,
Plumes bright and shrill as grass
Twinkle down; as they pass
Through the green glooms in Hell
Fruits with a tuneful smell,
Grapes like an emerald rain,
Where the full moon has lain,
Greengages bright as grass,
Melons as cold as glass,
Piled on each gilded booth,
Feel their cheeks growing smooth.
Apes in plumed head-dresses
Whence the bright heat hisses,--
Nubian faces, sly
Pursing mouth, slanting eye,
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