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HY trivial harp will never please
Or fill my craving ear ; Its chords should ring as blows the breeze, Free, peremptory, clear.' No jingling serenader's art, Nor tinkle of piano strings, Can make the wild blood start In its mystic springs. The kingly bard Must smite the chords rudely and hard, As with hammer or with mace; That they may render back Artful thunder, which conveys Secrets of the solar track, Sparks of the supersolar blaze. Merlin's blows are strokes of fate, Chiming with the forest tone, When boughs buffet boughs in the wood; Chiming with the gasp and moan Of the ice-imprisoned flood ; With the pulse of manly hearts; With the voice of orators; With the din of city arts ; With the cannonade of wars ; With the marches of the brave, And prayers of might from martyrs' cave.
Great is the art,
Great be the manners, of the bard.
He shall not his brain encumber
With the coil of rhythm and number ;
But, leaving rule and pale forethought,
He shall aye climb
For his rhyme.
" Pass in, pass in," the angels say,
“In to the upper doors,
Nor count compartments of the floors,
But mount to paradise
By the stairway of surprise."
Blameless master of the games,
King of sport that never shames,
He shall daily joy dispense
Hid in song's sweet influence.
Forms more cheerly live and go,
What time the subtle mind
Sings aloud the tune whereto
Their pulses beat,
And march their feet,
And their members are combined.
By Sybarites beguiled,
He shall no task decline ;
Merlin's mighty line
Extremes of nature reconciled-
Bereaved a tyrant of his will,
And made the lion mild.
Songs can the tempest still,
Scattered on the stormy air,
Mould the year to fair increase,
And bring in poetic peace.
He shall not seek to weave,
In weak, unhappy times,
Wait his returning strength.
Bird, that from the nadir's floor
To the zenith's top can soar,-
The soaring orbit of the muse exceeds that
Nor profane affect to hit
Or compass that, by meddling wit,
Which only the propitious mind
Publishes when 'tis inclined.
There are open hours
When the God's will sallies free,
And the dull idiot might see
The flowing fortunes of a thousand years ;-
Sudden, at unawares,
Self-moved, fly-to the doors,
Nor sword of angels could reveal
What they conceal.
HE rhyme of the poet
Modulates the king's affairs ; Balance-loving Nature Made all things in pairs. To every foot its antipode; Each colour with its counter glowed ; To every tone beat answering tones, Higher or graver; Flavour gladly blends with flavour; Leaf answers leaf upon the bough; And match the paired cotyledons. Hands to hands, and feet to feet, In one body grooms and brides ; Eldest rite, two married sides In every mortal meet. Light's far furnace shines, Smelting balls and bars, Forging double stars, Glittering twins and trines. The animals are sick with love, Lovesick. with rhyme; Each with all propitious Time Into chorus wove.
Like the dancers' ordered band,
Thoughts come also hand in hand;
In equal couples mated,
Or else alternated ;
Adding by their mutual gage,
One to other, health and age.
Solitary fancies go
Short-lived wandering to and fro,
Most like to bachelors,
Or an ungiven maid,
With no posterity to make the lie afraid,
Or keep truth undecayed.
Perfect-paired as eagle's wings,
Justice is the rhyme of things ;
Trade and counting use
The self-same tuneful muse;
Who with even matches odd,
The partial wrong,
Fills the just period,
And finishes the song.
Subtle rhymes, with ruin rife,
Murmur in the house of life,
Sung by the Sisters as they spin ;
In perfect time and measure they
Build and unbuild our echoing clay,
As the two twilights of the day
Fold us music-drunken in.
RING me wine, but wine which never grew
In the belly of the grape, Or grew on vine whose tap-roots, reaching through Under the Andes to the Cape, Suffered no savour of the earth to scape.
Let its grapes the morn salute
From a nocturnal root,
Which feels the acrid juice
Of Styx and Erebus ;
And turns the woe of Night,
By its own craft, to a more rich delight,
We buy ashes for bread;
We buy diluted wine;
Give me of the true,-
Whose ample leaves and tendrils curled
Among the silver hills of heaven,
Draw everlasting dew;
Wine of wine,
Blood of the world,
Form of forms, and mould of statures,
That I intoxicated,
And by the draught assimilated,
May float at pleasure through all natures;
The bird-language rightly spell,
And that which roses say so well.
Wine that is shed
Like the torrents of the sun
Up the horizon walls,
Or like the Atlantic streams, which run
When the South Sea calls.
Water and bread,
Food which needs no transmuting,
Wine which is already man,
Food which teach and reason can.
Wine which Music is,-
Music and wine are one,-
That I, drinking this,
Shall hear far Chaos talk with me;
Kings unborn shall walk with me;
And the poor grass shall plot and plan
What it will do when it is man.
Quickened so, will I unlock
Every crypt of every rock.
I thank the joyful juice
For all I know;
Winds of remembering
Of the ancient being blow,