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Whereat the earth did seem
To waken from a dream,
Winter-frozen, winter-frozen,
Her unquiet eyes unclosing-

Said to the Rose, "Ha, snow!
And art thou fallen so?
Thou, who wast enthroned stately
All along my mountains lately?

"Holla, thou world-wide snow!
And art thou wasted so,

With a little bough to catch thee,
And a little bee to watch thee?"

-Poor Rose, to be misknown!
Would she had ne'er been blown,
In her loneness, in her loneness,
All the sadder for that oneness!

Some word she tried to say,
Some no... ah, wellaway!

But the passion did o'ercome her,
And the fair frail leaves dropped from her.

-Dropped from her, fair and mute,
Close to a poet's foot,

Who beheld them, smiling slowly,

As at something sad yet holy,

Said, "Verily and thus

"It chances too with us Poets, singing sweetest snatches While that deaf men keep the watches :

"Vaunting to come before

Our own age evermore,

In a loneness, in a loneness,

And the nobler for that oneness.

"Holy in voice and heart,

To high ends, set apart : All unmated, all unmated, Just because so consecrated.

"But if alone we be,

Where is our empery?

And if none can reach our stature,
Who can mete our lofty nature?

"What bell will yield a tone,
Swung in the air alone?

If no brazen clapper bringing,
Who can hear the chimëd ringing?

"What angel but would seem
To sensual eyes, ghost-dim?
And without assimilation,
Vain is inter-penetration.

"And thus, what can we do,
Poor rose and poet too,

Who both antedate our mission

In an unprepared season?

"Drop, leaf! be silent, song!

Cold things we come among :

We must warm them, we must warm them, Ere we ever hope to charm them.

"Howbeit" (here his face
Lightened around the place,
So to mark the outward turning
Of its spirit's inward burning)

"Something it is, to hold
In God's worlds manifold,

First revealed to creature-duty,
Some new form of His mild Beauty.

"Whether that form respect The sense or intellect, Holy be, in mood or meadow,

The Chief Beauty's sign and shadow !


Holy, in me and thee,

Rose fallen from the tree,

Though the world stand dumb around us,

All unable to expound us,

"Though none us deign to bless,
Blessëd are we, natheless ;

Blessed still and consecrated

In that, rose, we were created.

"Oh, shame to poet's lays Sung for the dole of praise,Hoarsely sung upon the highway With that obolum da mihi!

66 Shame, shame to poet's soul
Pining for such a dole,

When Heaven-chosen to inherit

The high throne of a chief spirit!

"Sit still upon your thrones,
O ye poetic ones!

And if, sooth, the world decry you
Let it pass unchallenged by you.

"Ye to yourselves suffice,
Without its flatteries.
Self-contentedly approve you
Unto HIM who sits above you,—

"In prayers, that upward mount
Like to a fair-sunned fount

Which, in gushing back upon you,.
Hath an upper music won you,—

“In faith, that still perceives
No rose can shed her leaves,
Far less, poet fall from mission,
With an unfulfilled fruition,—

"In hope, that apprehends

An end beyond these ends,
And great uses rendered duly
By the meanest song sung truly,—

"In thanks, for all the good

By poets understood,

For the sound of seraphs moving

Down the hidden depths of loving,-◄

"For sights of things away
Through fissures of the clay,
Promised things which shall be given
And sung over, up in Heaven,-

"For life, so lovely vain,

For death, which breaks the chain,
For this sense of present sweetness,
And this yearning to completeness!"




IF old Bacchus were the speaker

He would tell you with a sigh,

Of the Cyprus in this beaker
I am sipping like a fly,—

Like a fly or gnat on Ida

At the hour of goblet-pledge,

By Queen Juno brushed aside, a

Full white arm-sweep, from the edge.

Sooth, the drinking should be ampler
When the drink is so divine,

And some deep-mouthed Greek exemplar
Would become your Cyprus wine :
Cyclops' mouth might plunge aright in,
While his one eye over leered,
Nor too large were mouth of Titan
Drinking rivers down his beard.

Pan might dip his head so deep in,
That his ears alone pricked out,
Fauns around him pressing, leaping,
Each one pointing to his throat :
While the Naiads, like Bacchantes,
Wild, with urns thrown out to waste,
Cry, "O earth, that thou wouldst grant us
Springs to keep, of such a taste!"

But for me, I am not worthy

After gods and Greeks to drink, And my lips are pale and earthy

To go bathing from this brink: Since you heard them speak the last time, They have faded from their blooms,

And the laughter of my pastime

Has learnt silence at the tombs.

Ah, my friend! the antique drinkers

Crowned the cup and crowned the brow.

Can I answer the old thinkers

In the forms they thought of, now? Who will fetch from garden-closes Some new garlands while I speak, That the forehead, crowned with roses, May strike scarlet down the cheek? Do not mock me! with my mortal, Suits no wreath again, indeed;

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