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Whereat the earth did seem
Said to the Rose," Ha, snow!
"Holla, thou world-wide snow!
With a little bough to catch thee,
-Poor Rose, to be misknown!
Some word she tried to say,
-Dropped from her, fair and mute,
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,
"What bell will yield a tone,
If no brazen clapper bringing,
"What angel but would seem
"And thus, what can we do,
Who both antedate our mission
In an unpreparëd 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,
Blessed 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!
"Shame, shame to poet's soul
When Heaven-chosen to inherit
"Sit still upon your thrones,
And if, sooth, the world decry you
"Ye to yourselves suffice,
"In prayers, that upward mount
Which, in gushing back upon you,.
"In faith, that still perceives
No rose can shed her leaves,
"In hope, that apprehends
An end beyond these ends,
"In thanks, for all the good
For the sound of seraphs moving
Down the hidden depths of loving,→→
"For sights of things away
"For life, so lovely vain,
For death, which breaks the chain,
WINE OF CYPRUS.
GIVEN TO ME BY H. S. BOYD, AUTHOR OF "SELECT PASSAGES FROM THE GREEK FATHERS," ETC.,
TO WHOM THESE STANZAS ARE ADDRESSED.
IF old Bacchus were the speaker
He would tell you with a sigh,
Of the Cyprus in this beaker
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
And some deep-mouthed Greek exemplar
Pan might dip his head so deep in,
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?
Do not mock me! with my mortal,