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To the River

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow
    Of crystal, wandering water,
  Thou art an emblem of the glow
        Of beauty–the unhidden heart–
        The playful maziness of art
    In old Alberto’s daughter;

  But when within thy wave she looks–
    Which glistens then, and trembles–
  Why, then, the prettiest of brooks
    Her worshipper resembles;
  For in his heart, as in thy stream,
    Her image deeply lies–
  His heart which trembles at the beam
    Of her soul-searching eyes.

Picasso

The Waste Land

by T. S. Eliot

I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,        
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,              
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.        
     Frisch weht der Wind
     Der Heimat zu
     Mein Irisch Kind,
     Wo weilest du?
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
- Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,        
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.      
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,                                  
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!
“You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!       
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?

Line 42 Od’] Oed’ – Editor.

“Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
“Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
“You! hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frere!”

II. A GAME OF CHESS

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out            
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid – troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended        
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale  
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
“Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.      

“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
“Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
“I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

“What is that noise?”
                             The wind under the door.
“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”
                             Nothing again nothing.     
                                                                 
“Do
“You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
“Nothing?”

   I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”
                                                                   
But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag -
It’s so elegant
So intelligent                                     
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
“With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
“What shall we ever do?”
                                     The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said -
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.      
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.) 
The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
What you get married for if you don’t want children?
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot -
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.  
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

III. THE FIRE SERMON

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;  
Departed, have left no addresses.

Line 161 ALRIGHT. This spelling occurs also in
the Hogarth Press edition – Editor.

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.
A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse     
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
And on the king my father’s death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
And on her daughter                  
They wash their feet in soda water
Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.
Tereu

Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives  
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest -
I too awaited the expected guest.     
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;     
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;              
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

“This music crept by me upon the waters”
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
The pleasant whining of a mandoline
And a clatter and a chatter from within
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

     The river sweats
     Oil and tar
     The barges drift
     With the turning tide
     Red sails                      
     Wide
     To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
     The barges wash
     Drifting logs
     Down Greenwich reach
     Past the Isle of Dogs.
          Weialala leia
          Wallala leialala

     Elizabeth and Leicester
     Beating oars                  
     The stern was formed
     A gilded shell
     Red and gold
     The brisk swell
     Rippled both shores
     Southwest wind
     Carried down stream
     The peal of bells
     White towers
          Weialala leia               
          Wallala leialala

“Trams and dusty trees.
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.”

“My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
Under my feet. After the event
He wept. He promised ‘a new start’.
I made no comment. What should I resent?”
“On Margate Sands.                        
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
My people humble people who expect
Nothing.”
     la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest      

burning

IV. DEATH BY WATER

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                         A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                                       Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,          
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

V. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience              

Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit 
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses
                                                        
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water  
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water

Who is the third who walks always beside you? 
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
- But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth 
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light      
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,                            
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder                                            
DA
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms                                              
DA
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
DA
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar                        
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

                                     I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam ceu chelidon – O swallow swallow
Le Prince d’Aquitaine a la tour abolie                     
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
                           Shantih    shantih    shantih

MY CASTLE

I have a beautiful castle,
  With towers and battlements fair;
And many a banner, with gay device,
  Floats in the outer air.

The walls are of solid silver;
  The towers are of massive gold;
And the lights that stream from the windows
  A royal scene unfold.

Ah! could you but enter my castle
  With its pomp of regal sheen,
You would say that it far surpasses
  The palace of Aladeen.

Could you but enter as I do,
  And pace through the vaulted hall,
And mark the stately columns,
  And the pictures on the wall;

With the costly gems about them,
  That send their light afar,
With a chaste and softened splendor
  Like the light of a distant star!

And where is this wonderful castle,
  With its rich emblazonings,
Whose pomp so far surpasses
  The homes of the greatest kings?

Come out with me at morning
  And lie in the meadow-grass,
And lift your eyes to the ether blue,
  And you will see it pass.

There! can you not see the battlements;
  And the turrets stately and high,
Whose lofty summits are tipped with clouds,
  And lost in the arching sky?

Dear friend, you are only dreaming,
  Your castle so stately and fair
Is only a fanciful structure,–
  A castle in the air.

Perchance you are right. I know not
  If a phantom it may be;
But yet, in my inmost heart, I feel
  That it lives, and lives for me.

For when clouds and darkness are round me,
  And my heart is heavy with care,
I steal me away from the noisy crowd,
  To dwell in my castle fair.

There are servants to do my bidding;
  There are servants to heed my call;
And I, with a master’s air of pride,
  May pace through the vaulted hall.

And I envy not the monarchs
  With cities under their sway;
For am I not, in my own right,
  A monarch as proud as they?

What matter, then, if to others
  My castle a phantom may be,
Since I feel, in the depths of my own heart,
  That it is not so to me?

Poppies near Vétheuil

by Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Good-bye

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home:
Thou art not my friend, and I’m not thine.
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I’ve been tossed like the driven foam:
But now, proud world! I’m going home.

Good-bye to Flattery’s fawning face;
To Grandeur with his wise grimace;
To upstart Wealth’s averted eye;
To supple Office, low and high;
To crowded halls, to court and street;
To frozen hearts and hasting feet;
To those who go, and those who come;
Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home.

I am going to my own hearth-stone,
Bosomed in yon green hills alone,–
secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green, the livelong day,
Echo the blackbird’s roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

O, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines,
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools and the learned clan;
For what are they all, in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet?

Carving a Name

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

I wrote my name upon the sand,
  And trusted it would stand for aye;
But, soon, alas! the refluent sea
  Had washed my feeble lines away.

I carved my name upon the wood,
  And, after years, returned again;
I missed the shadow of the tree
  That stretched of old upon the plain.

To solid marble next, my name
  I gave as a perpetual trust;
An earthquake rent it to its base,
  And now it lies, o’erlaid with dust.

All these have failed. In wiser mood
  I turn and ask myself, “What then?”
If I would have my name endure,
  I’ll write it on the hearts of men,

In characters of living light,
  Of kindly deeds and actions wrought.
And these, beyond the touch of time,
  Shall live immortal as my thought.

Proof

by Emily Dickinson

That I did always love,
I bring thee proof:
That till I loved
I did not love enough.

That I shall love alway,
I offer thee
That love is life,
And life hath immortality.

This, dost thou doubt, sweet?
Then have I
Nothing to show
But Calvary.

Tamerlane

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Kind solace in a dying hour!
  Such, father, is not (now) my theme–
  I will not madly deem that power
  Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
  Unearthly pride hath revelled in–
  I have no time to dote or dream:
  You call it hope–that fire of fire!
  It is but agony of desire:
  If I _can_ hope–O God! I can–
  Its fount is holier–more divine–
  I would not call thee fool, old man,
  But such is not a gift of thine.

  Know thou the secret of a spirit
  Bowed from its wild pride into shame
  O yearning heart! I did inherit
  Thy withering portion with the fame,
  The searing glory which hath shone
  Amid the Jewels of my throne,
  Halo of Hell! and with a pain
  Not Hell shall make me fear again–
  O craving heart, for the lost flowers
  And sunshine of my summer hours!
  The undying voice of that dead time,
  With its interminable chime,
  Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
  Upon thy emptiness–a knell.

  I have not always been as now:
  The fevered diadem on my brow
  I claimed and won usurpingly–
  Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
  Rome to the Cæsar–this to me?
  The heritage of a kingly mind,
  And a proud spirit which hath striven
  Triumphantly with human kind.
  On mountain soil I first drew life:
  The mists of the Taglay have shed
  Nightly their dews upon my head,
  And, I believe, the winged strife
  And tumult of the headlong air
  Have nestled in my very hair.

  So late from Heaven–that dew–it fell
  (‘Mid dreams of an unholy night)
  Upon me with the touch of Hell,
  While the red flashing of the light
  From clouds that hung, like banners, o’er,
  Appeared to my half-closing eye
  The pageantry of monarchy;
  And the deep trumpet-thunder’s roar
  Came hurriedly upon me, telling
  Of human battle, where my voice,
  My own voice, silly child!–was swelling
  (O! how my spirit would rejoice,
  And leap within me at the cry)
  The battle-cry of Victory!

  The rain came down upon my head
  Unsheltered–and the heavy wind
  Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.
  It was but man, I thought, who shed
  Laurels upon me: and the rush–
  The torrent of the chilly air
  Gurgled within my ear the crush
  Of empires–with the captive’s prayer–
  The hum of suitors–and the tone
  Of flattery ’round a sovereign’s throne.

  My passions, from that hapless hour,
  Usurped a tyranny which men
  Have deemed since I have reached to power,
  My innate nature–be it so:
  But, father, there lived one who, then,
  Then–in my boyhood–when their fire
  Burned with a still intenser glow
  (For passion must, with youth, expire)
  E’en _then_ who knew this iron heart
  In woman’s weakness had a part.

  I have no words–alas!–to tell
  The loveliness of loving well!
  Nor would I now attempt to trace
  The more than beauty of a face
  Whose lineaments, upon my mind,
  Are–shadows on th’ unstable wind:
  Thus I remember having dwelt
  Some page of early lore upon,
  With loitering eye, till I have felt
  The letters–with their meaning–melt
  To fantasies–with none.

  O, she was worthy of all love!
  Love as in infancy was mine–
  ‘Twas such as angel minds above
  Might envy; her young heart the shrine
  On which my every hope and thought
  Were incense–then a goodly gift,
  For they were childish and upright–
  Pure–as her young example taught:
  Why did I leave it, and, adrift,
  Trust to the fire within, for light?

  We grew in age–and love–together–
  Roaming the forest, and the wild;
  My breast her shield in wintry weather–
  And, when the friendly sunshine smiled.
  And she would mark the opening skies,
  _I_ saw no Heaven–but in her eyes.
  Young Love’s first lesson is—-the heart:
  For ‘mid that sunshine, and those smiles,
  When, from our little cares apart,
  And laughing at her girlish wiles,
  I’d throw me on her throbbing breast,
  And pour my spirit out in tears–
  There was no need to speak the rest–
  No need to quiet any fears
  Of her–who asked no reason why,
  But turned on me her quiet eye!

  Yet _more_ than worthy of the love
  My spirit struggled with, and strove
  When, on the mountain peak, alone,
  Ambition lent it a new tone–
  I had no being–but in thee:
  The world, and all it did contain
  In the earth–the air–the sea–
  Its joy–its little lot of pain
  That was new pleasure–the ideal,
  Dim, vanities of dreams by night–
  And dimmer nothings which were real–
  (Shadows–and a more shadowy light!)
  Parted upon their misty wings,
  And, so, confusedly, became
  Thine image and–a name–a name!
  Two separate–yet most intimate things.

  I was ambitious–have you known
  The passion, father? You have not:
  A cottager, I marked a throne
  Of half the world as all my own,
  And murmured at such lowly lot–
  But, just like any other dream,
  Upon the vapor of the dew
  My own had past, did not the beam
  Of beauty which did while it thro’
  The minute–the hour–the day–oppress
  My mind with double loveliness.

  We walked together on the crown
  Of a high mountain which looked down
  Afar from its proud natural towers
  Of rock and forest, on the hills–
  The dwindled hills! begirt with bowers
  And shouting with a thousand rills.

  I spoke to her of power and pride,
  But mystically–in such guise
  That she might deem it nought beside
  The moment’s converse; in her eyes
  I read, perhaps too carelessly–
  A mingled feeling with my own–
  The flush on her bright cheek, to me
  Seemed to become a queenly throne
  Too well that I should let it be
  Light in the wilderness alone.

  I wrapped myself in grandeur then,
  And donned a visionary crown–
  Yet it was not that Fantasy
  Had thrown her mantle over me–
  But that, among the rabble–men,
  Lion ambition is chained down–
  And crouches to a keeper’s hand–
  Not so in deserts where the grand–
  The wild–the terrible conspire
  With their own breath to fan his fire.

  Look ’round thee now on Samarcand!–
  Is she not queen of Earth? her pride
  Above all cities? in her hand
  Their destinies? in all beside
  Of glory which the world hath known
  Stands she not nobly and alone?
  Falling–her veriest stepping-stone
  Shall form the pedestal of a throne–
  And who her sovereign? Timour–he
  Whom the astonished people saw
  Striding o’er empires haughtily
  A diademed outlaw!

  O, human love! thou spirit given,
  On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!
  Which fall’st into the soul like rain
  Upon the Siroc-withered plain,
  And, failing in thy power to bless,
  But leav’st the heart a wilderness!
  Idea! which bindest life around
  With music of so strange a sound
  And beauty of so wild a birth–
  Farewell! for I have won the Earth.

  When Hope, the eagle that towered, could see
  No cliff beyond him in the sky,
  His pinions were bent droopingly–
  And homeward turned his softened eye.
  ‘Twas sunset: When the sun will part
  There comes a sullenness of heart
  To him who still would look upon
  The glory of the summer sun.
  That soul will hate the ev’ning mist
  So often lovely, and will list
  To the sound of the coming darkness (known
  To those whose spirits hearken) as one
  Who, in a dream of night, _would_ fly,
  But _cannot_, from a danger nigh.

  What tho’ the moon–tho’ the white moon
  Shed all the splendor of her noon,
  _Her_ smile is chilly–and _her_ beam,
  In that time of dreariness, will seem
  (So like you gather in your breath)
  A portrait taken after death.
  And boyhood is a summer sun
  Whose waning is the dreariest one–
  For all we live to know is known,
  And all we seek to keep hath flown–
  Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall
  With the noon-day beauty–which is all.
  I reached my home–my home no more–
  For all had flown who made it so.
  I passed from out its mossy door,
  And, tho’ my tread was soft and low,
  A voice came from the threshold stone
  Of one whom I had earlier known–
  O, I defy thee, Hell, to show
  On beds of fire that burn below,
  An humbler heart–a deeper woe.

  Father, I firmly do believe–
  I _know_–for Death who comes for me
  From regions of the blest afar,
  Where there is nothing to deceive,
  Hath left his iron gate ajar.
  And rays of truth you cannot see
  Are flashing thro’ Eternity—-
  I do believe that Eblis hath
  A snare in every human path–
  Else how, when in the holy grove
  I wandered of the idol, Love,–
  Who daily scents his snowy wings
  With incense of burnt-offerings
  From the most unpolluted things,
  Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven
  Above with trellised rays from Heaven
  No mote may shun–no tiniest fly–
  The light’ning of his eagle eye–
  How was it that Ambition crept,
  Unseen, amid the revels there,
  Till growing bold, he laughed and leapt
  In the tangles of Love’s very hair!

Renunciation

by Emily Dickinson
There came a day at summer’s full
Entirely for me;
I thought that such were for the saints,
Where revelations be.

The sun, as common, went abroad,
The flowers, accustomed, blew,
As if no soul the solstice passed
That maketh all things new.

The time was scarce profaned by speech;
The symbol of a word
Was needless, as at sacrament
The wardrobe of our Lord.

Each was to each the sealed church,
Permitted to commune this time,
Lest we too awkward show
At supper of the Lamb.

The hours slid fast, as hours will,
Clutched tight by greedy hands;
So faces on two decks look back,
Bound to opposing lands.

And so, when all the time had failed,
Without external sound,
Each bound the other’s crucifix,
We gave no other bond.

Sufficient troth that we shall rise –
Deposed, at length, the grave –
To that new marriage, justified
Through Calvaries of Love!

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