•

ROSA COELI

A POEM

BY

H.D.CARR

WITH AN ORIGINAL COMPOSITION BY

AUGUSTE RODIN

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ROSA COELI

R- OSE of the\V orld!

Ruby with blood from the bright veins of God Caught in the chalice of your heart, and pearled With dew at many a melting period

'Vhen the amethyst lustre of your eyes dissolves The veil that hides your naked splendour

From these infirm resol ves

And halting loves of your poor poet's soul With radiance mild and tender;

So that I see awhile the golden goal! Yea! all your light involves

Me, me tenebrous, me too cold and base Ever to kindle to the maiden face

(Three years my wife, three years of me unwon l) That would be mine, be mine,

Were I but man enough

To endure the rapture of that sudden sun The knowledge of your love,

The assumption of me into that sweet shrine 3

Whose godhead duly knows

Only the one wind of the utmost heaven Through hyacinthine deeps

Down from the sapphirine steeps

And azure abyss that blows;

Only the one sun on the stepped snows; Only the one star of the sister seven; Only the one moon in the orchard close In the one hour that unto love is given Of all the hours of bliss;

Only the one joy in a world of woes;

Only the one spark in the storm-cloud riven; Only the one shaft through the rose-dawn driven, Thy shaft, Eros!

Not as Apollo or as Artemis

Loosing gray death from golden thong To slay the poet in a song,

The lover in a kiss;

But to divide the inmost marrow With that ensanguine arrow; But to unite each bleeding part Of that most universal heart; Leaving us slaves, and kings; Bound, and with eagle's wings;

One soul, comprising all that may be thought, One soul, conscious of nought.

4

I

~

II

ROS.E of ~he 'Vorld! Your mystic petals spread Like wings over Illy head.

The tide of burning blood upon my face Drowns all the floating images

That danced their spectre saraband

In Baechie race, phantastical embrace, U pOll the sepulchres, the dizzy seas

Of this Illy mind, Sabbatic rout that spanned

These straits Illy soul! Ay, they are dead and drowned (And damned, I doubt!) Ah God! I am exhaust

In the red moon's holocaust!

God! God! The chasms secret and profound Suck down the porphyry flood

Of your maniacal, ensorcelled blood That maddens and bewitches.

My life is suffocated-· now I SWOOllI die! I am in hell, red hell, red hell, And all the immortal in Inc itches

To grip the immortal: now the spell Circles me closer; all the soul's afire As if the Boreal moon

With all the icy Lapland bags That shiver on's hibernal crags Were but a thin white shell

Hoarding the seed of many a million suns, Giving its life up unto its desire-

Out bursts the womb of my unguessed-at godhead; 5

The rose flames out in the flood; and all at once, A brilliance disembodied,

I am shattered like the dew upon your leaves; So that the Iarnplcss hour

Strikes, and an unborn universe perceives Its lonely mother-flower,

Us, in our love's arcane Briatie bower.

We scatter light, a music-tingling shower; We breathe out life, a crimson whispor ; We radiate love, a velvet-soft COIn plaint, Most like the echo of a chime at vesper Rung far across narcissus-haunted leas, Lilied lagoons, and moon-enchaunted seas,

By the high-bosomed boy, large-eyed, with fasting faint, That shares an hermitage with some devoutest saint.

III

As; in our !ifc, I passed the awful gate "Vhere Iike a Cerberus sate

The triform silence, Fate,

And bade the red blood bloom

Within that Palace of untasted gloom;

As, in our life, confronting the black forms-c. Colossal ghosts, like storms!~

I did abide in the most holy hall And let the dread word fall,

Nor bade the red axe falter

6

There as I bowed mine head Upon the amber altar,

And shed IUY life out there before ye all, Careless if I had summoned from the skies Some young' true God, or spoiled the sacrifice, And were hut dead as any man is dead!

So I have given up my inmost life

Even unto you, sweet wife,

Careless-yet conscious of the babe-stirred womb Of some dread Mother older than the 'I'ornb, Wiser than Life, more pitiful than Death.

IV

YO~~TR wine .. stai~led al.HI wine-coloured hair unloosing, -_ MIngle your Wille-WIse breath,

Spiritual siren! with the scent seducing

Your body sheds, scarred with the bleeding kisses My tenderness bit in,

Like to a lion feeding in wild white wildernesses, My spirit sensible to your skin:

Mingle them to a crescent churactor

That shall set shimmering all the parchment fine And send a steam like wine

Laden with ecstasy and pain

Choral through all tho passion-stained and passiontrembling air.

Inspire a closer strain

7

Such as strange orchids give and hyacinths Among the broken pedestals and plinths

Where the gray Lords of Time, of Time forgotten, Lie in the herbage rotten

Of the unpeopled forest.

v

O ~ONG! ? a~norous,au~~edueiIlg, I see thee as thou soar est,

So that, the girders of the soul unloosing, That Child of you and mo, O rose of roses, That Child whose life euoloses

Our lives, is therefore I, rnay wander ever By the fritillary-fringed river,

Through lotus gardens of the sleepy gods, On hills where every tiInid ore ad tries Blue gentian as disguise

From holier (though she think profaner) eyes,

On seas where, it may he, (to even t.he odds!) Each nymph and undine issues from the foam Armed with a pearly mirror and with a coral com b To tire her beauty, lure me to the Jakes

Of light where strikes the day to hyaline floors Whereon blithe fish and emerald water snakes Play all the day, and all their innocence adores Is some old anchor with its rusty flakes

Fallen from God knows what forgotten ship.

S

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• No! not in Fancy's palace will I play, Nor in imagination's deep will dip The timid foot; but rather will I strip Each rag of thought, and leap

Into the sunset deep

Still glowing with the glamour

Of your life's blood, and ashen gold

With floating gossamer your hair, that might enfold A giant god, and strangle him anon

With starry serpents like Laocoon,

A stoic god that might enarnour

And draw him with its tendrils into time.

• VII

My mouth was wet with the delicious crime Of kissing you, one night, when in a vision Your hair was liko a forest of tall pines

In winter; black strange dwarfs with crooked spines And elfin eyes, and bleating mouths that worked

All manner of grimace and bleak derision

Bore them away; hollow-eyed ghosts that lurked About the sea made thereof IlH1StS; they fitted Tall ships and goodly, furrowing the deep

To harvest merchandise ; strong and keen-witted The mariners; oho l the breezes leap

Like lovers on them; 10! they fared forth

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To South, East, 'Vest and North,

Iceland, the Indies, Sicily, and Spain .....

Lo! men have heard of all these ships not one, not one for ever more again,

VIII

SEEING your naked body in the bed Against the jetty silk, I thought you lay Just as the Milky 'Yay

Lies in the unkenned hollows of the sky. One swarthy ray of red

Leapt from your hither eye,

And straight Illy dream hegan

To map that hcavcn~youI' eye, Aldohomn !

I launched the tnagic boat, and early found The Pirate's cave and the J~nchaunted Ground; The cedared Le ban on,

The Wizard's Grot, the well of spice,

The Hanging Gardens of great Babylon :--. All these then did T visif in a 'trico,

And oven did confirm the Bible tale

By playing J onah to your Jonah's whale. So, to the stars!

I()

IX

A POET is at ease

In all such voyages:

Why, as a boy, I steered

Up to the Scorpion and tweaked his tail, Plucked foolish Capricornus by the beard

And kissed the Blessed Damozel that leaned upon the

golden rail,

Drank from the glad rim of the grail

Or soothed the squally Twins (for they would weep!) And while I smiled" In Heaven how safe I am!" Found myself ill my little bed asleep,

Having- been butted thither by the Iiam .

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BUT .in the dream of Y01~, m_y Ata~'ry sweet, --- It IS my earth I lose SIX times In seven. I have the Freedom of the City of Heaven;

But strange (though fair) are all the stars I meet. The dull familiar and the homely drear

Are lost for ever. Being asleep, I fear.

Wake! Let Inc cut the cable of Illy mind!

My harbour lies before, and not behind.

Dreams are all lies; those jetty shadows lie

When the full moon doth crown the midnight sky. But shadows image truth, and dreams como true, For when I wake nly arms are full of you.

11

XI

A· NOTHER time, through tides from chaos rolled I was upborne by this my scarabee

With scales like plates of porphyry and gold

And wings like flakes of the green light that pours Through the blue heart of the Hawaian sea.

So to the hollow shores

We came, and did behold a silver avenue

That wound through cypress groves and woods of yew Unto the hills; hideous hyaenas laughed,

Mean jackals snarled and screamed, and wild dogs bayed:

Bayed at the waning moon that lapsed above Out of all light (had I not been in love

And drunken on the quintessential draught) So that the forest folk were sore afraid.

But when I carne upon the open space

I might perceive rny lady's face

And knew she waned because that I was late. Twin hills like ivory glinted; on their slopes Blue rivers coursed, and many a nightingale Told all its tremulous tale

To viewless dryads, or elate

Trilled out its bleeding hopes

Into the mist of light that hid (I know) Bassarids, Bassurids Dionysus-mad. Then, in that vision glad,

I saw twin towers of crimson ruby rise Into the scented snow

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That fell like dew from the hoart-h ungry skies. But when I carne between the hills, behold The moon's silver and gold

Stood in the zenith, that I lost Illy guide. There stood I passion-pale

Like a lost lamb that seeks the starry fold Within that warm and soented vale

Clothed with narcissus, hyacinth, tuberose, Snowdrop and lily, all white, all cream, all gold, With never a blush like dawn's to flush or fail Upon their garden -close.

o wide is the world, wide, wide! Be sure that I was lost,

Lost, lost for ever; are there palimpsests Wherein a man might study at great cost His journey thence? 0 Rose of gramarye, My riddle you shall ree.

My head was happy, laid betwixt your breasts.

XII

AN()THER Lime I passed the holy well

And plunged (as Phoebus in the western ocean) Into a. forest of fine flame that crowned

The holy hill; all was enchauuted ground,

The flames like scented tendril s of a vine

Or sensitive rays that spell

Strange curves to match their master-god's emotion.

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And ever nearer to the scarl et slash

I clomb, where the strange perfumes struck me like

a lush,

And the dread fires scorched up my life. There, 0 insufferable delight

I mock with the weak word of wife,

I was sucked down into the crater rim, Into the crimson damask dirn Candescent cave of night-

o then I mock myself with words! They are like cardinal-coloured birds And honey-coloured doves;

Yet one thing mortal serves to name another As mortal as itself .

Why must our deathless loves

Be stained by the black-hearted mother That called things by dead lUl111GS?

The sunny elf

Language shall play with the ethereal flames But never dare approach

The central and volcanic fire,

'I'he inmost Force, nor, like a glittering army Send forth its scouts to encroach

Upon our citadel desire.

Ay! though those Ilaming sentences

Eat like strong acid in my vitals, char Inc,

Blast me like lightning', smash me like black seas Towering above the lofty ship

Whose masts did menace to the skies, 14

• They are but pluisters of cool leaves that dip In pleasant water to the white-hot wise Terrible flames of hell that "would devour me, Did not the raptures of' thy love embower me In meads Elysian, fields of foamless fire, Nights of invincible desire,

Things beyond words, beyond the want of them, Beyond tho puuses and tho ecstasies . . . . Where should Illy dream get such a diadem

Of voiceless thoughts us these?

XIII

...

Were you, 0 l~ose, whose root remotest hell

Nourishes, and whose top flowers higher than the Throne Of the Eternal one.

'I'hou shouldst not leave me alone To gaze upon the sun

And take the glory of his excellenceNot unto mo close curled

And on Illy body's beauty crucified

In silver spirit clad with gold of sense, But sending forth thy rays Iife-pearled

As a bridegroom squandering his strength upon the bride -. - .. Thou art sufficient to redeem the world.

XIV

O! IS the secret of the starry deep

Nothing but pain and pleasure, grief and joy? Is God a wanton boy

To play with us so bitter cheap

By such a Jewelled Iight? Be thine the power, Rose of the Stars, in this thy tortured hour When the wee lips that clung to thee are cold, To give the world a light of other gold

From that IllCU hoard, from that the SUllS afford In their implacable cars

As they roll on irnpassi ve ; bid thy Lord (0 Rose, Rose of the Stars I)

And slave make known thy beauty and thy passion 16

e In his imperfect fashion,

So that thy, wisdom and thy strength are sold In every mart of earth;

So that thine eyes enfold

The universe in one great look of love. Bring this, bring this to birth!

And neither hate below, nor hate above,

Nor chance, nor force, nor cunning shall deprive Man of thy gift, a love alive

With more than 111en to-day can understand.

xv

G- IVE me thine hand,

Rose of the Stars, and we will SOH,1' above Wiedom and Strength and Love,

Into the sphere whore all delight retires In azure flames and silver-edged fires. Now through the veil we shoot

Like snaky lightning through a thundercloud Up to the awful precipice-skirted place Where deaf, blind, palsied, mute

There sits the leprous God; we laugh aloud Seeing him face to face,

Blowing him like a shaken sheaf of snow With a brief gust of wind

Over the cliffs of his ensanguine throne; Seating ourselves thereon, as men shall know,

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Above soul, spirit, heart, thought, being, mind, All-·· but most irrevocably entwined

And irrevocably alone.

XVI

TIIERE was a boy with O! the face of dawn,

The mother-of-pearl that shimmrn-ed on lli~ sk in.

Or with a grace like (;0<1, a stealth like love, Pour on him from above

Wine from the purple vats of death?

Nay! 'tis no wonder-shall they wonder then, These bat-eyed newspaper-besotted rnen,

If thou and I have found the ]1jlixir rare

That giveth Life to whoso drinkcth it,

The Stone beyond compare,

The harmony of the Circle and the Square,

All that surpasseth mortal wit

Even to inlagine? we have found it, Rose, Rose of the Stars, Rose of the utmost snows!

Where? Where Love knows .

19

\,

• ROSA INFERNI

A POEM

BY

H. D. CARR

WITH AN ORIGINAL COMPOSITION BY

AUGUSTE RODIN

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Ha ha! John pluckcth now at his rose To rid himself of a sorrow at heart.

Lo,~pctI11 on petal, fierce rays unclose ; Anther 011 anther, sharp spikes outs tart ; And with blood for dew, the bosom boils; And a gust of sulphur is all its smell.

A nd 10, he is hor-riblv in the toi ls

Of no coal-black giant flower of hell!

BnOWNING, Hor-etic's Tragedy, ix.

I

ROS}J. Of.·· ~,he wOrld!. Ay, love, in .th.a~ warm hour 'Vet with your kisses, thc bewitching bud Flamed in the starlight; then our bed your bower Heaved like the breast of somo alluring flood Whereon a man might sleep for over, until

Death should surprise him, kiss his weary will

Into the last repose, profounder power

r_rhan life could compass. Now I tax Iny skill To find another holier name, 801110 flower

Still red, but red with the ecstasy of blood. Dear love, dear wife, dear mother of the child .Whose fair faint features arc a match for mine,

Lurks there no secret where your body smiled,

23

No serpent in the generous draught of wine?

Did I guess-all, who guessed your life well given Up to my kiss? Aha! the veil is riven!

Beneath the smiling mask of a young bride Languorous, luscious, melancholy-eyed ;

Beneath the gentle raptures, hints celestial

Of holy secrets, kisses like soft dew,

Beneath the umorous mystery, I view

'I'he aurer shape, a visage grinl and bestial, A purpose sly and deadly, a black shape, A tiger snarling', or a gTinning' ape Resolved by every devilish device

Upon Iny murder, This I clourly see

Now you are-for an hourLawuy from me. I see it once; no Heed to tell 1118 twice!

II

SOME Yankee yclled->- I tag it to a riIne--

" You can't fool all the people all the time." So he of politics; so I of love.

I am a-many folk (let Buddha prove!)

And nH1UY a month you fooled the lot of usYour spell is cracked within the riug! Behold How Christ with clay worth In ore than any gold Cleared the man's eyes! So the blind amorous Is blinded with the horror of the truth

He sees this Inolnent.Foolish prostitute!

24·

Yon slacked your k i~s 11 pOll the soddeu youth In some excess of confidonce, decay

Of care to hold him-c-can I tell you which?

Down goes the 11100n-one sees the howling bitch! The salmon you had hooked in fill and gill

You reel uuskilfu lly-c-Iie darts tnvay.

Alas! you devil, but you hold me still!

III

O FII{ST and fairest of Earth '8 darling daughters! How could I sing you ?~you have always seemed Unto the saucy driveller as he dreamed

Like a rich sunset seen 011 tropic watcrs=-

• (Your eyes effulgent from a thousand slaughters Looked teudel'ly upon mo l) all the rod

Raving' round you like a glory shed

Upon the excellent wonder of your head;

The blue all massed within your marvellous eyes; The gold a curtain of their harmonies

As in a master canvas of de Ryn ;

But ever central glowed the royal sun, A miracle cartoucho npon the edge

Of the opalescent waters slantwise seen. This oval sealed with grave nHtgnifieenec

Stamped yon lily queen. Thus looked your lips to one Who stood a casual OIl life's slippery ledge,

A blind bat hallg'ing' from the treo of HCHSO

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Head downward, gorged with sweet banana juice, Indifferent to-incapable of-fLught

Beyond these simple reflexes. Is thought,

Even the highest thought, of any usc?

IV

WE are not discussing 1.1:C~a,physics now,

I see below the beautiful 10\" brow

(Low too for cunning, like enough!) your lips,

A scarlet splash of murder. From them drips This heart's blood; you have fed y011l' fill on Inc. I am exhaust, it pale, wan phautom floating Aimless in air, than which I am thinner. Yon

I see, more brilliant, of that sanguine hue

(If anything be true that I can Hoe)

Full fed; you smile, a surile uhscenely gloH,ting On the voluptuous wreck your lust hath wrought, See the loose languor of precipitate thought 'I'hese versicles exhale! How rude the rime! There is no melody; the tune and tiU10

Are broken. Thirteen centuries ago

'I'hey would have said, "Alas! the youth! W« know 'I'his devil hath from him plucked the iuunortal soul." I say: you have dulled ]llY centres of control!

26

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....

v

IF yon were with TIle, I were blind to this:

Ready to drain Illy arteries for your kiss, Feel your grasp tighten round Tny ribs until You crush me in the ecstasies that kill. Being away and breathing icy air

I am half-lover, caring not to care; Half-man agnin-· .-<1 more terrestrial boll Thus breaking up a spiritual thrall-

Eh, Iny philosophers ?-. +half-man may yet determine To get back manhood, shake the tree from bats:

To change the trope a sh:ul(~-g'ot rid of vermin By using William Shakespeare's "T~ongh on Rats."

AH, love, dear love, sole queen of Iny affection, Guess you not yet what wheel of thought is spun '? How out of dawn's tumultuous dejection

And not from noon spring's up the splendid sun ? Not till the house is swept and garnished well Rise seven other devils out of hell.

27

VII

THIS is the circle ~ as the manhood rises

And laughter and rude rime engage Illy pen; As I stalk forth, a Man anlong lucre men,

The balance chaJlges; all IHy wit surprises

'I'hat I who saw the g'oblins in your face,

That I who cursed you for the rnurderous whore Licking IIp life as a cat laps its milk,

Now see you for a dream of youth and grace, Relumo the Inagie aura that begirt you, Bless you for purity and life-a store!

An ever-running fountain-head of virtue

To heal Illy soul and buckler it and harden! Your body is Iike ivory and silk!

Your lips are like the poppies in the garden!

Your face is like a wreath of flowers to crown 111e! Your eyes art) wells wherein I long to drown rne! Your hair is Iiko H. waterfall above me,

A waterfall of sunset! In your bosom

I hear tho raeing of a heart to love me.

Your blood is heating' like a wind-blown hloSS0l11 With rapture that you mingle it in mine l

Your breath is fresh as foam and keen as wine ! Iritoxicating glories arc your glallces!

Your bodily beauty gTips Illy soul and dances 28

• Its maddening measures in my heart and brain!

Is it that so the wheel ruuy whirl agaiu,

'I'hat some dull devil in Illy ear may show rne:

"For John the Baptist's head-so danced Salome!"?

VIII

TIIEN, in God's name forbear! It does not matter. Life, (leath, strength, weakness, are but idle chatter. Nothing is lost 01' gained, we know too well.

For heaven they balance us an equal hell.

We discard both; an infinite Universe

Remains ; we sum it IIp--an infinite curse.

SO-UIll I a man? I lack my wife's embrace.

Am I outworn? I see tho harlot's face .

Is the lovo better and the knowledge worse? Shall I seek knowledge and count love disgrace? Where is the profit in so idle it strife t

The love of knowledge is the hate of life.

29

R()SA

MIJNDT

A POEM

I I 1_--) (,--. 1\-1) 1)

-_. '_ • .,4/~_\-\

WITH AN OHIGli'iAL COVIPOSITION B)

ALJ cr S 'r l~ u o 1) 1 N

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-------------- ---- ... ---_.-.~ .

Hose of the \Vorld!

Bed g'lnry of t1H~ secret heart of' I .o vo ! Bcd [lame, rose-red , moxl subtly cur-led

Into its own infinite [lo wcr , all f1oW(',I'S above! Its flower in its 0\\,11 perfil rned passion ,

Its faint sweet passion, folded and fllr'led

In Ilower fashion;

And Illy deep spirit taking- its pure part

• I n that voluptuous heart Of hidden happiness!

;1 Arise, strong' how of the ,Yollng- child Eros!

('Vhile the rlladdenin{~ II H)()nlif~h l., the mr-mor-ied caress Stolen of the scented rose

SLirs me and hids each racinf~ pulse acl}(~, ache l) Bend into an a{fony of art

\Vhose cry is CVCT raphu'c, and w hosc leal'S For their ovvn purity's undividr-d sal«:

33

------------~-------~ ~- ~--------~

-~--~--- ----------"----

--------- ... ~'"""",':t.\~i" ... ~?-1.l~"",ii_l't"~ .. ' ••••••••••••

Are molten dew, as, 011 the ) ol.us leaves Silver-coiled in the SUIl

Into srcen-g'irdlcd spIH"'('s

Purer than all a maid ens dream cn wea vex, Lies the unul.lcr-a h]« Beauty of

,

The water-s. Yea, arise, divinest dove Of the Idaliall, on your crilllson "rillgs

And soft gTey pluuu:s , hear me to yonder slu-iue Of that mos! sonl'y~spokell 011(',

l\line Aphrodite! TOllch til(" illlperfeet sll'in~~s, Ot. thou, inunor-tal , Un"olled .ibovc the moon ! Inspire a holy tu nc

Lit~hter and lovelier than t1o\vcrs and wurc Offered in gTacious {~;lI'denR unto Pan

By ally soul or ruau !

::I In vain the solemn stars pour th(~ir' pale de\vs U pOll Illy lrelllhlill{~ spirit; their caress

Leaves me moon-r-apt ill waves or lov('lil1os8 All thine, 0 rose, () \\TOIl{~ht of IHallY a muse In l\lusic, () thou slr'ellg-til of ecstasy

Incarnate in a woma n-Iorru , (Teate

()f her O\VIl raplllr(', infinite, ull.irualc ,

Not to he seen , nol gr~u.l)wd, Hot even ilna~~il1able, But known of one, by virtue or thal spell

Of thy sweet w il] lo\\';tl'd him : Llrou , u nk nuvvn ,

.'

Untouch.-d , gT<lVe ru isl.rcs« of llw sllllli:~hl 111I'OIl(' Of thine o wu nature; k uo vvu uo l ('\TII or flit',

:14

~ --~---------------

• But of SOllie spark or woven eternity Immor-tal ill this hosorn , Phosphor paled And in the gTCy upstarted the dread veiled

Bose lig'IlL of d:l\vn. SUIlshapcn shone thy spears or love forth darting into Illyriad spheres,

Which I Lhe poet called this lin-ilL, thai f10W(~I', This kno,vledge, that il lurni nal ion , PO'V{'I'

This and love that, in vain, ill vain, until

Thy bea1l1} dawned , aJl heauty lo distil

I nto one drop of utmost dr-w , one name

Choral as flol'al, one thin, subl l« Ilamc

Fitted to a shaft or love. () hear me far

C p and up yet if) whor-e thy sacred star

Burns in its Jwillianc('! Thel)c(' III(' xl o rtn he shed A passion of great calm ahout this Iwad,

This head no mor-e a poct's. Av ! 111(' cl re.un Of lw:tulv clustered dose into a stream

Of tirH_rliIlP' lip'ht and p"tllwrilJP' ('\'('1' 1'01'('('

(J (J (1 " '0' (J

From thillc own lovr., its uncxl cnrh-d source,

Became Ihe llJa{~ic uller~IIH'(' I hal Illakes :\1(', Dissolving self into the st;lI'I(,SH sea

That makes (1)(' lakt' of IlH,)lt:IJ joy, o nc pond Steady as Jig'ht and bard as di:1I110IHI;

One drop, one alom of consl rni n! iulr-nso , ()f f'iPIlH' Illa I I )assi()l1 s('( irn i n~~ s(,Ilse,

All Ihe couccnl rec] Illln"i(' that is I.

()! hear me not.! I die;

J am horne avva v in miser-v of dlltllh life

"

~._)~)

That would ill words flash forth the holiest heaven That Lo the immortal God of (;ods is g'ivcn,

And , tongue-tied, stammer-s forth - m V wifc !

4 I am dumb ,villt rapture of lhy loveliness.

All metres match and Iningle; all wor-ds lire;

All lif~hts, all sounds, all pcrfunros, all ,~o]d stress Of the honey-palate, all soft strokes espi,'c

In abject. a[~ony or broken sense

To hvmn the emotion tense

Of somewhat hiuher - O! how hig'hesl! - than aJl Their mystery : fall, 0 fa II,

Ye tJnavailinf~ caule-flit~hb~ of song! o wife f these do thee "Ton~~.

r. Thou knowesl how I was blind;

Ho,v for mer-e mi nul.es thy pure presence \Vas noug'ht ; was ill-deli ned;

A snllHlt~e across the miud ,

Drivelling in its brutal essence, IIo{)-'val1o,vinf~ in poetr')"

Incapable of thee.

Ii All! when the minutes {P'<"V to hours, And yet the hcasl., the fool, S.HV Ilo wcr-s

And loved lhcm, watched the llHHHI r ise , took delig'ht In perfumes of the su nuucr night,

36

• Cau{~ht in the :~lalliour of the sun Thong-ht all the \yoe wcl] 'YOIl.

lI(nv hours wer-e days, and all the miscrv Abode, all ruiue : () Ihou ! <lidst thou rcgTf'.l? "r asl thou asleep as I?

Didsl thou nol love me yel?

For, know ! l he moon is nol the lllOOIl until She hath the )oHnvledge to fulfil

I IeI' music, till sh« know her-sol f the IlIOOI). So thou, so I! The stone urrhe wn ,

Foursquare, the sphere, of human hands innnllne, "r as not yet chosen for the cor-ner-piece

And ke'y~sLolle of Ihc noya] Arrh of Sex; Unsolved the ultimate x ;

trhe virginal hreed iI1f' breeze 'Vas yet of ei thcr unstir-rcd ; U nspoken tllf'. (~l'f~at Wor.l.

"i Then on a sudden, we k ne w , From deep to deep Heverber ating , li[thtn i n{~ unto li{~htni 'If,

Across the sunderin{, hriuhteninfJ

Abyss of SCH'rO\V'S ~.deep,

There shone the swor-d of love and struck, and clove The intolcrahlc veil,

The woven chain of mai]

Prudence self-called, and folly known to \\,110 May know, Then, 0 sweet drop of dew , Thy limpid lig'hL rolled over and was lost

37

I n IU i n c , a II d n 1 i n e ill th i 11 c .

Peace, yc who praise! yf' hut. disturb the shrine r This voice is evil over ag'ainst the peace

Here in the "r est, 1 he hoi icsl.. Shaken a nrl crossed The threads Lachesis wo v« fell [rom her hands.

'The pale divided strands

\Vere taken hy thy nrastcr-hund , Eros! II er evil thillldn{?, ceat·;(',

Thy mirnclcs beg·in.

EroR! Eros! - Be silent! It is sill TIlliS to ill vokc the oracles of order Their iron g'a h's to unclos«.

The gTOSS, inluJspitable warder

Of Love's green g'ardcll of spice is well awak«. llell hath enoug'h of Her Ihrce-hcadcd hound; But LOye~8 severer hound

KIHnvs for IIis wntcher; a 1I1or(' fearful shape, A forlllidahle ape

Skilled by hlacl{ art to mock Ill(', Cods profound In their- abyss of unrh-r- eTolIIHl.

Be,vare! \Vho hath entered hath no boast to rual«- , And conscious Edt,rt sllrelier br-eeds the snake.

Be silcn L! O! for si lellce' sake!

l' That asks the impossihle. SUIite! SInite!

Profaned advturn of pure lig'ht, Sillite! hut I must sing 011. l\;ay! can tbe or-ison

38

• Of mvr-iad fools pr ovokc the Crowncd-with-Nig'h] 1I idden beyond sound a utI si~~h l

In the luyster'_)" of l Iis 0\\,11 hiHh essence? 1..0, Hose of all the H'ardt'lls or the wor-ld, [lid thy most sacred Ilrcscllce

,I

Not fill the Heal, then this voice were whir-led

Awav in the wind of its o wn folly, l.hr-o wu

.' ", ..

Into forgoUen places and unk no wu . So T si ng' 011 !

Sister and wife, deal' wife , Lig-ht of Illy love and lady of Illy lif(",

Answer if thou canst from the unsul licd place, Unveilinu for one stnr-vviuk thy hri~~ht face! [lid we leave lhcu , once CO~~lliSallt,

• Time for some Feal' to im plau!

His poison? Di.l wo hesitate? Leave bill one I iulc chance to Fate? For one swift second did we wait?

There is no need to a nswcr : (;od is Cod, A jealous (;od HIl(I ('viI; wil.l. His rod

lIe smitelh fair and fOIlI, and wilh l I is sword Divirleth tiniesL atoms of' inlall~~ihle Limc ,

That IlH'() Ilwy know he is til(' Lor-I.

Then, with that sharp di vi sion ,

Did II e d i vid e o ur \" i L SIl hi i nu- ?

OUT" kn()\vled~?' br'illH lo lloI1g'ht?

,,, c had no need of tholl~~ltL

We broll{Ihl His mal ice in derision. 39

So thine eternal petals shall enclose 1\1e, 0 1110st wonderful lady of deli{~ht, Immaculate, indivisible circle of nig-ht, Inviolale, invulnerable Hose!

\) The sound of Iny own voice carries me Oil.

I am as a ship whose anc.hor s are all {,one,

Wlrosc rudder is hpId by Love the iudomitahle - Purposeful helrnsman I \Vere his port ltig·1t Hell, \Vho should be fool enough to care'! Suppose Hell's waters was]: the Illclllory of t1l is rose

Out of 111)' mi nd , what miser-y matters then?

Or, if they leave it, all the woes of men

Are as pale shadows in the glory of

T'hat passiunale splendour of Love.

Ay! Illy o wn voice, Iny own thoughts. These, then, HIllSL be The Inulin), of some wor-m'« miser-y,

Senne chained (lcspair knotted into rny flesh,

Some chance companion, som« soul damned afresh Since ITl} redempl.ion , that is vocal at. all;

For I am wrapt away fr-om li{~ht and cal1

In the swee! heart of Lhe red rose.

1\1 y spirit only knows

This woman and no ruorc ; who would know more ? I, I am concentrate

I n the unshakeable state

Of constant rapture. '''110 should pour llis ravin{_~s in the air for winr] s to whir-l,

40

Far fr-om the c('ntral pearl

()f all the diadem of the n ni vor-sc? Lel (;od take pell, rehears("

I)Il11 llllrsery tales ; then, not before, () rose ned rose! shall the helov'd of t1H~("

I nfinitc rose! pell puer-ile p(wlry

That turns in "Tiling t.o vile prose.

10 ,V ere this the fill i nlesscutial plu nu: of Keats And Shelley and Swinburne and '!erlaine, Could I outsoar them, all their lyric feats, Excel their lIUf'l'allCe vain

Wj lh one couviucing rupture, hent Ihcru hullow As an ass's skin; wert Lhou , Apo llo ,

l\fere slave to me , not l ... ord - thy fieriest fli{~ht And stateliest shaft of lig'ht

Thyself thyself sur-passing ; all were (lull, And thou, 0 rose, sol(', SiHT(·d, wourlerf'u}, Inforrning all, in all most beautiful,

Circle and sphere, perfect in every part, Hig'h above hope of Art :

TIIOUg'h, he it said! thou art nowhere now, Save in the secret chamber of IlIV heart,

.'

Behind the hr-ass of Ill'y anoIlYllloUS brow ,

II Ay! let the coward and slave who wr-ites "Tile on! lIe is no more har-m to Love than the {frey snake Who lurks in the dusl, brake

tt 41

For the bare-lCf~r,ed villag'c boy, IS to the Su n, 'rhc Sire of Life.

The Lover and Ute 'Vifc,

Sun-canopied, i{~nore. Thc people hear; Then, be the people Sill i l.lcn of fp'ey Fear, It is no odds!

:~ I have seen the ctcr nnl (;ods

Sit, star .. wed , in old Egypt by the Nile;

T'fte snme caInl pose, the inscl'I.ltahle, "ran smile, OJ} every lip alike.

Time hath not had Ilis w il] to strike

At Lhern ; they abide, UlCY pass through all. ThfHI~)h their most ancient nruues rllay fall, They stir Hot nor are weary of

Life, ft)r with thern, even as wil.h us, Life is but Love. 'They kuow , we kno w ; let, then, the \vritinti {)o!

That, in the V(TY truth, we do not k now .

13 It Inay be in the centuries of 0111' life Since we were Ulan and wife

There stirs some incarnation of that love. Sornc rosebud in the f)ardcll of beauty blows, Some offshoot fro III the Hose

Of the World, the Hose or all l)elif~ltt,

The Hose of Dew, the Hose of Love and Night, The Hose of Silence, cover-ing as wit.h a vesture The solctuu unity of thjn{~s

42

Beheld in the IlllrrOr of truth,

The Hose inrliflc-rcul to Cod's p'csi.tn·('

- - - . - (J - . _ .. - ,

The Hose OIl lllooniig'ht ,,,ing's

That flies to the II ouse ()f F i 1'(',

The Hose of Honey-in- Youth!

Ah! No dim lllystery of desire Fathorus this gulph! No light invades The mvsl ical muaica] shades

0/ (( [uilh 'in 'he [uture, (f dream 0/ the doy fl,llwn allnrar! ih« (Hm !I1rf(1('.~

or a« forest a r((y

Ot suuN!Jhl : .. ihul] f'((sh an.d III(~ dcu: t!h~ ((t('flY!

Let there then be ohsc nr il v ill this! There is an after rapture ill the kiss.

The fiJ'e, flesh, p<'rfuIlH', m usic , that oul.paccd All time , fly oil'; Ihcv are suhl.l« : there ahides A secret and rnost luaiden lasl.e ;

Salt, as of the, invisible tides

Of the molten sea or gold

l\Icn nwy at Limes behold

I n the rayless scarn b of the si n king- sun; And oul of Lhal is ,YOIl

Hardly, wilh labour and pain that are as pleasure, The first Hower of the goa nlen, tlte stored treasnre That lies at the hear't's heart or eternity.

This treasure is for thee.

43

,,-.- ..... - ... - .. -- .. --------------~---

1;1 O! but shall hope arise in happiness?

That lnay not he.

1\1 y love is like a {~old(.,n gT:t PP; the Pcep thrOll{~h the ecstasy

Of the CSSf~I1C(~ of ivory and silk, Pearl, moon! ig'h l , mot.lrcr-j n ilk That. is hpr skin;

I is swifl caress

.

vci n s

Flits like an ausre l's kiss ill n dr-earu ; r-emains

' {I

The healillt~ virtue; Irom all sin, All ill, one touch sets I'r'ee.

1\1 y love is like a slap - oh fool! oh fool! I s not til y hack 'yel lender' Iroru l.hc rod? Is there no learninH ill the poet's school?

'Yilt thou achieve what wer-e too hard for (;od? I call Him to the haUle; ask of me

When lht· hill(l!.; calve? Whcn he huilL chaos?

'Vlwt of eternity Shall Leviathan

Be <h'H\VIl out \vith all hook? Elloug'h; I see. This I can answer _'_ or Ernst IIacckel can! Now, God Altuig'hly, rcdc this mystery! "that of the love that is the heart of ruan ? Take stars and airs, and wr-ite it do\vn!

Fill all the inter-slices of Rpace

\Vith Ill'yriad verse - o wn Thy dis{~race! Diminish Thy renown!

Approve Illy riddle! This 'T'holl canst not do. 44

• ,6 0 living: Hose! () d ovvcred wil.h subtle dew Of love. The l.inv <'(er'nilies of Liur«.

Cau{jht bcl.wecu f1'yin,~ seconds, arc ,,·e11 filled 'Vith these futilities of f,~a{jrant r hvme ;

In Love's retort disLiJ1ed,

] n sunrays of fierce loathing' pur i lied, In I110011rays of pure long:ill{~ iI'ied,

And r,ather-ed after' BlaB)' moons of labour Into the cOlllpass of a sinHle day :

So, wroughf into coul.inuous tu ne ,

One la ug'hter with one lan{fllor fOI' its neigh bour, One lhou{~ht of winter with one '''01'<1 of J une,

1\1 uddled and mixed in mer-e dismav ,

Chiselled w it.h the cunning chisel or d(~spair, Found wanti n{~, wr ll aware

Of its own fault, even insistent Thereou : sorne fr'lPT'lnCf'. rar«

, ._ , _ ---' «(J' .'. - (

Stolen from Illy lady's hair

Perchallce rcde(~lJ)in,~ no w and theu the distant Fllnilive tunes; - All! Love! the hour is over I The moon is up, til(' vig'il ()verpast.

'i Call rue to thee at last,

o Hose, () perfect miracle 10v(',1' ,

Call HIe! I hear thee, though it he a(TOSS The ahyss of the whole univer-se,

Thong'lI nol a Ri{~h escape, delicious loss! Tlu)lIg'h hardlv a wish rehearse

4~

,a

The irnper-feol.ion under-lying ever The perfect happiness.

Thou knowcst that not in flesh Lies the fair fresh

l)clig-ht of Lovc ; not in mere lips and eyes The secret of these bridal ecstasies,

Siuce I hou art ever v whcr-e,

. -

Hose of the World, Hose of the U ttcrrnost

Abode of (;1ory, Hose of the IIig,1t Host or Iloavcn, mvsi.ic, raplurous Host'!

The extreme passion ghJ\\'s

Deep in this breast; lhou kuowcsl (aud love knows ) 110\\' ('very wor-d awakes its ow 11 reward

I n a thought akin to thee, a shadow of thee; And every tune evokes its musical Lord;

~ .

And every r hyrue tillu1es and shakes in me

The filaments of the gTcat ,vch of Love.

18 0 Hose all roses far above

In the garden of (;od's roses,

Sor-rowlcss , thornless, passionate Hose, that lies Full in the flood of its ovvn svmputhies

And makr:s niv life one tune thai curls and closes

.J

On its own self deligh l.;

A cin'le, ucvur a l i no ! Safe fro1}) all w i ud , Secure in its ovvn pleasnre-house confined, Sure lord of its <nyu rapture, deaf and blind To aug-hi but its 0\,"11 Illaster} of son{~

46

• And 1if;ht, shewn ever as silence and deep nig'ht Secret as death and final. J .. el Inc lon~~

Never aGain for auUht! This gTcat dclig'hl Involves me, weaves me in its pattern of bliss, Seals file with i Ls own kiss,

Draws me Lo thee with every drearn that gl(nvs, Poet, each word; maiden, each burden of SJlO\VS Extending beyond su nse l , beyond da\vn !

o Hose, inviolate, ulter-lv wiLhdl~;t\vll

In the truth : - for this is l.r u l.h ; J .. o ve k uo ws ! Ah! Rose 0 the Wo-ld ! Hose! Hose!

47

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