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And he gathers the prayers as he stands, And they change into flowers in his hands,
Into garlands of purple and red; And beneath the great arch of the portal, Through the streets of the City Immortal
Is wafted the fragrance they shed.
It is but a legend, I know,-
Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
But haunts me and holds me the more.
When I look from my window at night,
All throbbing and panting with stars,
His pinions in nebulous bars.
And the legend, I feel, is a part
The frenzy and fire of the brain,
grasps at the fruitage forbidden, The golden pomegranates of Eden,
To quiet its fever and pain.
OR THE POET'S AFTERTHOUGHT.
HAVE I dreamed ? or was it real,
What I saw as in a vision, When to marches hymeneal
In the land of the Ideal
Moved my thought o’er Fields Elysian?
What! are these the guests whose glances
Seemed like sunshine gleaming round me? These the wild, bewildering fancies, That with dithyrambic dances
As with magic circles bound me?
Ah! how cold are their caresses !
Pallid cheeks, and haggard bosoms!
Spectral gleam their snow-white dresses, And from loose, dishevelled tresses
Fall the hyacinthine blossoms!
O my songs! whose winsome measures
Filled my heart with secret rapture! Children of my golden leisures ! Must even your delights and pleasures
Fade and perish with the capture ?
Fair they seemed, those songs sonorous,
When they came to me unbidden;
In the dark of branches hidden.
Must each noble aspiration Come at last to this conclusion, Jarring discord, wild confusion,
Lassitude, renunciation ?
Not with steeper fall nor faster,
From the sun's serene dominions, Not through brighter realms nor vaster, In swift ruin and disaster,
Icarus fell with shattered pinions !
Sweet Pandora ! dear Pandora!
Why did mighty Jove create thee Coy as Thetis, fair as Flora, Beautiful as young Aurora,
If to win thee is to hate thee?
No, not hate thee! for this feeling
Of unrest and long resistance
O'er the chords of our existence.
Him whom thou dost once enamour,
Thou, beloved, never leavest;