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XIII

She would turn a new side to her mortal,
Side unseen of herdsman, huntsman, steers-

man

a

Yet a semblance of resource avails us —
Shade so finely touched, love's sense must seize it.
Take these lines, look lovingly and nearly,
Lines I write the first time and the last time. 120
He who works in fresco, steals a hair-brush,
Curbs the liberal hand, subservient proudly,
Cramps his spirit, crowds its all in little,
Makes a strange art of an art familiar,
Fills his lady's missal-marge with flowerets.
He who blows through bronze, may breathe

through silver,
Fitly serenade a slumbrous princess.
He who writes, may write for once as I do.

Blank to Zoroaster on his terrace,
Blind to Galileo on his turret,
Dumb to Homer, dumb to Keats — him, even!
Think, the wonder of the moonstruck mortal
When she turns round, comes again in heaven,
Opens out anew for worse or better!
Proves she like some portent of an iceberg
Swimming full upon the ship it founders, 170
Hungry with huge teeth of splintered crystals ?
Proves she as the paved work of a sapphire
Seen by Moses when he climbed the mountain ?
Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu
Climbed and saw the very God, the Highest,
Stand upon the paved work of a sapphire.
Like the bodied heaven in his clearness
Shone the stone, the sapphire of that paved

work,
When they ate and drank and saw God also!

XIV

XVII

Love, you saw me gather men and women,
Live or dead or fashioned by my fancy, 130
Enter each and all, and use their service,
Speak from every mouth, — the speech, a poem.
Hardly shall I tell my joys and sorrows,
Hopes and fears, belief and disbelieving:
I am mine and yours - the rest be all men's,
Karshish, Cleon, Norbert, and the fifty.
Let me speak this once in my true person,
Not as Lippo, Roland, or Andrea,
Though the fruit of speech be just this sentence:
Pray you, look on these my men and women, 140
Take and keep my fifty poems finished;
Where my heart lies, let my brain lie also !
Poor the speech; be how I speak, for all things.

What were seen? None knows, none ever shall know.

180 Only this is sure the sight were other, Not the moon's same side, born late in Florence, Dying now impoverished here in London. God be thanked, the meanest of his creatures Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world

with, One to show a woman when he loves her!

XV

XVIII

you!

Not but that you know me! Lo, the moon's

self! Here in London, yonder late in Florence, Still we find her face, the thrice-transfigured. Curving on a sky imbrued with colour, Drifted over Fiesole by twilight, Came she, our new crescent of a hair's-breadth. Full she flared it, lamping Samminiato, 150 Rounder 'twixt the cypresses and rounder, Perfect till the nightingales applauded. Now, a piece of her old self, impoverished, Hard to greet, she traverses the house-roofs, Hurries with unhandsome thrift of silver, Goes dispiritedly, glad to finish.

This I say of me, but think of you, Love!
This to you — yourself my moon of poets!
Ah, but that's the world's side, there's the wonder,
Thus they see you, praise you, think they know

190
There, in turn I stand with them and praise you
Out of my own self, I dare to phrase it.
But the best is when I glide from out them,
Cross a step or two of dubious twilight,
Come out on the other side, the novel
Silent silver lights and darks undreamed of,
Where I hush and bless myself with silence.

XIX

XVI

What, there's nothing in the moon noteworthy?
Nay: for if that moon could love a mortal,
Use, to charm him (so to fit a fancy),
All her magic ('tis the old sweet mythos), 160

Oh, their Rafael of the dear Madonnas,
Oh, their Dante of the dread Inferno,
Wrote one song — and in my brain I sing it, 200
Drew one angel -- borne, see, on my bosom!

- R. B.

a

ABT VOGLER

In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was cer

tain, to match man's birth, AFTER HE HAS BEEN EXTEMPORISING

Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse UPON THE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT OF

as I; HIS INVENTION

And the emulous heaven yearned down, made

effort to reach the earth, Would that the structure brave, the manifold As the earth had done her best, in my passion, music I build,

to scale the sky: Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to Novel splendours burst forth, grew familiar and their work,

dwelt with mine, Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as Not a point nor peak but found and fixed its when Solomon willed

wandering star; Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not that lurk,

pale nor pine, Man, brute, reptile, fly, alien of end and of For earth had attained to heaven, there was aim,

no more near nor far.

32 Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep removed,

Nay more; for there wanted not who walked Should rush into sight at once as he named the in the glare and glow, ineffable Name,

Presences plain in the place; or, fresh from And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the Protoplast, the princess he loved !

8 Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier

wind should blow, Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful Lured now to begin and live, in a house to building of mine,

their liking at last; This which my keys in a crowd pressed and Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed importuned to raise !

through the body and gone, Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart But were back once more to breathe in an old now and now combine,

world worth their new: Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their What never had been, was now; what was, as master his praise !

it shall be anon; And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge And what is, — shall I say, matched both? for down to hell,

I was made perfect too. Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of things,

All through my keys that gave their sounds to Then up again swim into sight, having based a wish of my soul, me my palace well,

All through my soul that praised as its wish Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether flowed visibly forth, springs.

16 . All through music and me! For think, had I

painted the whole, And another would mount and march, like the Why, there it had stood, to see, nor the proexcellent minion he was,

cess so wonder-worth: Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but Had I written the same, made verse — still, with many a crest,

effect proceeds from cause, Raising my rampired walls of gold as transpar- Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how ent as glass,

the tale is told; Eager to do and die, yield eachi his place to It is all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws, the rest :

Painter and poet are proud in the artist-list For higher still and higher (as a runner tips enrolled:

with fire, When a great illumination surprises a festal But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will

night Outlined round and round Rome's dome from Existent behind all laws, that made them space to spire)

and, lo, they are ! Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the And I know not if, save in this, such gift be pride of my soul was in sight.

allowed to man,

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that can,

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That out of three sounds he frame, not a

fourth sound, but a star. Consider it well: each tone of our scale in itself

is naught: It is everywhere in the world — loud, soft,

and all is said: Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in my

thought: And there! Ye have heard and seen: consider and bow the head!

56 Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music I

reared; Gone! and the good tears start, the praises

that come too slow; For one is assured at first, one scarce can say

that he feared, That he even gave it a thought, the gone thing

was to go. Never to be again! But many more of the

kind As good, nay, better perchance: is this your

comfort to me? To me, who must be saved because I cling with

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my mind

To the same, same self, same love, same God: ay, what was, shall be.

64

Well, it is earth with me; silence resumes her

reign: I will be patient and proud, and soberly ac

quiesce. Give me the keys. I feel for the common chord

again, Sliding by semitones till I sink to the minor,

yes, And I blunt it into a ninth, and I stand on alien

ground, Surveying awhile the heights I rolled from

into the deep; Which, hark, I have dared and done, for my

resting-place is found, The C Major of this life: so, now I will try to sleep.

96

RABBI BEN EZRA

Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the inef

fable Name? Builder and maker, thou, of houses not made

with hands! What, have fear of change from thee who art

ever the same? Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that

thy power expands? There shall never be one lost good! What was,

shall live as before; The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying

sound; What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so

much good more; On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven a perfect round.

72 All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good

shall exist; Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor

good, nor power Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives

for the melodist When eternity affirms the conception of an

hour. The high that proved too high, the heroic for

earth too hard, The passion that left the ground to lose itself

in the sky,

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Not for such hopes and fears

I, who saw
power, see

love perfect Annulling youth's brief years,

too: Do I remonstrate : folly wide the mark !

Perfect I call thy plan: Rather I prize the doubt

Thanks that I was a man! Low kinds exist without,

17 Maker, remake, complete, - I trust what thou Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark. I shalt do"? Poor vaunt of life indeed,

For pleasant is this flesh; Were man but formed to feed

Our soul, in its rose-mesh On joy, to solely seek and find and feast:

Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest : Such feasting ended, then

Would we some prize might hold
As sure an end to men;

To match those manifold
Irks care the crop-full bird ? Frets doubt the Possessions of the brute, gain most, as

we maw-crammed beast?

did best!

66 Rejoice we are allied

Let us not always say, To that which doth provide

“Spite of this flesh to-day And not partake, effect and not receive!

I strove, made head, gained ground upon the A spark disturbs our clod;

whole !” Nearer we hold of God

As the bird wings and sings, Who gives, than of his tribes that take, I must Let us cry, “All good things believe.

Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than
flesh helps soul !”

72
Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,

Therefore I summon age Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go! To grant youth's heritage, Be our joys three-parts pain !

Life's struggle having so far reached its term: Strive, and hold cheap the strain;

Thence shall I pass, approved Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge A man, for aye removed the throe! 36 From the developed brute; a god, though in

78 For thence,

a paradox Which comforts while it mocks,

And I shall thereupon Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:

Take rest, ere I be gone What I aspired to be,

Once more on my adventure brave and new: And was not, comforts me:

Fearless and unperplexed, A brute I might have been, but would not sink When I wage battle next, i' the scale.

What weapons to select, what armour to indue. 84 What is he but a brute

Youth ended, I shall try Whose flesh has soul to suit,

My gain or loss thereby; Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold: play?

And I shall weigh the same, To man, propose this test

Give life its praise or blame: Thy body at its best,

Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being How far can that project thy soul on its lone old.

90 way?

For note, when evening shuts, Yet gifts should prove their use:

A certain moment cuts I own the Past profuse

The deed off, calls the glory from the grey: Of power each side, perfection every turn:

A whisper from the west Eyes, ears took in their dole,

Shoots -“Add this to the rest, Brain treasured up the whole;

Take it and try its worth: here dies another Should not the heart beat once “How good to day." live and learn”?

54

So, still within this life, Not once beat "Praise be thine !

Though lifted o'er its strife, I see the whole design,

Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last,

the germ.

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For more is not reserved
To man, with soul just nerved
To act to-morrow what he learns to-day:
Here, work enough to watch
The Master work, and catch
Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true
play.

108
As it was better, youth
Should strive, through acts uncouth,
Toward making, than repose on aught found

made: So, better, age, exempt From strife, should know, than tempt Further. Thou waitedst age: wait death nor be afraid !

I14

All instincts immature,
All purposes unsure,
That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the
man's amount:

144
Thoughts hardly to be packed
Into a narrow act,
Fancies that broke through language and escaped;
All I could never be,
All, men ignored in me,
This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the
pitcher shaped.

150 Ay, note that Potter's wheel, That metaphor! and feel Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay, Thou, to whom fools propound, When the wine makes its round, "Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day!”

156

Enough now, if the Right
And Good and Infinite
Be named here, as thou callest thy hand thine

own,
With knowledge absolute,
Subject to no dispute
From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel

alone.

Fool! All that is, at all,
Lasts ever, past recall;
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure:
What entered into thee,
That was, is, and shall be:
Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and
clay endure.

162

I 20

Be there, for once and all,
Severed great minds from small,
Announced to each his station in the Past !
Was I, the world arraigned,
Were they, my soul disdained,
Right? Let age speak the truth and give us

He fixed thee 'mid this dance
Of plastic circumstance,
This Present, thou, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest:
Machinery just meant
To give thy soul its bent,

167
Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed.
What though the earlier grooves,
Which ran the laughing loves
Around thy base, no longer pause and press ?
What though, about thy rim,
Skull-things in order grim

173 Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner stress?

peace at last!

126

Now, who shall arbitrate ?
Ten men love what I hate,
Shun what I follow, slight what I receive;
Ten, who in ears and eyes
Match me: we all surmise,
They this thing, and I that: whom shall my
soul believe ?

132

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Not on the vulgar mass
Called “work,” must sentence pass,
Things done, that took the eye and had the price;
O'er which, from level stand,
The low world laid its hand,
Found straightway to its mind, could value in
a trice:

138

But I need, now as then,
Thee, God, who mouldest men;
And since, not even while the whirl was worst,
Did I - to the wheel of life
With shapes and colours rife,
Bound dizzily — mistake my end, to slake thy
thirst:

186

But all, the world's coarse thumb
And finger failed to plumb,
So passed in making up the main account;

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