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Carelessness or consciousness, the gesture. For he bears an ancient wrong about him, Sees and knows again those phalanxed faces, Hears, yet one time more, the 'customed prelude " How should'st thou, of all men, smite, and save us ? * Guesses what is like to prove the sequel "Egypt's flesh-pots - nay, the drought was better”
Oh, the crowd must have emphatic warrant!
Theirs, the Sinai-forehead's cloven brilliance,
Right-arm's rod-sweep, tongue's imperial fiat.
Never dares the man put off the prophet.
Did he love one face from out the thousands,
(Were she Jethro's daughter, white and wifely,
Were she but the Æthiopian bondslave,)
He would envy yon dumb patient camel,
Keeping a reserve of scanty water
Meant to save his own life in the desert;
Ready in the desert to deliver
(Kneeling down to let his breast be opened)
Hoard and life together for his mistress.
I shall never, in the years remaining,
Paint you pictures, no, nor carve you statues,
Make you music that should all-express me:
So it seems : I stand on my attainment.
This of verse alone, one life allows me ;
Verse and nothing else have I to give you.
Other heights in other lives, God willing
All the gifts from all the heights, your own, Love !
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.
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 thro' bronze, may breathe thro’ silver,
Fitly serenade a slumbrous princess.
He who writes, may write for once, as I do.
Love, you saw me gather men and women,
Live or dead or fashioned by my fancy,
Enter each and all, and use their service,
Speak from every mouth, -- the specch, 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,
Karshook, 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,
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.
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,
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 houseroofs,
Hurries with unhandsome thrift of silver,
Goes dispiritedly, - glad to finish.
What, there's nothing in the moon note-worthy i
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)
She would turn a new side to her mortal,
Side unseen of herdsman, huntsman, steersman
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 ice-berg
Swimming full upon the ship it founders,
Hungry with huge teeth of splintered chrystals !
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-wor ing
When they ate and drank and saw God also !
What were seen? None knows, none ever shall know.
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.
This I say of me, but think of you, Love!
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 you. 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.
. Rafael of the dear Madonnas, Oh, their Dante of the dread Inferno, Wrote one song
and in my brain I sing it, Drew one angel — borne, see, on my bosom!