Mary Jane Jewsbury Poems >>
Invocation To The spirit Of Poesy
Queen of all harmonious things,
Dancing words, and speaking strings.
SPIRIT, or Power, or Spell, or whatsoe'er
Of name beseems thee best, Ethereal Thing,
That hast, like sleep, dominion strong and fair,
Sealing the senses, with thy poppied wing,
To shows external; prompt instead to bring
Resplendent visions, soul-enchanting dreams,
In which life's vexing cares and sordid schemes
Dissolve, as darkness doth in the sun's fervid beams;
Spirit of Poesy! Enchantress! Friend!
For such, with serious faith, I fondly name thee;
Gift, that doth every gift, save one, transcend,
Ill were the deed, if now I should defame thee,
And not with boldness, though with blushes, claim thee:
Not mine the temples with thy laurel crown'd,
The lips that may thy mysteries resound,
Yet art thou mine, and I to thee am bound.
Do not I love thee, though with small return?
Do not I serve thee, though I once forbore?
Do I not study, though I little learn
Of thy harmonious wiles and stringed lore?
Will I not love, serve, study, ever more?
Ah! timorous hand, that, daunted by the briar,
To pluck the glowing rose would ne'er aspire!
Ah! minstrel mean, that for aught leaves the lyre!
Say not I love thee for my own rude singing:
Far other bards entrance my heart and eye;
Poets who write as princes revel, flinging
Odours and gold upon the passers by;
Those that "in antique leaves entreasured lie:"
Clear, stationary stars that know no setting;
Firm rocks that wear not with the torrent's wetting;
Poets, brave poets, that defy forgetting.
For those fair sights which sickness oft debars,
Do they, magicians, pour upon my view,
Till my low roof, like heaven, teems with stars,
The circling air breathes ambient with dew,
And all my couch embowering roses strew:
Change fair without, but fairer far within,
Their music lulls Disquiet's querulous din,
And bright-browed Peace is won to make her nest therein.
Yet Poesy! shall mortal minstrel ne'er
Thy full-imagined loveliness behold,
Till freed from Sin, and Sin's vile bondmaid, Care,
He walks no longer in earth's fettering mould;
And thou, to angel lips and harps of gold
Art inspiration, perfect, pure, and deep;
Like that (save that no cloud shall o'er it sweep)
God breathed in Adam when he woke from sleep.
Then whilst a pilgrim here, celestial stranger,
And though enshrouded, men with rapture view thee,
Whate'er the clime or heart in which a ranger,
Let thy bright home be as a star unto thee,
That, with a tongue of fire, doth heavenwards woo thee.
Wings hast thou? fold them not in rest supine;
And incense? waste it on no human shrine;
An ever-burning lamp? oh! be its light divine.
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Based on Keywords: embowering, stationary, ever-burning, fettering, cowley, heavenwards, soul-enchanting, debars, bright-browed, bondmaid, entreasured