Dear, could the wise creator make
Me, nor imagine you,
When from his wisdom’s awful breath
I came like trembling dew,
You under my heart’s rib I felt
Shiver and sparkle sweet,
With my first shock of being pulse
Your starry infinite.
Already in his thought you were
Enfolded like a bud,
Fragile and feminine, man’s flower
And Nature’s crowning good;
Could He without the glorious stars
Make hollow heaven alone,
Make yearn the sad wave, and no shore
To break its heart upon?
Far mountains unapproachable,
Stern and aloof, yon blue;
Sad, solitary range! and we
Alone in Eden, two!
Beautiful, homeless wilderness
Around, waste skies above;
Stung by his lonely star-fires, two
To hunger into love.
This grandeur as in granite cut
The world’s face. Two to press
Shivering for love, warmth, each to each
In Nature’s loneliness.
He zoned us with disdainful things,
Cold and austere to make;
Tremble to each two hearts, and fear
Each other to forsake.
Above all other loves I place
The husband’s and the wife’s.
The kiss that was in Eden kissed
Is both love’s base and life’s.
Without the heart-beat’s two-fold rhythm
Life cannot be, nor show
In action perfect: feet and hands,
Eyes, lips, are only two.
Marriage’: it is the world’s sane curb
The very school of trust,
The nurse of sanctity. It builds
Joy out of daily dust.
How else could heaven on ocean print
One soft perpetual kiss?
Or earth in tender green toward heaven
Bosom to merge her bliss?
God placed the awful rondure vast
Of this great marriage-ring
The world, with consecrating earth,
Sky, ocean, everything,
To bind our two hearts chastely wed
With mutual exchange
Of the year’s gold circumference,
Jewelled with beauty strange;
Stars, diamonds of the distance, night’s
Black opal, ruby new
Of sunrise, and leaves emerald-fresh,
And the clear pearling dew.
He with betrothing grandeur girt
Our hearts, and gorgeously
Made nature’s sacrament of charm
Our wedding-ring to be.
God made the world for me, for you,
That his dream-paradise
Re-imaged in first freshness, two
Might see in either’s eyes;
Revive lost Eden, fence out all
With forest, mountain-high;
Yet through our leafy garden close,
Its whispering secrecy,
The giant ages murmuring,
Strife, hatred, anger rude,
Faint, far-off, like a rumour strange,
Alarm our solitude,
We hear it; smile, yet fearfully,
As ’twere the serpent’s hiss,
Bosom to beating bosom, crush
Our wild hearts’ lonely bliss.
Love, heavenly Love, in your fair eyes
Fashioned the primal dew,
Ensouled me in pure paradise
To dwell with only you.
Love, the world’s maker, Love divine,
Creative, hedged from sight
And hushed with whispering wilderness
Far tumult, loud affright,
There where hate is, battle and fear,
The fruit of knowledge bad,
Which should I taste with hungering ear
Toward shadowy history sad
Turn from you, dear,–like flaming swor
The angels of your eyes
Would drive me forth from joy and you
And dewy paradise.
For hints, for prophecies of you,
That flowered from age to age,
I roam each lovely legend old
Where beauty strews the page:
Evadne, Phyllis, Hero sad,
I think of them; I burn
Dido’s too perishable dust,
And Procris in her urn,
You come, the sweet fulfilment, you,
Of all they once foretold;
Straight at your touch they burst their tombs,
The lovely dames of old.
As conjured by your spell they rise,
Dead faces, glorious hair;
And beauty, once more beautiful,
Remembers to be fair.
When your sole beauty, the world’s charm,
Grows perilously fair;
And shadowy tall heroes arm
To battle for your hair;
When from your brow’s triumphant worth
It seems the ages bled,
And through the leaves stern armour shone
Of glorious knights long dead;
And swords flamed, spears to splinters crashed,
And the rich blood streamed bright
Of Arthur’s peers or Charlemagne’s
For you in thundering fight;
Enough then is one tranquil look
Out of your heavenly eyes,
To tell me we two are alone
And round us paradise.
Sole peace of Eden, though your cheek
The world’s worth summarise,
Though passionate dead ages haunt
Those memories, your eyes;
Oh, from that pageantry of dooms
Past or foreboded, where
You dwell with dim disastrous things,
With beauty and with fear;
Though like a trumpet-blast your brow
Has power my soul to thrill
With famous battles long forgot
That bleed for beauty still;
Lest Eden’s lone peace perilous
With armies grow, refrain,
Lest from my sight you disappear
Into that pomp of pain.
Ah I tell me not of heroines
And ladies long since dead;
All their perfections, all their parts,
In you are summed and said.
To look upon you is to hear
The clash of battles old;
And tournaments of gentle knights
And splintering lances cold.
For your sake, for the prize of you,
Do Troy towers flame again;
And Hector and Achilles fight,
And for your sake are slain.
So perilous your beauty seems
With rumour of old wars,
With crash and conflict. But ‘t is I
Who bleed and bear the scars.
What power is in your gentle eyes,
Immortal, blissful Eve,
With the whole race to sympathise
And even in Eden grieve?
Though, in your smile, Temptation, Fall,
In that world-saving ark
Caught up, the Deluge we survive
Earth’s giant ages dark,
Blot out the past; in your brows’ arch,
Their rainbow peace, I see
Remembered the sad surge and flood
Of woful history.
Though you revive lost bliss, your heart
Cradles august the pain,
The ancient primal woe of man,
And aches to mother Cain.
Infinite Pity made the heavens,
Infinite Love the earth.
Yet shattering tempests rage, and here
Injustice laughs for mirth.
I stuff my fingers in both ears
To hear those piteous cries.
I weep to see the groaning sphere
Drown in her miseries.
The murderer of his brother’s hope,
The sweater and the slave,
The oppressor hideously enthroned,
Make human life a grave.
There seems no pity in the heavens,
No love on earth, a hell
Full of all shames and wrongs. Meanwhile
You, you amongst us dwell.
And did eternal Pity then
Make all? Ah! sure it did:
And out of the eternal Love
The heavens in glory shed.
I mind not now the mystery
Of cruel wrong and strife,
This ancient wail through history
This tangle deep as life,
I know there is a power that works
All things to harmonise.
I know it from the ruth that lurks
Deep in your gentle eyes.
Since first that pitying, loving look
Made heaven of my poor earth,
I know the suffering soul of things
Weeps to an angel birth.
I cannot wonder, my Sweet,
That you alone are you,
Could beauty else seem beautiful,
Or truth itself be true?
Were you not, could majestic heaven
So tranquilly secure
Arch, or the everlasting hills
Or solid earth endure,
Or flowers be flowers? creation knows
That you are you, and none,
In the least like you, fellow shall
Your peerless paragon.
And the high stars’ recurring pomp,
Days, seasons, whisper me
Of that one certainty divine,
Assuring, she is she.
Dear, were you other than you are
By a hair’s breadth, a swerve,
Were your cheek softly strange to me
By just the littlest curve;
Were your voice other, not the trill,
The timbre sweet I know,
The way you have, to look, smile, speak,-
Only that way, just so,
That selfs you, lovely trick of you,
That darts such arrowy
Perfume, your individual rose,
To make us cry ’tis she!
Were that gone, all were gone for me;
I should go wandering,
Blind, stumbling, seeking everywhere
The one thing, the one thing.
Lilies are lilies and no more;
The rose is just a rose.
But your sweet loveliness to find–
Where is it ? no one knows.
Not in your face, that paradise,
I find the sovereign spell.
Not in the gardens of your cheek,
Brow, chin, does beauty dwell.
Vaguer than violets, your eyes
Dim sweetness oracle,
Breathe of a flower more lovely-rare,
The rubies of your lips were mined
From richer depths below.
The lily and the rose of you
No white, no red can show.
The something more by which your eyes
Shine fairer than the sun,
The just a little that is your rose–
And mystery’s begun.
What the world’s myriad-petalled flower
Misses by some delight,
I know not what, some charm that’s yours,
Divinely yours by right;
What in your tresses never yet
Breathed Helen, and outstrips
Just Cleopatra’s witchcraft glance,
Just Rosamond’s shy lips;
The something that is everything,
And you in one apart,
Like but with heavenly difference,-
That is the sting, the dart.
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Based on Keywords: wedding-ring, hideously, two-fold, unapproachable, heroines, perilously, consecrating, selfs, zoned, rosamond, rondure