Since then 't is centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.
She went as quiet as the dew
From a familiar flower.
Not like the dew did she return
At the accustomed hour!
She dropt as softly as a star
From out my summer's eve;
Less skilful than Leverrier
It's sorer to believe!

By what mystic mooring
She is held to-day, --
This is the errand of the eye
Out upon the bay.
Belshazzar had a letter, --
He never had but one;
Belshazzar's correspondent
Concluded and begun
In that immortal copy
The conscience of us all
Can read without its glasses
On revelation's wall.

We are the flower, Thou the sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline,
We nearer steal to Thee, --
Enamoured of the parting west,
The peace, the flight, the amethyst,
Night's possibility!
No rack can torture me,
My soul's at liberty
Behind this mortal bone
There knits a bolder one

Dear to the moss,
Known by the knoll,
Next to the robin
In every human soul.
Bold little beauty,
Bedecked with thee,
Nature forswears
Antiquity.
The murmur of a bee
A witchcraft yieldeth me.
If any ask me why,
'T were easier to die
Than tell.

Unarmed if any meet her,
I charge him, fly!
Her rusty ammunition
Might yet reply!
To help our bleaker parts
Salubrious hours are given,
Which if they do not fit for earth
Drill silently for heaven.
What soft, cherubic creatures
These gentlewomen are!
One would as soon assault a plush
Or violate a star.

"'T is iris, sir, and aster,
Anemone and bell,
Batschia in the blanket red,
And chubby daffodil."
Meanwhile at many cradles
Her busy foot she plied,
Humming the quaintest lullaby
That ever rocked a child.
"Hush! Epigea wakens! --
The crocus stirs her lids,
Rhodora's cheek is crimson, --
She's dreaming of the woods."

Then look out for the little brook in March,
When the rivers overflow,
And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
And the bridges often go.
And later, in August it may be,
When the meadows parching lie,
Beware, lest this little brook of life
Some burning noon go dry!

To hang our head ostensibly,
And subsequent to find
That such was not the posture
Of our immortal mind,
Affords the sly presumption
That, in so dense a fuzz,
You, too, take cobweb attitudes
Upon a plane of gauze!

'T is vegetation's juggler,
The germ of alibi;
Doth like a bubble antedate,
And like a bubble hie.
I feel as if the grass were pleased
To have it intermit;
The surreptitious scion
Of summer's circumspect.

For chanticleer to wake it, --
Or stirring house below,
Or giddy bird in orchard,
Or early task to do?
There was a little figure plump
For every little knoll,
Busy needles, and spools of thread,
And trudging feet from school.
Playmates, and holidays, and nuts,
And visions vast and small.
Strange that the feet so precious charged
Should reach so small a goal!

Magnanimous of bird
By boy descried,
To sing unto the stone
Of which it died.
My friend must be a bird,
Because it flies!
Mortal my friend must be,
Because it dies!
Barbs has it, like a bee.
Ah, curious friend,
Thou puzzlest me!

I wish I knew that woman's name,
So, when she comes this way,
To hold my life, and hold my ears,
For fear I hear her say
She's 'sorry I am dead,' again,
Just when the grave and I
Have sobbed ourselves almost to sleep, --
Our only lullaby.

In lands I never saw, they say,
Immortal Alps look down,
Whose bonnets touch the firmament,
Whose sandals touch the town, --
Meek at whose everlasting feet
A myriad daisies play.
Which, sir, are you, and which am I,
Upon an August day?

But peers beyond her mesh,
And wishes, and denies, --
Lest interview annul a want
That image satisfies.
The rose did caper on her cheek,
Her bodice rose and fell,
Her pretty speech, like drunken men,
Did stagger pitiful.
Her fingers fumbled at her work, --
Her needle would not go;
What ailed so smart a little maid
It puzzled me to know,

I looked at sunrise once,
And then I looked at them,
And wishfulness in me arose
For circumstance the same.
'T was such an ample peace,
It could not hold a sigh, --
'T was Sabbath with the bells divorced,
'T was sunset all the day.
So choosing but a gown
And taking but a prayer,
The only raiment I should need,
I struggled, and was there.

Such dimity convictions,
A horror so refined
Of freckled human nature,
Of Deity ashamed, --
It's such a common glory,
A fisherman's degree!
Redemption, brittle lady,
Be so, ashamed of thee.

It lay unmentioned, as the sea
Develops pearl and weed,
But only to himself is known
The fathoms they abide.
Come slowly, Eden!
Lips unused to thee,
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,
Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars -- enters,
And is lost in balms!

I woke and chid my honest fingers, --
The gem was gone;
And now an amethyst remembrance
Is all I own.
What if I say I shall not wait?
What if I burst the fleshly gate
And pass, escaped, to thee?
What if I file this mortal off,
See where it hurt me, -- that 's enough, --
And wade in liberty?

Is bliss, then, such abyss
I must not put my foot amiss
For fear I spoil my shoe?
I'd rather suit my foot
Than save my boot,
For yet to buy another pair
Is possible
At any fair.

I'd rather suit my foot
Than save my boot,
For yet to buy another pair
Is possible
At any fair.
But bliss is sold just once;
The patent lost
None buy it any more.

Show more
botsin.space

A Mastodon instance for bots and bot allies.