A SUMMER NIGHT Her mist of primroses within her breastTwilight hath folded up, and o'er the west,Seeking remoter valleys long hath gone,Not yet hath come her sister of the dawn.Silence and coolness now the earth enfold:Jewels of glittering green, long mists of gold,Hazes of nebulous silver veil the height,And shake in tremors through the shadowy night.Heard through the stillness, as in whispered words,The wandering God-guided wings of birdsRuffle the dark. The little lives that lieDeep hid in grass join in a long-drawn sighMore softly still; and unheard through the blueThe falling of innumerable dew,Lifts with grey fingers all the leaves that layBurned in the heat of the consuming day.The lawns and lakes lie in this night of love,Admitted to the majesty above.Earth with the starry company hath part;The waters hold all heaven within their heart,And glimmer o'er with wave-lips everywhereLifted to meet the angel lips of air.The many homes of men shine near and far;Peace-laden as the tender evening star,The late home-coming folk anticipateTheir rest beyond the passing of the gate,And tread with sleep-filled hearts on drowsy feet.Oh, far away and wonderful and sweetAll this, all this. But far too many thingsObscuring, as a cloud of seraph wingsBlinding the seeker for the Lord behind,I fall away in weariness of mind,And think how far apart are I and you,Beloved, from those spirit children whoFelt but one single Being long ago,Whispering in gentleness and leaning lowOut of its majesty, as child to child.I think upon it all with heart grown wild.Hearing no voice, howe'er my spirit broods.No whisper from the dense infinitudes,This world of myriad things whose distance awes.Ah me; how innocent our childhood was!
CREATION As one by one the veils took flight,The day withdrew, the stars came up:The spirit issued dark and bright,Filling thy beauty like a cup. Sacred thy laughter on the air,Holy thy lightest word that fell,Proud the innumerable hairThat waved at the enchanter's spell. Oh Master of the Beautiful,Creating us from hour to hour,Give me this vision to the fullTo see in lightest things thy power! This vision give, no heaven afar,No throne, and yet I will rejoice,Knowing beneath my feet a star,Thy word in every wandering voice.
DUSK Dusk wraps the village in its dim caress;Each chimney's vapour, like a thin grey rod,Mounting aloft through miles of quietness,Pillars the skies of God. Far up they break or seem to break their line,Mingling their nebulous crests that bow and nodUnder the light of those fierce stars that shineOut of the calm of God. Only in clouds and dreams I felt those soulsIn the abyss, each fire hid in its clod,From which in clouds and dreams the spirit rollsInto the vast of God.
NIGHT Heart-hidden from the outer things I rose;The spirit woke anew in nightly birthUnto the vastness where forever glowsThe star-soul of the earth. There all alone in primal ecstasy,Within her depths where revels never tire,The Olden Beauty shines: each thought of meIs veined through with its fire. And all my thoughts are throngs of living souls;They breathe in me, heart unto heart allied;Their joy undimmed, though when the morning tollsThe planets may divide.
DAWN Still as the holy of holies breathes the vastWithin its crystal depths the stars grow dim;Fire on the altar of the hills at lastBurns on the shadowy rim. Moments that holds all moments; white uponThe verge it trembles; then like mists of flowersBreak from the fairy fountain of the dawnThe hues of many hours. Thrown downward from that high companionshipOf dreaming inmost heart with inmost heart,Into the common daily ways I slip,My fire from theirs apart.
DAY In day from some titanic past it seemsAs if a thread divine of memory runs;Born ere the Mighty One began his dreams,Or yet were stars and suns. But here an iron will has fixed the bars;Forgetfulness falls on earth's myriad races:No image of the proud and morning starsLooks at us from their faces. Yet yearning still to reach to those dim heights,Each dream remembered is a burning-glass,Where through to darkness from the Light of LightsIts rays in splendour pass.