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Nirvana Days

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INVOCATION (From a High Cliff) Sweep unrestOut of my blood,Winds of the sea! Sweep the fogOut of my brainFor I am oneWho has told Life he will be free.Who will not doubt of work that's done,Who will not fear the work to do.Who will hold peaks PrometheanBetter than all Jove's honey-dew.Who when the Vulture tears his breastWill smile into the Terror's Eyes.Who for the World has this Bequest—Hope, that eternally is wise.

THE FAIRIES OF GOD Last night I slipt from the banks of dreamAnd swam in the currents of God,On a tide where His fairies were at play,Catching salt tears in their little white hands,For human hearts;And dancing dancing, in gala bands,On the currents of God;And singing, singing:—There is no wind blows here or spray—Wind upon us!Only the waters ripple awayUnder our feet as we gather tears.God has made mortals for the years,Us for alway!God has made mortals full of fears,Fears for the night and fears for the day.If they would free them from grief that sears,If they would keep all that love endears,If they would lay no more lilies on biers—Let them say!For we are swift to enchant and tireTime's will!Our feet are wiser than all desire,Our song is better than faith or fame;To whom it is given no ill e'er came,Who has it not grows chill!Who has it not grows laggard and lame,Nor knows that the world is a Minstrel's lyre,Smitten and never still!...Last night on the currents of God.

A SONG OF THE OLD VENETIANS The seven fleets of VeniceSet sail across the seaFor Cyprus and for TrebizondAyoub and Araby.Their gonfalons are floating far,St. Mark's has heard the mass,And to the noon the salt lagoonLies white, like burning glass. The seven fleets of Venice—And each its way to go,Led by a Falier or Tron,Zorzi or Dandalo.The Patriarch has blessed them all,The Doge has waved the word,And in their wings the murmuringsOf waiting winds are heard. The seven fleets of Venice—And what shall be their fate?One shall return with porphyryAnd pearl and fair agàte.One shall return with spice and spoilAnd silk of Samarcand.But nevermore shall one win o'erThe sea, to any land. Oh, they shall bring the East back,And they shall bring the West,The seven fleets our Venice setsA-sail upon her quest.But some shall bring despair backAnd some shall leave their keelsDeeper than wind or wave frets,Or sun ever steals.

NIRVANA DAYS I If I were in Japan today,In little Japan today,I'd watch the sampan-rowers rideOn Yokohama bay.I'd watch the little flower-folkPass on the Bund, where playOf "foreign" music fills their earsWith wonder new alway. Or in a kuruma I'd stepAnd "Noge-yama!" cry,And bare brown feet should wheel me fastWhere Noge-yama, highAbove the city and sea's vastUprises, with the sighOf pines about its festal fanesBuilt free to sun and sky. And there till dusk I'd sit and thinkOf Shaka Muni, lordOf Buddhas; or of Fudo's fireAnd rope and lifted sword.And, ere I left, a surging shadeOf clouds, a distant horde,Should break and Fugi's cone stand clear—With sutras overscored. Sutras of ice and rock and snow,Written by hands of heatAnd thaw upon it, till 'twould seemMeant for the final seatOf the lord Buddha and his bliss—If ever he repeatThis life where millions still are boundWithin Illusion's cheat....