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The Nuts of Knowledge Lyrical Poems Old and New

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THE NUTS OF KNOWLEDGE A cabin on the mountain side hid in a grassy nookWhere door and windows open wide that friendly stars may look.The rabbit shy can patter in, the winds may enter free,Who throng around the mountain throne in living ecstasy. And when the sun sets dimmed in eve and purple fills the air,I think the sacred Hazel Tree is dropping berries thereFrom starry fruitage waved aloft where Connla's Well o'erflows;For sure the enchanted waters pour through every wind that blows. I think when night towers up aloft and shakes the trembling dewHow every high and lonely thought that thrills my being throughIs but a ruddy berry dropped down through the purple air,And from the magic tree of life the fruit falls everywhere.

IMMORTALITY We must pass like smoke or live within the spirit's fire;For we can no more than smoke unto the flame returnIf our thought has changed to dream, our will unto desire,As smoke we vanish though the fire may burn. Lights of infinite pity star the grey dusk of our days:Surely here is soul: with it we have eternal breath:In the fire of love we live, or pass by many ways,By unnumbered ways of dream to death.
THE HERMIT Now the quietude of earthNestles deep my heart within;Friendships new and strange have birthSince I left the city's din. Here the tempest stays its guile,Like a big kind brother plays,Romps and pauses here awhileFrom its immemorial ways. Now the silver light of dawnSlipping through the leaves that fleckMy one window, hurries on,Throws its arms around my neck. Darkness to my doorway hies,Lays her chin upon the roof,And her burning seraph eyesNow no longer keep aloof. Here the ancient mysteryHolds its hands out day by day,Takes a chair and croons with meBy my cabin built of clay. When the dusky shadow flits,By the chimney nook I seeWhere the old enchanter sits,Smiles, and waves, and beckons me.
THE GREAT BREATH Its edges foamed with amethyst and rose,Withers once more the old blue flower of day:There where the ether like a diamond glowsIts petals fade away. A shadowy tumult stirs the dusky air;Sparkle the delicate dews, the distant snows;The great deep thrills for through it everywhereThe breath of beauty blows. I saw how all the trembling ages past,Moulded to her by deep and deeper breath,Neared to the hour when Beauty breathes her lastAnd knows herself in death.
THE DIVINE VISION This mood hath known all beauty for it seesO'erwhelmed majestiesIn these pale forms, and kingly crowns of goldOn brows no longer bold,And through the shadowy terrors of their hellThe love for which they fell,And how desire which cast them in the deepCalled God too from his sleep.O, pity, only seer, who looking throughA heart melted like dew,Seest the long perished in the present thus,For ever dwell in us.Whatever time thy golden eyelids opeThey travel to a hope;Not only backward from these low degreesTo starry dynasties,But, looking far where now the silence ownsAnd rules from empty thrones,Thou seest the enchanted halls of heaven burnFor joy at our return.Thy tender kiss hath memory we are kingsFor all our wanderings.Thy shining eyes already see the afterIn hidden light and laughter.
THE BURNING GLASS A shaft of fire that falls like dew,And melts and maddens all my blood,From out thy spirit flashes throughThe burning glass of womanhood. Only so far; here must I stay:Nearer I miss the light, the fire:I must endure the torturing ray,And, with all beauty, all desire. Ah, time-long must the effort be,And far the way that I must goTo bring my spirit unto thee,Behind the glass, within the glow.
A VISION OF BEAUTY Where we sat at dawn together, while the star-rich heavens shifted,We were weaving dreams in silence, suddenly the veil was lifted....