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- Endymion, Book I, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever] by John Keats - Poems | yvifisylohiz.tk
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- Endymion, Book I, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever]
Born in , John Keats was an English Romantic poet and author of three poems considered to be among the finest in the English language. For what listen they? For a song and for a charm, See they glisten in alarm, And the Moon is waxing warm To hear what I shall say. Leave this field blank. Book I A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing A flowery band to bind us to the earth, Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways Made for our searching: Such the sun, the moon, Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon For simple sheep; and such are daffodils With the green world they live in; and clear rills That for themselves a cooling covert make 'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake, Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms: And such too is the grandeur of the dooms We have imagined for the mighty dead; All lovely tales that we have heard or read: An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
Nor do we merely feel these essences For one short hour; no, even as the trees That whisper round a temple become soon Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon, The passion poesy, glories infinite, Haunt us till they become a cheering light Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast, That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast, They alway must be with us, or we die. Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I Will trace the story of Endymion. The very music of the name has gone Into my being, and each pleasant scene Is growing fresh before me as the green Of our own vallies: And, as the year Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer My little boat, for many quiet hours, With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write, Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white, Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas, I must be near the middle of my story. O may no wintry season, bare and hoary, See it half finished: And now at once, adventuresome, I send My herald thought into a wilderness: There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress My uncertain path with green, that I may speed Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed. Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread A mighty forest; for the moist earth fed So plenteously all weed-hidden roots Into o'er-hanging boughs, and precious fruits.
And it had gloomy shades, sequestered deep, Where no man went; and if from shepherd's keep A lamb strayed far a-down those inmost glens, Never again saw he the happy pens Whither his brethren, bleating with content, Over the hills at every nightfall went. Among the shepherds, 'twas believed ever, That not one fleecy lamb which thus did sever From the white flock, but pass'd unworried By angry wolf, or pard with prying head, Until it came to some unfooted plains Where fed the herds of Pan: Paths there were many, Winding through palmy fern, and rushes fenny, And ivy banks; all leading pleasantly To a wide lawn, whence one could only see Stems thronging all around between the swell Of turf and slanting branches: Full in the middle of this pleasantness There stood a marble altar, with a tress Of flowers budded newly; and the dew Had taken fairy phantasies to strew Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve, And so the dawned light in pomp receive.
For 'twas the morn: Apollo's upward fire Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre Of brightness so unsullied, that therein A melancholy spirit well might win Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine Into the winds: Now while the silent workings of the dawn Were busiest, into that self-same lawn All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped A troop of little children garlanded; Who gathering round the altar, seemed to pry Earnestly round as wishing to espy Some folk of holiday: Within a little space again it gave Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave, To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking Through copse-clad vallies,—ere their death, oer-taking The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea.
And now, as deep into the wood as we Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmered light Fair faces and a rush of garments white, Plainer and plainer shewing, till at last Into the widest alley they all past, Making directly for the woodland altar. But let a portion of ethereal dew Fall on my head, and presently unmew My soul; that I may dare, in wayfaring, To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing. Leading the way, young damsels danced along, Bearing the burden of a shepherd song; Each having a white wicker over brimm'd With April's tender younglings: Some idly trailed their sheep-hooks on the ground, And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound With ebon-tipped flutes: From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white, Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light; And in his left he held a basket full Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull: Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill.
His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath, Seem'd like a poll of ivy in the teeth Of winter hoar. Then came another crowd Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd, Up-followed by a multitude that rear'd Their voices to the clouds, a fair wrought car, Easily rolling so as scarce to mar The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown: Who stood therein did seem of great renown Among the throng.
His youth was fully blown, Shewing like Ganymede to manhood grown; And, for those simple times, his garments were A chieftain king's: A smile was on his countenance; he seem'd, To common lookers on, like one who dream'd Of idleness in groves Elysian: But there were some who feelingly could scan A lurking trouble in his nether lip, And see that oftentimes the reins would slip Through his forgotten hands: Soon the assembly, in a circle rang'd, Stood silent round the shrine: Endymion too, without a forest peer, Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed face, Among his brothers of the mountain chase.
In midst of all, the venerable priest Eyed them with joy from greatest to the least, And, after lifting up his aged hands, Thus spake he: Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks: Whether descended from beneath the rocks That overtop your mountains; whether come From vallies where the pipe is never dumb; Or from your swelling downs, where sweet air stirs Blue hare-bells lightly, and where prickly furze Buds lavish gold; or ye, whose precious charge Nibble their fill at ocean's very marge, Whose mellow reeds are touch'd with sounds forlorn By the dim echoes of old Triton's horn: Yea, every one attend!
Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than Night-swollen mushrooms?
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Are not our wide plains Speckled with countless fleeces? Have not rains Green'd over April's lap? No howling sad Sickens our fearful ewes; and we have had Great bounty from Endymion our lord. The earth is glad: Now while the earth was drinking it, and while Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile, And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright 'Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light Spread greyly eastward, thus a chorus sang: By all the trembling mazes that she ran, Hear us, great Pan!
O thou, to whom Broad leaved fig trees even now foredoom Their ripen'd fruitage; yellow girted bees Their golden honeycombs; our village leas Their fairest-blossom'd beans and poppied corn; The chuckling linnet its five young unborn, To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year All its completions—be quickly near, By every wind that nods the mountain pine, O forester divine!
Winder of the horn, When snouted wild-boars routing tender corn Anger our huntsman: Breather round our farms, To keep off mildews, and all weather harms: Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds, That come a swooning over hollow grounds, And wither drearily on barren moors: Dread opener of the mysterious doors Leading to universal knowledge—see, Great son of Dryope, The many that are come to pay their vows With leaves about their brows! Be still the unimaginable lodge For solitary thinkings; such as dodge Conception to the very bourne of heaven, Then leave the naked brain: Be still a symbol of immensity; A firmament reflected in a sea; An element filling the space between; An unknown—but no more: Even while they brought the burden to a close, A shout from the whole multitude arose, That lingered in the air like dying rolls Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine, Young companies nimbly began dancing To the swift treble pipe, and humming string. Aye, those fair living forms swam heavenly To tunes forgotten—out of memory: High genitors, unconscious did they cull Time's sweet first-fruits—they danc'd to weariness, And then in quiet circles did they press The hillock turf, and caught the latter end Of some strange history, potent to send A young mind from its bodily tenement.
Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent On either side; pitying the sad death Of Hyacinthus, when the cruel breath Of Zephyr slew him,—Zephyr penitent, Who now, ere Phoebus mounts the firmament, Fondles the flower amid the sobbing rain. The archers too, upon a wider plain, Beside the feathery whizzing of the shaft, And the dull twanging bowstring, and the raft Branch down sweeping from a tall ash top, Call'd up a thousand thoughts to envelope Those who would watch.
Perhaps, the trembling knee And frantic gape of lonely Niobe, Poor, lonely Niobe! Arous'd from this sad mood By one, who at a distance loud halloo'd, Uplifting his strong bow into the air, Many might after brighter visions stare: After the Argonauts, in blind amaze Tossing about on Neptune's restless ways, Until, from the horizon's vaulted side, There shot a golden splendour far and wide, Spangling those million poutings of the brine With quivering ore: Who thus were ripe for high contemplating, Might turn their steps towards the sober ring Where sat Endymion and the aged priest 'Mong shepherds gone in eld, whose looks increas'd The silvery setting of their mortal star.
There they discours'd upon the fragile bar That keeps us from our homes ethereal; And what our duties there: Anon they wander'd, by divine converse, Into Elysium; vieing to rehearse Each one his own anticipated bliss. One felt heart-certain that he could not miss His quick gone love, among fair blossom'd boughs, Where every zephyr-sigh pouts and endows Her lips with music for the welcoming.
Endymion, Book I, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever] by John Keats - Poems | yvifisylohiz.tk
Another wish'd, mid that eternal spring, To meet his rosy child, with feathery sails, Sweeping, eye-earnestly, through almond vales: Who, suddenly, should stoop through the smooth wind, And with the balmiest leaves his temples bind; And, ever after, through those regions be His messenger, his little Mercury. Some were athirst in soul to see again Their fellow huntsmen o'er the wide champaign In times long past; to sit with them, and talk Of all the chances in their earthly walk; Comparing, joyfully, their plenteous stores Of happiness, to when upon the moors, Benighted, close they huddled from the cold, And shar'd their famish'd scrips.
Thus all out-told Their fond imaginations,—saving him Whose eyelids curtain'd up their jewels dim, Endymion: Now indeed His senses had swoon'd off: But in the self-same fixed trance he kept, Like one who on the earth had never stept. Aye, even as dead-still as a marble man, Frozen in that old tale Arabian. Who whispers him so pantingly and close? Peona, his sweet sister: Hushing signs she made, And breath'd a sister's sorrow to persuade A yielding up, a cradling on her care. Her eloquence did breathe away the curse: She led him, like some midnight spirit nurse Of happy changes in emphatic dreams, Along a path between two little streams,— Guarding his forehead, with her round elbow, From low-grown branches, and his footsteps slow From stumbling over stumps and hillocks small; Until they came to where these streamlets fall, With mingled bubblings and a gentle rush, Into a river, clear, brimful, and flush With crystal mocking of the trees and sky.
A little shallop, floating there hard by, Pointed its beak over the fringed bank; And soon it lightly dipt, and rose, and sank, And dipt again, with the young couple's weight,— Peona guiding, through the water straight, Towards a bowery island opposite; Which gaining presently, she steered light Into a shady, fresh, and ripply cove, Where nested was an arbour, overwove By many a summer's silent fingering; To whose cool bosom she was used to bring Her playmates, with their needle broidery, And minstrel memories of times gone by.
So she was gently glad to see him laid Under her favourite bower's quiet shade, On her own couch, new made of flower leaves, Dried carefully on the cooler side of sheaves When last the sun his autumn tresses shook, And the tann'd harvesters rich armfuls took. Soon was he quieted to slumbrous rest: But, ere it crept upon him, he had prest Peona's busy hand against his lips, And still, a sleeping, held her finger-tips In tender pressure. And as a willow keeps A patient watch over the stream that creeps Windingly by it, so the quiet maid Held her in peace: O comfortable bird, That broodest o'er the troubled sea of the mind Till it is hush'd and smooth!
Opening his eyelids with a healthier brain, He said: Can I want Aught else, aught nearer heaven, than such tears? Yet dry them up, in bidding hence all fears That, any longer, I will pass my days Alone and sad. No, I will once more raise My voice upon the mountain-heights; once more Make my horn parley from their foreheads hoar: Again my trooping hounds their tongues shall loll Around the breathed boar: And, when the pleasant sun is getting low, Again I'll linger in a sloping mead To hear the speckled thrushes, and see feed Our idle sheep.
So be thou cheered sweet, And, if thy lute is here, softly intreat My soul to keep in its resolved course. Surely some influence rare Went, spiritual, through the damsel's hand; For still, with Delphic emphasis, she spann'd The quick invisible strings, even though she saw Endymion's spirit melt away and thaw Before the deep intoxication. But soon she came, with sudden burst, upon Her self-possession—swung the lute aside, And earnestly said: Hast thou sinn'd in aught Offensive to the heavenly powers? Caught A Paphian dove upon a message sent? Thy deathful bow against some deer-herd bent, Sacred to Dian?
Haply, thou hast seen Her naked limbs among the alders green; And that, alas! No, I can trace Something more high perplexing in thy face! Tell me thine ailment: What indeed more strange? Or more complete to overwhelm surmise? Ambition is no sluggard: So all have set my heavier grief above These things which happen. Rightly have they done: I, who still saw the horizontal sun Heave his broad shoulder o'er the edge of the world, Out-facing Lucifer, and then had hurl'd My spear aloft, as signal for the chace— I, who, for very sport of heart, would race With my own steed from Araby; pluck down A vulture from his towery perching; frown A lion into growling, loth retire— To lose, at once, all my toil breeding fire, And sink thus low!
And in that nook, the very pride of June, Had I been used to pass my weary eves; The rather for the sun unwilling leaves So dear a picture of his sovereign power, And I could witness his most kingly hour, When he doth lighten up the golden reins, And paces leisurely down amber plains His snorting four.
Now when his chariot last Its beams against the zodiac-lion cast, There blossom'd suddenly a magic bed Of sacred ditamy, and poppies red: At which I wondered greatly, knowing well That but one night had wrought this flowery spell; And, sitting down close by, began to muse What it might mean. Perhaps, thought I, Morpheus, In passing here, his owlet pinions shook; Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth, Had dipt his rod in it: Thus on I thought, Until my head was dizzy and distraught.
Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul; And shaping visions all about my sight Of colours, wings, and bursts of spangly light; The which became more strange, and strange, and dim, And then were gulph'd in a tumultuous swim: And then I fell asleep. Ah, can I tell The enchantment that afterwards befel? THE woods of Arcady are dead, And over is their antique joy; Of old the world on dreaming fed; Grey Truth is now her painted toy; Yet still she turns her restless head: But O, sick children of the world, Of all the many changing things In dreary dancing past us whirled, To the cracked tune that Chronos sings, Words alone are certain good.
Where are now the warring kings, Word be-mockers? An idle word is now their glory, By the stammering schoolboy said, Reading some entangled story: The kings of the old time are dead; The wandering earth herself may be Only a sudden flaming word, In clanging space a moment heard, Troubling the endless reverie. Then nowise worship dusty deeds, Nor seek, for this is also sooth, To hunger fiercely after truth, Lest all thy toiling only breeds New dreams, new dreams; there is no truth Saving in thine own heart.
Go gather by the humming sea Some twisted, echo-harbouring shell. And to its lips thy story tell, And they thy comforters will be. Rewording in melodious guile Thy fretful words a little while, Till they shall singing fade in ruth And die a pearly brotherhood; For words alone are certain good: Sing, then, for this is also sooth. I must be gone: For fair are poppies on the brow: Dream, dream, for this is also sooth.
Who holds the world between His bill and made us strong or weak Is an undying moorfowl, and He lives beyond the sky. The rains are from His dripping wing, the moonbeams from His eye. I passed a little further on and heard a lotus talk: Who made the world and ruleth it, He hangeth on a stalk, For I am in His image made, and all this tinkling tide Is but a sliding drop of rain between His petals wide. A little way within the gloom a roebuck raised his eyes Brimful of starlight, and he said: The Stamper of the Skies, He is a gentle roebuck; for how else, I pray, could He Conceive a thing so sad and soft, a gentle thing like me?
I passed a little further on and heard a peacock say: Who made the grass and made the worms and made my feathers gay, He is a monstrous peacock, and He waveth all the night His languid tail above us, lit with myriad spots of light. AUTUMN is over the long leaves that love us, And over the mice in the barley sheaves; Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us, And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves. The hour of the waning of love has beset us, And weary and worn are our sad souls now; Let us part, ere the season of passion forget us, With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.
How far away the stars seem, and how far Is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart! Pensive they paced along the faded leaves, While slowly he whose hand held hers replied: Turning, he saw that she had thrust dead leaves Gathered in silence, dewy as her eyes, In bosom and hair. Before us lies eternity; our souls Are love, and a continual farewell.
I SAT on cushioned otter-skin: My word was law from Ith to Emain, And shook at Inver Amergin The hearts of the world-troubling seamen, And drove tumult and war away From girl and boy and man and beast; The fields grew fatter day by day, The wild fowl of the air increased; And every ancient Ollave said, While he bent down his fading head. I sat and mused and drank sweet wine; A herdsman came from inland valleys, Crying, the pirates drove his swine To fill their dark-beaked hollow galleys.
I called my battle-breaking men And my loud brazen battle-cars From rolling vale and rivery glen; And under the blinking of the stars Fell on the pirates by the deep, And hurled them in the gulph of sleep: These hands won many a torque of gold. But slowly, as I shouting slew And trampled in the bubbling mire, In my most secret spirit grew A whirling and a wandering fire: I laughed aloud and hurried on By rocky shore and rushy fen; I laughed because birds fluttered by, And starlight gleamed, and clouds flew high, And rushes waved and waters rolled.
And now I wander in the woods When summer gluts the golden bees, Or in autumnal solitudes Arise the leopard-coloured trees; Or when along the wintry strands The cormorants shiver on their rocks; I wander on, and wave my hands, And sing, and shake my heavy locks.
The grey wolf knows me; by one ear I lead along the woodland deer; The hares run by me growing bold. I came upon a little town That slumbered in the harvest moon, And passed a-tiptoe up and down, Murmuring, to a fitful tune, How I have followed, night and day, A tramping of tremendous feet, And saw where this old tympan lay Deserted on a doorway seat, And bore it to the woods with me; Of some inhuman misery Our married voices wildly trolled.
DOWN by the salley gardens my love and I did meet; She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet. She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree; But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree. In a field by the river my love and I did stand, And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs; But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears. YOU waves, though you dance by my feet like children at play, Though you glow and you glance, though you purr and you dart; In the Junes that were warmer than these are, the waves were more gay, When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart. The herring are not in the tides as they were of old; My sorrow!
And ah, you proud maiden, you are not so fair when his oar Is heard on the water, as they were, the proud and apart, Who paced in the eve by the nets on the pebbly shore, When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart. Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days! Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways: Cuchulain battling with the bitter tide; The Druid, grey, wood-nurtured, quiet-eyed, Who cast round Fergus dreams, and ruin untold; And thine own sadness, where of stars, grown old In dancing silver-sandalled on the sea, Sing in their high and lonely melody.
Come near, come near, come near — Ah, leave me still A little space for the rose-breath to fill! Lest I no more bear common things that crave; The weak worm hiding down in its small cave, The field-mouse running by me in the grass, And heavy mortal hopes that toil and pass; But seek alone to hear the strange things said By God to the bright hearts of those long dead, And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know.
Come near; I would, before my time to go, Sing of old Eire and the ancient ways: Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days. WHO dreamed that beauty passes like a dream? We and the labouring world are passing by: Bow down, archangels, in your dim abode: Before you were, or any hearts to beat, Weary and kind one lingered by His seat; He made the world to be a grassy road Before her wandering feet.
Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World! You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing. Beauty grown sad with its eternity Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea. Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate; And when at last, defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die. I DREAMED that one had died in a strange place Near no accustomed hand, And they had nailed the boards above her face, The peasants of that land, Wondering to lay her in that solitude, And raised above her mound A cross they had made out of two bits of wood, And planted cypress round; And left her to the indifferent stars above Until I carved these words: She was more beautiful than thy first love, But now lies under boards.
Did the kiss of Mother Mary Put that music in her face? All the heavens bow down to Heaven, Flame to flame and wing to wing. Young man, lift up your russet brow, And lift your tender eyelids, maid, And brood on hopes and fear no more. The singing shook him out of his new ease. He wandered by the sands of Lissadell; His mind ran all on money cares and fears, And he had known at last some prudent years Before they heaped his grave under the hill; But while he passed before a plashy place, A lug-worm with its grey and muddy mouth Sang that somewhere to north or west or south There dwelt a gay, exulting, gentle race Under the golden or the silver skies; That if a dancer stayed his hungry foot It seemed the sun and moon were in the fruit: And at that singing he was no more wise.
He mused beside the well of Scanavin, He mused upon his mockers: The tale drove his fine angry mood away. He slept under the hill of Lugnagall; And might have known at last unhaunted sleep Under that cold and vapour-turbaned steep, Now that the earth had taken man and all: Did not the worms that spired about his bones proclaim with that unwearied, reedy cry That God has laid His fingers on the sky, That from those fingers glittering summer runs Upon the dancer by the dreamless wave.
Why should those lovers that no lovers miss Dream, until God burn Nature with a kiss? The man has found no comfort in the grave. And all grew friendly for a little while. Ah, Exiles wandering over lands and seas, And planning, plotting always that some morrow May set a stone upon ancestral Sorrow! I also bear a bell-branch full of ease.
I tore it from green boughs winds tore and tossed Until the sap of summer had grown weary! Gay bells or sad, they bring you memories Of half-forgotten innocent old places: We and our bitterness have left no traces On Munster grass and Connemara skies. The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner. Though lads are making pikes again For some conspiracy, And crazy rascals rage their fill At human tyranny, My contemplations are of Time That has transfigured me. To Some i Have Talked with by the Fire. WHILE I wrought out these fitful Danaan rhymes, My heart would brim with dreams about the times When we bent down above the fading coals And talked of the dark folk who live in souls Of passionate men, like bats in the dead trees; And of the wayward twilight companies Who sigh with mingled sorrow and content, Because their blossoming dreams have never bent Under the fruit of evil and of good: And of the embattled flaming multitude Who rise, wing above wing, flame above flame, And, like a storm, cry the Ineffable Name, And with the clashing of their sword-blades make A rapturous music, till the morning break And the white hush end all but the loud beat Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.
From The Wind Among the Reeds And he saw how the reeds grew dark At the coming of night-tide, And dreamed of the long dim hair Of Bridget his bride. He heard while he sang and dreamed A piper piping away, And never was piping so sad, And never was piping so gay. And he saw young men and young girls Who danced on a level place, And Bridget his bride among them, With a sad and a gay face. The dancers crowded about him And many a sweet thing said, And a young man brought him red wine And a young girl white bread. But Bridget drew him by the sleeve Away from the merry bands, To old men playing at cards With a twinkling of ancient hands.
The bread and the wine had a doom, For these were the host of the air; He sat and played in a dream Of her long dim hair. He played with the merry old men And thought not of evil chance, Until one bore Bridget his bride Away from the merry dance. He bore her away in his arms, The handsomest young man there, And his neck and his breast and his arms Were drowned in her long dim hair. Old men and young men and young girls Were gone like a drifting smoke; But he heard high up in the air A piper piping away, And never was piping so sad, And never was piping so gay.
Your mother Eire is always young, Dew ever shining and twilight grey; Though hope fall from you and love decay, Burning in fires of a slanderous tongue. Come, heart, where hill is heaped upon hill: For there the mystical brotherhood Of sun and moon and hollow and wood And river and stream work out their will; And God stands winding His lonely horn, And time and the world are ever in flight; And love is less kind than the grey twilight, And hope is less dear than the dew of the morn.
I WENT out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire aflame, But something rustled on the floor, And some one called me by my name: It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lads and hilly lands. I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun. I HEAR the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake, Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white; The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night, The East her hidden joy before the morning break, The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away, The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire: For that pale breast and lingering hand Come from a more dream-heavy land, A more dream-heavy hour than this; And when you sigh from kiss to kiss I hear white Beauty sighing, too, For hours when all must fade like dew.
But flame on flame, and deep on deep, Throne over throne where in half sleep, Their swords upon their iron knees, Brood her high lonely mysteries. I BRING you with reverent hands The books of my numberless dreams, White woman that passion has worn As the tide wears the dove-grey sands, And with heart more old than the horn That is brimmed from the pale fire of time: White woman with numberless dreams, I bring you my passionate rhyme. THE dews drop slowly and dreams gather: Master of the still stars and of the flaming door.
O Winds, older than changing of night and day, That murmuring and longing came From marble cities loud with tabors of old In dove-grey faery lands; From battle-banners, fold upon purple fold, Queens wrought with glimmering hands; That saw young Niamh hover with love-lorn face Above the wandering tide; And lingered in the hidden desolate place Where the last Phoenix died, And wrapped the flames above his holy head; And still murmur and long: And cover the pale blossoms of your breast With your dim heavy hair, And trouble with a sigh for all things longing for rest The odorous twilight there.
I cried in my dream, O women, bid the young men lay Their heads on your knees, and drown their eyes with your fair, Or remembering hers they will find no other face fair Till all the valleys of the world have been withered away. Until the axle break That keeps the stars in their round, And hands hurl in the deep The banners of East and West, And the girdle of light is unbound, Your breast will not lie by the breast Of your beloved in sleep. But Dathi folded his hands and smiled With the secrets of God in his eyes. And Cumhal saw like a drifting smoke All manner of blessed souls, Women and children, young men with books, And old men with croziers and stoles.
Is it these that with golden thuribles Are singing about the wood? WHEN the flaming lute-thronged angelic door is wide; When an immortal passion breathes in mortal clay; Our hearts endure the scourge, the plaited thorns, the way Crowded with bitter faces, the wounds in palm and side, The vinegar-heavy sponge, the flowers by Kedron stream; We will bend down and loosen our hair over you, That it may drop faint perfume, and be heavy with dew, Lilies of death-pale hope, roses of passionate dream.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. I became a rush that horses tread: I became a man, a hater of the wind, Knowing one, out of all things, alone, that his head May not lie on the breast nor his lips on the hair Of the woman that he loves, until he dies. O beast of the wilderness, bird of the air, Must I endure your amorous cries? Folk dance like a wave of the sea; My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet, My brother in Mocharabuiee.
I passed my brother and cousin: They read in their books of prayer; I read in my book of songs I bought at the Sligo fair. When we come at the end of time To Peter sitting in state, He will smile on the three old spirits, But call me first through the gate;. For the good are always the merry, Save by an evil chance, And the merry love the fiddle, And the merry love to dance: I HAVE heard the pigeons of the Seven Woods Make their faint thunder, and the garden bees Hum in the lime-tree flowers; and put away The unavailing outcries and the old bitterness That empty the heart.
I have forgot awhile Tara uprooted, and new commonness Upon the throne and crying about the streets And hanging its paper flowers from post to post, Because it is alone of all things happy. I am contented, for I know that Quiet Wanders laughing and eating her wild heart Among pigeons and bees, while that Great Archer, Who but awaits His hour to shoot, still hangs A cloudy quiver over Pairc-na-lee. Better go down upon your marrow-bones And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather; For to articulate sweet sounds together Is to work harder than all these, and yet Be thought an idler by the noisy set Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen The martyrs call the world.
There have been lovers who thought love should be So much compounded of high courtesy That they would sigh and quote with learned looks precedents out of beautiful old books; Yet now it seems an idle trade enough. I loved long and long, And grew to be out of fashion Like an old song. Hurry to bless the hands that play, The mouths that speak, the notes and strings, O masters of the glittering town!
Maybe they linger by the way. O no, O no! O kinsmen of the Three in One, O kinsmen, bless the hands that play. The proud and careless notes live on, But bless our hands that ebb away. WHY should I blame her that she filled my days With misery, or that she would of late Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways, Or hurled the little streets upon the great. Had they but courage equal to desire? What could have made her peaceful with a mind That nobleness made simple as a fire, With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind That is not natural in an age like this, Being high and solitary and most stern?
Meaning of "mountainside" in the English dictionary
Why, what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn? But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone, My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone. Is there a bridle for this Proteus That turns and changes like his draughty seas? Or is there none, most popular of men, But when they mock us, that we mock again?
Why should I be dismayed Though flame had burned the whole World, as it were a coal, Now I have seen it weighed Against a soul? O love is the crooked thing, There is nobody wise enough To find out all that is in it, For he would be thinking of love. Till the stars had run away And the shadows eaten the moon. Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, One cannot begin it too soon. Poets with whom I learned my trade. They sang a drowsy song, Or snored, For all were full of wine and meat.
We should be dazed and terror-struck, If we but saw in dreams that room, Those wine-drenched eyes, and curse our luck That emptied all our days to come. Since, tavern comrades, you have died, Maybe your images have stood, Mere bone and muscle thrown aside, Before that roomful or as good. What does he care if my heart break? I call for spade and horse and hound That we may harry him. Why should the faithfullest heart most love The bitter sweetness of false faces?
Why must the lasting love what passes, Why are the gods by men betrayed? Even like these to rail and sweat Staring upon his sinewy thigh. She pulled the thread and bit the thread And made a golden gown, And wept because she had dreamt that I Was born to wear a crown.
POUR wine and dance if manhood still have pride, Bring roses if the rose be yet in bloom; The cataract smokes upon the mountain side, Our Father Rosicross is in his tomb. Pull down the blinds, bring fiddle and clarionet That there be no foot silent in the room Nor mouth from kissing, nor from wine unwet; Our Father Rosicross is in his tomb. In vain, in pain; the cataract still cries; The everlasting taper lights the gloom; All wisdom shut into his onyx eyes, Our Father Rosicross sleeps in his tomb.
SUDDENLY I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice, And thereupon imagination and heart were driven So wild that every casual thought of that and this Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago; And I took all the blame out of all sense and reason, Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro, Riddled with light.
BEING out of heart with government I took a broken root to fling Where the proud, wayward squirrel went, Taking delight that he could spring; And he, with that low whinnying sound That is like laughter, sprang again And so to the other tree at a bound. Nor the tame will, nor timid brain, Nor heavy knitting of the brow Bred that fierce tooth and cleanly limb And threw him up to laugh on the bough; No government appointed him. It was an accident. Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, Nor public men, nor cheering crowds, A lonely impulse of delight Drove to this tumult in the clouds; I balanced all, brought all to mind The years to come seemed waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind In balance with this life, this death.
Echoes from the Past
O would that we had met When I had my burning youth! But I grow old among dreams, A weather-worn, marble triton Among the streams. O who could have foretold That the heart grows old? For who could have foretold That the heart grows old? I knew a phoenix in my youth, so let them have their day. THERE is grey in your hair. Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath When you are passing; But maybe some old gaffer mutters a blessing Because it was your prayer Recovered him upon the bed of death.
Your beauty can but leave among us Vague memories, nothing but memories. Vague memories, nothing but memories, But in the grave all, all, shall be renewed. The certainty that I shall see that lady Leaning or standing or walking In the first loveliness of womanhood, And with the fervour of my youthful eyes, Has set me muttering like a fool. You are more beautiful than any one, And yet your body had a flaw: Your small hands were not beautiful, And I am afraid that you will run And paddle to the wrist In that mysterious, always brimming lake Where those What have obeyed the holy law paddle and are perfect.
The last stroke of midnight dies. All day in the one chair From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have ranged In rambling talk with an image of air: Vague memories, nothing but memories. THIS night has been so strange that it seemed As if the hair stood up on my head. From going-down of the sun I have dreamed That women laughing, or timid or wild, In rustle of lace or silken stuff, Climbed up my creaking stair. They had read All I had rhymed of that monstrous thing Returned and yet unrequited love.
They stood in the door and stood between My great wood lectern and the fire Till I could hear their hearts beating: One is a harlot, and one a child That never looked upon man with desire. And one, it may be, a queen. And after twenty years they laid In that tomb by him and her His son George, the astrologer; And Masons drove from miles away To scatter the Acacia spray Upon a melancholy man Who had ended where his breath began. He never found his rest ashore, Moping for one voyage more.
Where have they laid the sailor John? And yesterday the youngest son, A humorous, unambitious man, Was buried near the astrologer, Yesterday in the tenth year Since he who had been contented long. At all these death-beds women heard A visionary white sea-bird Lamenting that a man should die; And with that cry I have raised my cry.
An old man cocked his ear upon a bridge; He and his friend, their faces to the South, Had trod the uneven road. Their boots were soiled, Their Connemara cloth worn out of shape; They had kept a steady pace as though their beds, Despite a dwindling and late-risen moon, Were distant still. An old man cocked his ear. A rat or water-hen Splashed, or an otter slid into the stream. We are on the bridge; that shadow is the tower, And the light proves that he is reading still. The lonely light that Samuel Palmer engraved, An image of mysterious wisdom won by toil; And now he seeks in book or manuscript What he shall never find.
Why should not you Who know it all ring at his door, and speak Just truth enough to show that his whole life Will scarcely find for him a broken crust Of all those truths that are your daily bread; And when you have spoken take the roads again? He wrote of me in that extravagant style He had learnt from pater, and to round his tale Said I was dead; and dead I choose to be.
Endymion, Book I, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever]
Sing me the changes of the moon once more; True song, though speech: And yet, twice born, twice buried, grow he must, Before the full moon, helpless as a worm. Sing out the song; sing to the end, and sing The strange reward of all that discipline. All thought becomes an image and the soul Becomes a body: Body and soul cast out and cast away Beyond the visible world. They ran from cradle to cradle till at last Their beauty dropped out of the loneliness Of body and soul. It must be that the terror in their eyes Is memory or foreknowledge of the hour When all is fed with light and heaven is bare.
And thereupon with aged, high-pitched voice Aherne laughed, thinking of the man within, His sleepless candle and laborious pen. And after that the crumbling of the moon. Before the full It sought itself and afterwards the world. Because you are forgotten, half out of life, And never wrote a book, your thought is clear.
Reformer, merchant, statesman, learned man, Dutiful husband, honest wife by turn, Cradle upon cradle, and all in flight and all Deformed because there is no deformity But saves us from a dream. And what of those That the last servile crescent has set free? When all the dough has been so kneaded up That it can take what form cook Nature fancies, The first thin crescent is wheeled round once more.
Hunchback and Saint and Fool are the last crescents. And then he laughed to think that what seemed hard Should be so simple — a bat rose from the hazels And circled round him with its squeaky cry, The light in the tower window was put out.
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THE cat went here and there And the moon spun round like a top, And the nearest kin of the moon, The creeping cat, looked up. Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon, For, wander and wail as he would, The pure cold light in the sky Troubled his animal blood. Minnaloushe runs in the grass Lifting his delicate feet. Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance? When two close kindred meet. What better than call a dance? Maybe the moon may learn, Tired of that courtly fashion, A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass From moonlit place to place, The sacred moon overhead Has taken a new phase. Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils Will pass from change to change, And that from round to crescent, From crescent to round they range? Minnaloushe creeps through the grass Alone, important and wise, And lifts to the changing moon His changing eyes.
Stand up and lift your hand and bless A man that finds great bitterness In thinking of his lost renown. A Roman Caesar is held down Under this hump. God tries each man According to a different plan. I shall not cease to bless because I lay about me with the taws That night and morning I may thrash Greek Alexander from my flesh, Augustus Caesar, and after these That great rogue Alcibiades. To all that in your flesh have stood And blessed, I give my gratitude, Honoured by all in their degrees, But most to Alcibiades. The Double Vision of Michael Robartes.
Under blank eyes and fingers never still The particular is pounded till it is man. When had I my own will? O not since life began. Constrained, arraigned, baffled, bent and unbent By these wire-jointed jaws and limbs of wood, Themselves obedient, Knowing not evil and good; Obedient to some hidden magical breath.
They do not even feel, so abstract are they. So dead beyond our death, Triumph that we obey. On the grey rock of Cashel I suddenly saw A Sphinx with woman breast and lion paw. A Buddha, hand at rest, Hand lifted up that blest; And right between these two a girl at play That, it may be, had danced her life away, For now being dead it seemed That she of dancing dreamed. One lashed her tail; her eyes lit by the moon Gazed upon all things known, all things unknown, In triumph of intellect With motionless head erect. Yet little peace he had, For those that love are sad.
Little did they care who danced between, And little she by whom her dance was seen So she had outdanced thought. Body perfection brought, For what but eye and ear silence the mind With the minute particulars of mankind? In contemplation had those three so wrought Upon a moment, and so stretched it out That they, time overthrown, Were dead yet flesh and bone. From Michael Robartes and the Dancer Could the impossible come to pass She would have time to turn her eyes, Her lover thought, upon the glass And on the instant would grow wise.
Go pluck Athene by the hair; For what mere book can grant a knowledge With an impassioned gravity Appropriate to that beating breast, That vigorous thigh, that dreaming eye? And may the Devil take the rest. And must no beautiful woman be Learned like a man? I have heard said There is great danger in the body. Did God in portioning wine and bread Give man His thought or His mere body? I have principles to prove me right.
It follows from this Latin text That blest souls are not composite, And that all beautiful women may Live in uncomposite blessedness, And lead us to the like — if they Will banish every thought, unless The lineaments that please their view When the long looking-glass is full, Even from the foot-sole think it too. AND thus declared that Arab lady: He that crowed out eternity Thought to have crowed it in again. Maybe an image is too strong Or maybe is not strong enough. And the moon is wilder every minute. O BUT we talked at large before The sixteen men were shot, But who can talk of give and take, What should be and what not While those dead men are loitering there To stir the boiling pot?
THEY must to keep their certainty accuse All that are different of a base intent; Pull down established honour; hawk for news Whatever their loose fantasy invent And murmur it with bated breath, as though The abounding gutter had been Helicon Or calumny a song. So the crowd come they care not what may come. They have loud music, hope every day renewed And heartier loves; that lamp is from the tomb.
FOR certain minutes at the least That crafty demon and that loud beast That plague me day and night Ran out of my sight; Though I had long perned in the gyre, Between my hatred and desire. I saw my freedom won And all laugh in the sun. But soon a tear-drop started up, For aimless joy had made me stop Beside the little lake To watch a white gull take A bit of bread thrown up into the air; Now gyring down and perning there He splashed where an absurd Portly green-pated bird Shook off the water from his back; Being no more demoniac A stupid happy creature Could rouse my whole nature.
Yet I am certain as can be That every natural victory Belongs to beast or demon, That never yet had freeman Right mastery of natural things, And that mere growing old, that brings Chilled blood, this sweetness brought; Yet have no dearer thought Than that I may find out a way To make it linger half a day. O what a sweetness strayed Through barren Thebaid, Or by the Mareotic sea When that exultant Anthony And twice a thousand more Starved upon the shore And withered to a bag of bones!
What had the Caesars but their thrones? TURNING and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed; And for an hour I have walked and prayed Because of the great gloom that is in my mind. I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower, And-under the arches of the bridge, and scream In the elms above the flooded stream; Imagining in excited reverie That the future years had come, Dancing to a frenzied drum, Out of the murderous innocence of the sea. Helen being chosen found life flat and dull And later had much trouble from a fool, While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray, Being fatherless could have her way Yet chose a bandy-legged smith for man.
And many a poor man that has roved, Loved and thought himself beloved, From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes. May she become a flourishing hidden tree That all her thoughts may like the linnet be, And have no business but dispensing round Their magnanimities of sound, Nor but in merriment begin a chase, Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel Rooted in one dear perpetual place. My mind, because the minds that I have loved, The sort of beauty that I have approved, Prosper but little, has dried up of late, Yet knows that to be choked with hate May well be of all evil chances chief. An intellectual hatred is the worst, So let her think opinions are accursed.
How but in custom and in ceremony Are innocence and beauty born? Mere dreams, mere dreams! O what if gardens where the peacock strays With delicate feet upon old terraces, Or else all Juno from an urn displays Before the indifferent garden deities; O what if levelled lawns and gravelled ways Where slippered Contemplation finds his ease And Childhood a delight for every sense, But take our greatness with our violence? What if the glory of escutcheoned doors, And buildings that a haughtier age designed, The pacing to and fro on polished floors Amid great chambers and long galleries, lined With famous portraits of our ancestors; What if those things the greatest of mankind Consider most to magnify, or to bless, But take our greatness with our bitterness?
An ancient bridge, and a more ancient tower, A farmhouse that is sheltered by its wall, An acre of stony ground, Where the symbolic rose can break in flower, Old ragged elms, old thorns innumerable, The sound of the rain or sound Of every wind that blows; The stilted water-hen Crossing Stream again Scared by the splashing of a dozen cows; A winding stair, a chamber arched with stone, A grey stone fireplace with an open hearth, A candle and written page.
Benighted travellers From markets and from fairs Have seen his midnight candle glimmering. Two men have founded here. A man-at-arms Gathered a score of horse and spent his days In this tumultuous spot, Where through long wars and sudden night alarms His dwindling score and he seemed castaways Forgetting and forgot; And I, that after me My bodily heirs may find, To exalt a lonely mind, Befitting emblems of adversity.
A bit of an embroidered dress Covers its wooden sheath. Chaucer had not drawn breath When it was forged. Yet if no change appears No moon; only an aching heart Conceives a changeless work of art. And what if my descendants lose the flower Through natural declension of the soul, Through too much business with the passing hour, Through too much play, or marriage with a fool?
May this laborious stair and this stark tower Become a roofless min that the owl May build in the cracked masonry and cry Her desolation to the desolate sky. An affable Irregular, A heavily-built Falstaffian man, Comes cracking jokes of civil war As though to die by gunshot were The finest play under the sun. A brown Lieutenant and his men, Half dressed in national uniform, Stand at my door, and I complain Of the foul weather, hail and rain, A pear-tree broken by the storm. I count those feathered balls of soot The moor-hen guides upon the stream. To silence the envy in my thought; And turn towards my chamber, caught In the cold snows of a dream.
The bees build in the crevices Of loosening masonry, and there The mother birds bring grubs and flies. My wall is loosening; honey-bees, Come build in the empty house of the state.