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THE blessàd damozel leand out
From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters stilld at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.
Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Marys gift,
For service meetly worn;
Her hair that lay along her back
Was yellow like ripe corn.
Herseemd she scarce had been a day
One of Gods choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone
From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
Had counted as ten years.
(To one, it is ten years of years.
... Yet now, and in this place,
Surely she leand oer meher hair
Fell all about my face....
Nothing: the autumn-fall of leaves.
The whole year sets apace.)
It was the rampart of Gods house
That she was standing on;
By God built over the sheer depth
The which is Space begun;
So high, that looking downward thence
She scarce could see the sun.
It lies in Heaven, across the flood
Of ether, as a bridge.
Beneath, the tides of day and night
With flame and darkness ridge
The void, as low as where this earth
Spins like a fretful midge.
Around her, lovers, newly met
Mid deathless loves acclaims,
Spoke evermore among themselves
Their heart-rememberd names;
And the souls mounting up to God
Went by her like thin flames.
And still she bowd herself and stoopd
Out of the circling charm;
Until her bosom must have made
The bar she leand on warm,
And the lilies lay as if asleep
Along her bended arm.
From the fixd place of Heaven she saw
Time like a pulse shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove
Within the gulf to pierce
Its path; and now she spoke as when
The stars sang in their spheres.
The sun was gone now; the curld moon
Was like a little feather
Fluttering far down the gulf; and now
She spoke through the still weather.
Her voice was like the voice the stars
Had when they sang together.
(Ah sweet! Even now, in that birds song,
Strove not her accents there,
Fain to be hearkened? When those bells
Possessd the mid-day air,
Strove not her steps to reach my side
Down all the echoing stair?)
I wish that he were come to me:
For he will come, she said.
Have I not prayd in Heaven?on earth,
Lord, Lord, has he not prayd?
Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
And shall I feel afraid?
When round his head the aureole clings,
And he is clothed in white,
Ill take his hand and go with him
To the deep wells of light;
As unto a stream we will step down,
And bathe there in Gods sight.
We two will stand beside that shrine,
Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps are stirred continually
With prayer sent up to God;
And see our old prayers, granted, melt
Each like a little cloud.
We two will lie i the shadow of
That living mystic tree,
Within whose secret growth the Dove
Is sometimes felt to be,
While every leaf that His plumes touch
Saith His Name audibly.
And I myself will teach to him,
I myself, lying so,
The songs I sing here; which his voice
Shall pause in, hushd and slow,
And find some knowledge at each pause,
Or some new thing to know.
(Alas! We two, we two, thou sayst!
Yea, one wast thou with me
That once of old. But shall God lift
To endless unity
The soul whose likeness with thy soul
Was but its love for thee?)
We two, she said, will seek the groves
Where the lady Mary is,
With her five handmaidens, whose names
Are five sweet symphonies,
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
Margaret and Rosalys.
Circlewise sit they, with bound locks
And foreheads garlanded;
Into the fine cloth white like flame
Weaving the golden thread,
To fashion the birth-robes for them
Who are just born, being dead.
He shall fear, haply, and be dumb:
Then will I lay my cheek
To his, and tell about our love,
Not once abashd or weak:
And the dear Mother will approve
My pride, and let me speak.
Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
To Him round whom all souls
Kneel, the clear-ranged unnumbered heads
Bowed with their aureoles:
And angels meeting us shall sing
To their citherns and citoles.
There will I ask of Christ the Lord
Thus much for him and me:
Only to live as once on earth
With Love,only to be,
As then awhile, for ever now
Together, I and he.
She gazed and listend and then said,
Less sad of speech than mild,
All this is when he comes. She ceased.
The light thrilld towards her, filld
With angels in strong level flight.
Her eyes prayed, and she smiled.
(I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres:
And then she cast her arms along
The golden barriers,
And laid her face between her hands,
And wept. (I heard her tears.)
THE wind flapped loose, the wind was still,
Shaken out dead from tree and hill:
I had walkd on at the winds will,
I sat now, for the wind was still.
Between my knees my forehead was,
My lips, drawn in, said not Alas!
My hair was over in the grass,
My naked ears heard the day pass.
My eyes, wide open, had the run
Of some ten weeds to fix upon;
Among those few, out of the sun,
The woodspurge flowerd, three cups in one.
From perfect grief there need not be
Wisdom or even memory:
One thing learnt remains to me,
The woodspurge has a cup of three.
UNDER the arch of Life, where love and death,
Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw
Beauty enthroned; and though her gaze struck awe,
I drew it in as simply as my breath.
Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath,
The sky and sea bend on thee,which can draw,
By sea or sky or woman, to one law,
The allotted bondman of her palm and wreath.
This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise
Thy voice and hand shake still,long known to thee
By flying hair and fluttering hem,the beat
Following her daily of thy heart and feet,
How passionately and irretrievably,
In what fond flight, how many ways and days!
THINK thou and act; to-morrow thou shalt die.
Outstretchd in the suns warmth upon the shore,
Thou sayst: Mans measured path is all gone oer:
Up all his years, steeply, with strain and sigh,
Man clomb until he touchd the truth; and I,
Even I, am he whom it was destined for.
How should this be? Art thou then so much more
Than they who sowd, that thou shouldst reap thereby?
Nay, come up hither. From this wave-washd mound
Unto the furthest flood-brim look with me;
Then reach on with thy thought till it be drownd.
Miles and miles distant though the last line be,
And though thy soul sail leagues and leagues beyond,
Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea.
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