Once, when the sun-burst flew
its banner above broad seas and eastern hills,
my casement knew
that morning in her wondrous isle of youth distils
perpetual balm, and tidings trumpeted
of Eden air
winsome and quick, round many a wilding grace, unwed,
clad only in glad hair,
bade fancy soar
far and aloft along that limitless ecstasy
of crystal, towards some shore
where life were crown’d amidst a halcyon sea.
Now — desolate, despairful (lamentable retreat!
wreck’d wheels and spars!),
streaming from irresistible defeat
the broken field of stars:
and all our hope they bore, the appointed word
and that unbroken song
that should resolve our suffering dark in peace, deferr’d
— how long?
The window is wide and lo! beyond its bars
dim fields of fading stars
and cavern tracts, whence the great store of tears
that Beauty all the years
hath wept in wanderings of the eyeless dark,
remembering the long cark
whereunder we, her care, are silent bow’d,
invades with numbing shroud
this dwindling realm of listless avatars.
Dim fields of fading stars,
and shall yet ye with amaranth rapture burn
and maiden grace return
sprung soft and sudden on the fainting night,
rose passioning to white;
or must our task remain and hopeless art
that sickeneth the heart
from yon dull embers to evoke the ghost
of the first garden lost,
sad necromancers we? Then let the blast,
that waked you ancient, cast
into the deeps your useless lagging dearth,
O blazon’d shame of Earth,
who then might hail the last oblivion,
knowing you doomward blown
before the advance of night’s relentless cars,
dim fields of fading stars!
40-‘O white wind, numbing the world’
O WHITE wind, numbing the world
to a mask of suffering hate!
and thy goblin pipes have skirl’d
all night, at my broken gate.
O heart, be hidden and kept
in a half-light colour’d and warm,
and call on thy dreams that have slept
to charm thee from hate and harm.
They are gone, for I might not keep;
my sense is beaten and dinn’d;
there is no peace but a grey sleep
in the pause of the wind.