Who knows what musical flocks of words
Upon these pine-tree tops will light,
And crown these towers in circling flight
And cross these seas like summer birds,
And give a voice to the day and night?
Something of you already is ours;
Some mystic part of you belongs
To us whose dreams your future throngs,
Who look on hills, and trees, and flowers,
Which will mean so much in your songs.
I wonder, like the maid who found,
And knelt to lift, the lyre supreme
Of Orpheus from the Thracian stream.
She dreams on its sealed past profound;
On a deep future sealed I dream.
She bears it in her wanderings
Within her arms, and has not pressed
Her unskilled fingers, but her breast
Upon those silent sacred strings;
I, too, clasp mystic strings at rest.
For I, i’ the world of lands and seas,
The sky of wind and rain and fire,
And in man’s world of long desire—
In all that is yet dumb in these—
Have found a more mysterious lyre.
THE POET SINGS TO HER POET
THE MOON TO THE SUN
As the full moon shining there
To the sun that lighteth her
Am I unto thee for ever,
O my secret glory-giver!
O my light, I am dark but fair,
Black but fair.
Shine, Earth loves thee! And then shine
And be loved through thoughts of mine.
All thy secrets that I treasure
I translate them at my pleasure.
I am crowned with glory of thine.
Thine, not thine.
I make pensive thy delight,
And thy strong gold silver-white.
Though all beauty of nine thou makest,
Yet to earth which thou forsakest
I have made thee fair all night,
Day all night.
A POET’S SONNET
If I should quit thee, sacrifice, forswear,
To what, my art, shall I give thee in keeping?
To the long winds of heaven? Shall these come sweeping
My songs forgone against my face and hair?
Or shall the mountain streams my lost joys bear,
My past poetic pain in the rain be weeping?
No, I shall live a poet waking, sleeping,
And I shall die a poet unaware.
From me, my art, thou canst not pass away;
And I, a singer though I cease to sing,
Shall own thee without joy in thee or woe.
Through my indifferent words of every day,
Scattered and all unlinked the rhymes shall ring
And make my poem; and I shall not know.
THE MODERN POET
A SONG OF DERIVATIONS
I come from nothing; but from where
Come the undying thoughts I bear?
Down, through long links of death and birth,
From the past poets of the earth.
My immortality is there.