Persian, you rise
Aflame from climes of sacrifice
Where adulators sue,
And prostrate man, with brow abased,
Adheres to rites whose tenor traced
All worship hitherto.
Arch type of sway,
Meetly your over-ruling ray
You fling from Asia’s plain,
Whence flashed the javelins abroad
Of many a wild incursive horde
Led by some shepherd Cain.
Mid terrors dinned
Gods too came conquerors from your Ind,
The book of Brahma throve;
They came like to the scythed car,
Westward they rolled their empire far,
Of night their purple wove.
Chemist, you breed
In orient climes each sorcerous weed
That energizes dream—
Transmitted, spread in myths and creeds,
Houris and hells, delirious screeds
And Calvin’s last extreme.
What though your light
In time’s first dawn compelled the flight
Of Chaos’ startled clan,
Shall never all your darted spears
Disperse worse Anarchs, frauds and fears,
Sprung from these weeds to man?
But Science yet
An effluence ampler shall beget,
And power beyond your play—
Shall quell the shades you fail to rout,
Yea, searching every secret out
Elucidate your ray.
To have known him, to have loved him
After loneness long;
And then to be estranged in life,
And neither in the wrong;
And now for death to set his seal—
Ease me, a little ease, my song!
By wintry hills his hermit-mound
The sheeted snow-drifts drape,
And houseless there the snow-bird flits
Beneath the fir-trees’ crape:
Glazed now with ice the cloistral vine
That hid the shyest grape.
Though fast youth’s glorious fable flies,
View not the world with worldling’s eyes;
Nor turn with weather of the time.
Foreclose the coming of surprise:
Stand where Posterity shall stand;
Stand where the Ancients stood before,
And, dipping in lone founts thy hand,
Drink of the never-varying lore:
Wise once, and wise thence evermore.
In bed I muse on Tenier’s boors,
Embrowned and beery losels all;
A wakeful brain
Within low doors the slugs of boors
Laze and yawn and doze again.
In dreams they doze, the drowsy boors,
Their hazy hovel warm and small:
Thought’s ampler bound
But chill is found:
Within low doors the basking boors
Snugly hug the ember-mound.
Sleepless, I see the slumberous boors
Their blurred eyes blink, their eyelids fall:
Thought’s eager sight
Within low doors the boozy boors
Cat-naps take in pipe-bowl light.