Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I..

If a royal painter, great
With the colors dedicate
To a dove’s neck, a sea-bight,
And the flickering over white
Mountain summits far away,—­
One content to give his mind
To the enrichment of mankind,
And the laying up of light
In men’s houses,—­on that day,
Could have passed in kingly mood,
Would he ever have endued
Canvas with the peerless thing,
In the grace that it did bring,
And the light that o’er it flowed,
With the pureness that it showed,
And the pureness that it meant? 
Could he skill to make it seen
As he saw?  For this, I ween,
He were likewise impotent.

II.

I opened the doors of my heart. 
                                And behold,
There was music within and a song,
And echoes did feed on the sweetness, repeating it long. 
I opened the doors of my heart:  and behold,
There was music that played itself out in aeolian notes;
Then was heard, as a far-away bell at long intervals tolled,
        That murmurs and floats,
And presently dieth, forgotten of forest and wold,
And comes in all passion again, and a tremblement soft,
        That maketh the listener full oft
To whisper, “Ah! would I might hear it for ever and aye,
        When I toil in the heat of the day,
        When I walk in the cold.”

  I opened the door of my heart.  And behold,
  There was music within, and a song. 
But while I was hearkening, lo, blackness without, thick and strong,
Came up and came over, and all that sweet fluting was drowned,
        I could hear it no more;
For the welkin was moaning, the waters were stirred on the shore,
        And trees in the dark all around
Were shaken.  It thundered.  “Hark, hark! there is thunder to-night! 
The sullen long wave rears her head, and comes down with a will;
The awful white tongues are let loose, and the stars are all dead;—­
There is thunder! it thunders! and ladders of light
        Run up.  There is thunder!” I said,
“Loud thunder! it thunders! and up in the dark overhead,
A down-pouring cloud, (there is thunder!) a down-pouring cloud
Hails out her fierce message, and quivers the deep in its bed,
And cowers the earth held at bay; and they mutter aloud,
And pause with an ominous tremble, till, great in their rage,
The heavens and earth come together, and meet with a crash;
And the fight is so fell as if Time had come down with the flash,
        And the story of life was all read,
        And the Giver had turned the last page.

“Now their bar the pent water-floods lash,
And the forest trees give out their language austere with great age;
And there flieth o’er moor and o’er hill,
And there heaveth at intervals wide,
The long sob of nature’s great passion as loath to subside,
Until quiet drop down on the tide,
And mad Echo had moaned herself still.”

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Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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