Of peace that sheds more light than day;
In Will and Mind
’Tis the easy path so hard to find;
In Heart, a pain not to be told,
Were words mere honey, milk, and gold;
I’ the Body ’tis the bag of the bee;
In all, the present, thousandfold amends
Made to the sad, astonish’d life
Of him that leaves house, child, and wife,
And on God’s ’hest, almost despairing, wends,
As little guessing as the herd
What a strange Phoenix of a bird
Builds in this tree,
But only intending all that He intends.
To this, the Life of them that live,
If God would not, thus far, give tongue,
Ah, why did He his secret give
To one that has the gift of song?
But all He does He doubtless means,
And, if the Mystery that smites Prophets dumb
Here, to the grace-couch’d eyes of some,
Shapes to its living face the clinging shroud,
Perchance the Skies grow tired of screens,
And ’tis His Advent in the Cloud.
VENUS AND DEATH.
With fetters gold her captivated feet
Lay, sunny sweet;
In that palm was the poppy, Sleep; in this
The apple, Bliss;
Against the mild side of his Spouse and Mother
One small God throve, and in’t, meseem’d, another.
By these a Death-in-Life did foully breathe
Out of a face that was one grate of teeth.
Lift, O kind Angels, lift her eyelids loth,
Lest he devour her and her Godlets both!
Whate’er thou dost thou’rt dear.
Uncertain troubles sanctify
That magic well-spring of the willing tear,
Thy jealous fear,
With not the rustle of a rival near;
Thy careless disregard of all
My tenderest care;
Thy dumb despair
When thy keen wit my worship may construe
Into contempt of thy divinity;
They please me too!
But should it once befall
These accidental charms to disappear,
Thy sometime self the same throughout the year,
So glowing, grave and shy,
Kind, talkative and dear
As now thou sitt’st to ply
The fireside tune
Of that neat engine deft at which thou sew’st
With fingers mild and foot like the new moon,
O, then what cross of any further fate
Could my content abate?
Forget, then, (but I know
Thou canst not so,)
Thy customs of some praediluvian state.
I am no Bullfinch, fair my Butterfly,
That thou should’st try
Those zigzag courses, in the welkin clear;
Nor cruel Boy that, fledd’st thou straight
Or paused, mayhap
Might catch thee, for thy colours, with his cap.