The Mirror Of Diana
Popular Name for Lake Nemi.
SHE floats into the quiet skies,
Where, in the circle of hills,
Her immemorial mirror fills
With light, as of a Virgin's eyes
When, love a-tremble in their blue,
They glow twin violets dipped in dew.
Mild as a metaphor of Sleep,
The Queen Moon of ancestral night
Beholds her image in the deep:
As if a-gaze she beams above
Lake Nemi's magic glass of love.
White rose, white lily of the vale,
Perfume the even breath of night;
In many a burst of sweet delight
The love throb of the nightingale
Swells through lush flowering woods and fills
The circle of the listening hills.
White rose, white lily of the skies,
The Moon-flower blossoms in the lake;
The nightingale for her fair sake
With hopeless love's impassioned cries
Seems fain to sing till song must kill
Himself with one tumultuous trill.
And all the songs and all the scents,
The light of glowworms and the fires
Of fire-flies in the cypress spires;
And all the wild wind instruments
Of pine and ilex as the breeze
Sweeps out their mystic harmonies;--
All are but Messengers of May
To that white orb of maiden fire
Who fills the moth with mad desire
To die enamoured in her ray,
And turns each dewdrop in the grass
Into a fairy looking-glass.
O Beauty, far and far above
The night moth and the nightingale!
Far, far above life's narrow pale,
O Unattainable! O Love!
Even as the nightingale we cry
For some Ideal set on high.
Haunting the deep reflective mind,
You may surprise its perfect Sphere
Glassed like the Moon within her mere,
Who at a puff of alien wind
Melts in innumerable rings,
Elusive in the flux of things.
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