Deus Absconditus

SINCE Thou dost clothe Thyself to-day in cloud,
Lord God in heaven, and no voice low or loud
Proclaims Thee,--see, I turn me to the Earth,
Its wisdom and its sorrow and its mirth,
Thy Earth perchance, but sure my very own,
And precious to me grows the clod, the stone,
A voiceless moor's brooding monotony,
A keen star quivering through the sunset dye,
Young wrinkled beech leaves, saturate with light,
The arching wave's suspended malachite;
I turn to men, Thy sons perchance, but sure


The Destruction of Sennacherib

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd,


Delilah

We have another viceroy now, -- those days are dead and done
Of Delilah Aberyswith and depraved Ulysses Gunne.


Delilah Aberyswith was a lady -- not too young --
With a perfect taste in dresses and a badly-bitted tongue,
With a thirst for information, and a greater thirst for praise,
And a little house in Simla in the Prehistoric Days.

By reason of her marriage to a gentleman in power,
Delilah was acquainted with the gossip of the hour;
And many little secrets, of the half-official kind,


Description of a Tropical Island

Behold an Indian isle, reposed
Upon the deep’s enamoured breast,
Even like a royal bride, be-rosed
With passion in her happy rest.
Or, when the morn is there disclosed,
Or eve is robing in the west,
The deep, as by that isle embossed
With central gauds of sumless cost,
And else outspread in circuit—wide
And round as heaven from side to side—
Might figure to a fancy bold
A wide vast shield of fretted gold,
Dropped by some conquer’d elder god,
When on his track, where’er he trod,


Deep in a Yew-Sequestered Grove

Deep in a yew-sequestered grove
I sat and wept my heart away;
A child came by at close of day
With eyes as sweet as new-born love.

He came from sun-bleached meadows where
High on the hedge the topmost rose
Curtsies to every wind that blows.
A wanton of the summer air.

The sunset aureoled his brow,
Kindling the roses in his hand,
And by my side I saw him stand
To offer me his rose-red bough:

Take back thy gift--I sighed forlorn,
And showed where like the yew's red seed,


Dear Deborah

They tell me that your heart
has been found in Iowa,
pumping along Interstate 35.
Do you want it back?

When the cold comes on
this fast, it's Iowa again--
where pollen disperses
evenly on the dented Fords,

where white houses sag
by the town's corn silos,
where people in the houses
sicken on corn dust.

Auctions sell entire farms.
It's not the auctions that's upsetting
but what they sell, the ragged towel
or the armless doll, for a dollar.


Daybreak

On the tidal mud, just before sunset,
dozens of starfishes
were creeping. It was
as though the mud were a sky
and enormous, imperfect stars
moved across it as slowly
as the actual stars cross heaven.
All at once they stopped,
and, as if they had simply
increased their receptivity
to gravity, they sank down
into the mud, faded down
into it and lay still, and by the time
pink of sunset broke across them
they were as invisible
as the true stars at daybreak.


Damayante To Nala In The Hour Of Exile

SHALT thou be conquered of a human fate
My liege, my lover, whose imperial head
Hath never bent in sorrow of defeat?
Shalt thou be vanquished, whose imperial feet
Have shattered armies and stamped empires dead?
Who shall unking thee, husband of a queen?
Wear thou thy majesty inviolate.
Earth's glories flee of human eyes unseen,
Earth's kingdoms fade to a remembered dream,
But thine henceforth shall be a power supreme,


Dazzling command and rich dominion,
The winds thy heralds and thy vassals all


Craving for Spring

I wish it were spring in the world.

Let it be spring!
Come, bubbling, surging tide of sap!
Come, rush of creation!
Come, life! surge through this mass of mortification!
Come, sweep away these exquisite, ghastly first-flowers,
which are rather last-flowers!
Come, thaw down their cool portentousness, dissolve them:
snowdrops, straight, death-veined exhalations of white and purple crocuses,
flowers of the penumbra, issue of corruption, nourished in mortification,
jets of exquisite finality;


Cora

Of Cora, once so dearly ours,
Would mournful memory sing;
Of how she came when came the flowers,
To leave us with the spring.
That day (returned) which gave her breath
Was that whereon she died,
And o’er the pangs of birth and death
Passed blooming as a bride.

The spring it came, with never a storm,
And nine times came and went,
Till its whole spirit with her form
In budding beauty blent.

Yea, till its sentiment was wreathed
About her eye it came,


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