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Best Famous Princess Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Princess poems. This is a select list of the best famous Princess poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Princess poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of princess poems.

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Written by Majeed Amjad | Create an image from this poem

A Twinkle in Her Eyes

Who can say

Why her eyes,

Those playmates of the hamlet where Beauty dwells,

Why her eyes smile that way ?

 

When notes arising from her soul,

That Temple-Palace of Music,

And traipsing through the land of glad tidings,

Mirthfully smothering the tinkling of their anklets,

Tip toe up, haltingly, secretively,

To the gates of her lips,

Why her gaze sparkles and smiles ?

 

Leaping over islands of silence

And wastelands of sealed lip pining,

When the silhouettes of desire

Come waltzing in

To nestle in an intimate moment’s nest,

Why her gaze sparkles and smiles ?

 

Her soul, that Sprite-Princess,

Neither lifts her veil

Nor voices her song

And when her heart’s ballad

Passes through distant, unexplored worlds

As the faint, lingering sounds of a flute …

Why her gaze sparkles and smiles !


Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty)

 Consider
a girl who keeps slipping off,
arms limp as old carrots,
into the hypnotist's trance,
into a spirit world
speaking with the gift of tongues.
She is stuck in the time machine, suddenly two years old sucking her thumb, as inward as a snail, learning to talk again.
She's on a voyage.
She is swimming further and further back, up like a salmon, struggling into her mother's pocketbook.
Little doll child, come here to Papa.
Sit on my knee.
I have kisses for the back of your neck.
A penny for your thoughts, Princess.
I will hunt them like an emerald.
Come be my snooky and I will give you a root.
That kind of voyage, rank as a honeysuckle.
Once a king had a christening for his daughter Briar Rose and because he had only twelve gold plates he asked only twelve fairies to the grand event.
The thirteenth fairy, her fingers as long and thing as straws, her eyes burnt by cigarettes, her uterus an empty teacup, arrived with an evil gift.
She made this prophecy: The princess shall prick herself on a spinning wheel in her fifteenth year and then fall down dead.
Kaputt! The court fell silent.
The king looked like Munch's Scream Fairies' prophecies, in times like those, held water.
However the twelfth fairy had a certain kind of eraser and thus she mitigated the curse changing that death into a hundred-year sleep.
The king ordered every spinning wheel exterminated and exorcised.
Briar Rose grew to be a goddess and each night the king bit the hem of her gown to keep her safe.
He fastened the moon up with a safety pin to give her perpetual light He forced every male in the court to scour his tongue with Bab-o lest they poison the air she dwelt in.
Thus she dwelt in his odor.
Rank as honeysuckle.
On her fifteenth birthday she pricked her finger on a charred spinning wheel and the clocks stopped.
Yes indeed.
She went to sleep.
The king and queen went to sleep, the courtiers, the flies on the wall.
The fire in the hearth grew still and the roast meat stopped crackling.
The trees turned into metal and the dog became china.
They all lay in a trance, each a catatonic stuck in a time machine.
Even the frogs were zombies.
Only a bunch of briar roses grew forming a great wall of tacks around the castle.
Many princes tried to get through the brambles for they had heard much of Briar Rose but they had not scoured their tongues so they were held by the thorns and thus were crucified.
In due time a hundred years passed and a prince got through.
The briars parted as if for Moses and the prince found the tableau intact.
He kissed Briar Rose and she woke up crying: Daddy! Daddy! Presto! She's out of prison! She married the prince and all went well except for the fear -- the fear of sleep.
Briar Rose was an insomniac.
.
.
She could not nap or lie in sleep without the court chemist mixing her some knock-out drops and never in the prince's presence.
If if is to come, she said, sleep must take me unawares while I am laughing or dancing so that I do not know that brutal place where I lie down with cattle prods, the hole in my cheek open.
Further, I must not dream for when I do I see the table set and a faltering crone at my place, her eyes burnt by cigarettes as she eats betrayal like a slice of meat.
I must not sleep for while I'm asleep I'm ninety and think I'm dying.
Death rattles in my throat like a marble.
I wear tubes like earrings.
I lie as still as a bar of iron.
You can stick a needle through my kneecap and I won't flinch.
I'm all shot up with Novocain.
This trance girl is yours to do with.
You could lay her in a grave, an awful package, and shovel dirt on her face and she'd never call back: Hello there! But if you kissed her on the mouth her eyes would spring open and she'd call out: Daddy! Daddy! Presto! She's out of prison.
There was a theft.
That much I am told.
I was abandoned.
That much I know.
I was forced backward.
I was forced forward.
I was passed hand to hand like a bowl of fruit.
Each night I am nailed into place and forget who I am.
Daddy? That's another kind of prison.
It's not the prince at all, but my father drunkeningly bends over my bed, circling the abyss like a shark, my father thick upon me like some sleeping jellyfish.
What voyage is this, little girl? This coming out of prison? God help -- this life after death?
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

 If you danced from midnight
to six A.
M.
who would understand? The runaway boy who chucks it all to live on the Boston Common on speed and saltines, pissing in the duck pond, rapping with the street priest, trading talk like blows, another missing person, would understand.
The paralytic's wife who takes her love to town, sitting on the bar stool, downing stingers and peanuts, singing "That ole Ace down in the hole," would understand.
The passengers from Boston to Paris watching the movie with dawn coming up like statues of honey, having partaken of champagne and steak while the world turned like a toy globe, those murderers of the nightgown would understand.
The amnesiac who tunes into a new neighborhood, having misplaced the past, having thrown out someone else's credit cards and monogrammed watch, would understand.
The drunken poet (a genius by daylight) who places long-distance calls at three A.
M.
and then lets you sit holding the phone while he vomits (he calls it "The Night of the Long Knives") getting his kicks out of the death call, would understand.
The insomniac listening to his heart thumping like a June bug, listening on his transistor to Long John Nebel arguing from New York, lying on his bed like a stone table, would understand.
The night nurse with her eyes slit like Venetian blinds, she of the tubes and the plasma, listening to the heart monitor, the death cricket bleeping, she who calls you "we" and keeps vigil like a ballistic missile, would understand.
Once this king had twelve daughters, each more beautiful than the other.
They slept together, bed by bed in a kind of girls' dormitory.
At night the king locked and bolted the door .
How could they possibly escape? Yet each morning their shoes were danced to pieces.
Each was as worn as an old jockstrap.
The king sent out a proclamation that anyone who could discover where the princesses did their dancing could take his pick of the litter.
However there was a catch.
If he failed, he would pay with his life.
Well, so it goes.
Many princes tried, each sitting outside the dormitory, the door ajar so he could observe what enchantment came over the shoes.
But each time the twelve dancing princesses gave the snoopy man a Mickey Finn and so he was beheaded.
Poof! Like a basketball.
It so happened that a poor soldier heard about these strange goings on and decided to give it a try.
On his way to the castle he met an old old woman.
Age, for a change, was of some use.
She wasn't stuffed in a nursing home.
She told him not to drink a drop of wine and gave him a cloak that would make him invisible when the right time came.
And thus he sat outside the dorm.
The oldest princess brought him some wine but he fastened a sponge beneath his chin, looking the opposite of Andy Gump.
The sponge soaked up the wine, and thus he stayed awake.
He feigned sleep however and the princesses sprang out of their beds and fussed around like a Miss America Contest.
Then the eldest went to her bed and knocked upon it and it sank into the earth.
They descended down the opening one after the other.
They crafty soldier put on his invisisble cloak and followed.
Yikes, said the youngest daughter, something just stepped on my dress.
But the oldest thought it just a nail.
Next stood an avenue of trees, each leaf make of sterling silver.
The soldier took a leaf for proof.
The youngest heard the branch break and said, Oof! Who goes there? But the oldest said, Those are the royal trumpets playing triumphantly.
The next trees were made of diamonds.
He took one that flickered like Tinkerbell and the youngest said: Wait up! He is here! But the oldest said: Trumpets, my dear.
Next they came to a lake where lay twelve boats with twelve enchanted princes waiting to row them to the underground castle.
The soldier sat in the youngest's boat and the boat was as heavy as if an icebox had been added but the prince did not suspect.
Next came the ball where the shoes did duty.
The princesses danced like taxi girls at Roseland as if those tickets would run right out.
They were painted in kisses with their secret hair and though the soldier drank from their cups they drank down their youth with nary a thought.
Cruets of champagne and cups full of rubies.
They danced until morning and the sun came up naked and angry and so they returned by the same strange route.
The soldier went forward through the dormitory and into his waiting chair to feign his druggy sleep.
That morning the soldier, his eyes fiery like blood in a wound, his purpose brutal as if facing a battle, hurried with his answer as if to the Sphinx.
The shoes! The shoes! The soldier told.
He brought forth the silver leaf, the diamond the size of a plum.
He had won.
The dancing shoes would dance no more.
The princesses were torn from their night life like a baby from its pacifier.
Because he was old he picked the eldest.
At the wedding the princesses averted their eyes and sagged like old sweatshirts.
Now the runaways would run no more and never again would their hair be tangled into diamonds, never again their shoes worn down to a laugh, never the bed falling down into purgatory to let them climb in after with their Lucifer kicking.
Written by Rabindranath Tagore | Create an image from this poem

Fairyland

 If people came to know where my king's palace is, it would vanish 
into the air.
The walls are of white silver and the roof of shining gold.
The queen lives in a palace with seven courtyards, and she wears a jewel that cost all the wealth of seven kingdoms.
But let me tell you, mother, in a whisper, where my king's palace is.
It is at the corner of our terrace where the pot of the tulsi plant stands.
The princess lies sleeping on the far-away shore of the seven impassable seas.
There is none in the world who can find her but myself.
She has bracelets on her arms and pearl drops in her ears; her hair sweeps down upon the floor.
She will wake when I touch her with my magic wand and jewels will fall from her lips when she smiles.
But let me whisper in your ear, mother; she is there in the corner of our terrace where the pot of the tulsi plant stands.
When it is time for you to go to the river for your bath, step up to that terrace on the roof.
I sit in the corner where the shadow of the walls meet together.
Only puss is allowed to come with me, for she know where the barber in the story lives.
But let me whisper, mother, in your ear where the barber in the story lives.
It is at the corner of the terrace where the pot of the tulsi plant stands.
Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

The Chinese Nightingale

 A Song in Chinese Tapestries


"How, how," he said.
"Friend Chang," I said, "San Francisco sleeps as the dead— Ended license, lust and play: Why do you iron the night away? Your big clock speaks with a deadly sound, With a tick and a wail till dawn comes round.
While the monster shadows glower and creep, What can be better for man than sleep?" "I will tell you a secret," Chang replied; "My breast with vision is satisfied, And I see green trees and fluttering wings, And my deathless bird from Shanghai sings.
" Then he lit five fire-crackers in a pan.
"Pop, pop," said the fire-crackers, "cra-cra-crack.
" He lit a joss stick long and black.
Then the proud gray joss in the corner stirred; On his wrist appeared a gray small bird, And this was the song of the gray small bird: "Where is the princess, loved forever, Who made Chang first of the kings of men?" And the joss in the corner stirred again; And the carved dog, curled in his arms, awoke, Barked forth a smoke-cloud that whirled and broke.
It piled in a maze round the ironing-place, And there on the snowy table wide Stood a Chinese lady of high degree, With a scornful, witching, tea-rose face.
.
.
.
Yet she put away all form and pride, And laid her glimmering veil aside With a childlike smile for Chang and for me.
The walls fell back, night was aflower, The table gleamed in a moonlit bower, While Chang, with a countenance carved of stone, Ironed and ironed, all alone.
And thus she sang to the busy man Chang: "Have you forgotten.
.
.
.
Deep in the ages, long, long ago, I was your sweetheart, there on the sand— Storm-worn beach of the Chinese land? We sold our grain in the peacock town Built on the edge of the sea-sands brown— Built on the edge of the sea-sands brown.
.
.
.
"When all the world was drinking blood From the skulls of men and bulls And all the world had swords and clubs of stone, We drank our tea in China beneath the sacred spice-trees, And heard the curled waves of the harbor moan.
And this gray bird, in Love's first spring, With a bright-bronze breast and a bronze-brown wing, Captured the world with his carolling.
Do you remember, ages after, At last the world we were born to own? You were the heir of the yellow throne— The world was the field of the Chinese man And we were the pride of the Sons of Han? We copied deep books and we carved in jade, And wove blue silks in the mulberry shade.
.
.
.
" "I remember, I remember That Spring came on forever, That Spring came on forever," Said the Chinese nightingale.
My heart was filled with marvel and dream, Though I saw the western street-lamps gleam, Though dawn was bringing the western day, Though Chang was a laundryman ironing away.
.
.
.
Mingled there with the streets and alleys, The railroad-yard and the clock-tower bright, Demon clouds crossed ancient valleys; Across wide lotus-ponds of light I marked a giant firefly's flight.
And the lady, rosy-red, Flourished her fan, her shimmering fan, Stretched her hand toward Chang, and said: "Do you remember, Ages after, Our palace of heart-red stone? Do you remember The little doll-faced children With their lanterns full of moon-fire, That came from all the empire Honoring the throne?— The loveliest fête and carnival Our world had ever known? The sages sat about us With their heads bowed in their beards, With proper meditation on the sight.
Confucius was not born; We lived in those great days Confucius later said were lived aright.
.
.
.
And this gray bird, on that day of spring, With a bright bronze breast, and a bronze-brown wing, Captured the world with his carolling.
Late at night his tune was spent.
Peasants, Sages, Children, Homeward went, And then the bronze bird sang for you and me.
We walked alone.
Our hearts were high and free.
I had a silvery name, I had a silvery name, I had a silvery name — do you remember The name you cried beside the tumbling sea?" Chang turned not to the lady slim— He bent to his work, ironing away; But she was arch, and knowing and glowing, And the bird on his shoulder spoke for him.
"Darling .
.
.
darling .
.
.
darling .
.
.
darling .
.
.
" Said the Chinese nightingale.
The great gray joss on a rustic shelf, Rakish and shrewd, with his collar awry, Sang impolitely, as though by himself, Drowning with his bellowing the nightingale's cry: "Back through a hundred, hundred years Hear the waves as they climb the piers, Hear the howl of the silver seas, Hear the thunder.
Hear the gongs of holy China How the waves and tunes combine In a rhythmic clashing wonder, Incantation old and fine: `Dragons, dragons, Chinese dragons, Red fire-crackers, and green fire-crackers, And dragons, dragons, Chinese dragons.
'" Then the lady, rosy-red, Turned to her lover Chang and said: "Dare you forget that turquoise dawn When we stood in our mist-hung velvet lawn, And worked a spell this great joss taught Till a God of the Dragons was charmed and caught? From the flag high over our palace home He flew to our feet in rainbow-foam — A king of beauty and tempest and thunder Panting to tear our sorrows asunder.
A dragon of fair adventure and wonder.
We mounted the back of that royal slave With thoughts of desire that were noble and grave.
We swam down the shore to the dragon-mountains, We whirled to the peaks and the fiery fountains.
To our secret ivory house we were bourne.
We looked down the wonderful wing-filled regions Where the dragons darted in glimmering legions.
Right by my breast the nightingale sang; The old rhymes rang in the sunlit mist That we this hour regain — Song-fire for the brain.
When my hands and my hair and my feet you kissed, When you cried for your heart's new pain, What was my name in the dragon-mist, In the rings of rainbowed rain?" "Sorrow and love, glory and love," Said the Chinese nightingale.
"Sorrow and love, glory and love," Said the Chinese nightingale.
And now the joss broke in with his song: "Dying ember, bird of Chang, Soul of Chang, do you remember? — Ere you returned to the shining harbor There were pirates by ten thousand Descended on the town In vessels mountain-high and red and brown, Moon-ships that climbed the storms and cut the skies.
On their prows were painted terrible bright eyes.
But I was then a wizard and a scholar and a priest; I stood upon the sand; With lifted hand I looked upon them And sunk their vessels with my wizard eyes, And the stately lacquer-gate made safe again.
Deep, deep below the bay, the sea-weed and the spray, Embalmed in amber every pirate lies, Embalmed in amber every pirate lies.
" Then this did the noble lady say: "Bird, do you dream of our home-coming day When you flew like a courier on before From the dragon-peak to our palace-door, And we drove the steed in your singing path— The ramping dragon of laughter and wrath: And found our city all aglow, And knighted this joss that decked it so? There were golden fishes in the purple river And silver fishes and rainbow fishes.
There were golden junks in the laughing river, And silver junks and rainbow junks: There were golden lilies by the bay and river, And silver lilies and tiger-lilies, And tinkling wind-bells in the gardens of the town By the black-lacquer gate Where walked in state The kind king Chang And his sweet-heart mate.
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.
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With his flag-born dragon And his crown of pearl.
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and.
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jade, And his nightingale reigning in the mulberry shade, And sailors and soldiers on the sea-sands brown, And priests who bowed them down to your song— By the city called Han, the peacock town, By the city called Han, the nightingale town, The nightingale town.
" Then sang the bird, so strangely gay, Fluttering, fluttering, ghostly and gray, A vague, unravelling, final tune, Like a long unwinding silk cocoon; Sang as though for the soul of him Who ironed away in that bower dim: — "I have forgotten Your dragons great, Merry and mad and friendly and bold.
Dim is your proud lost palace-gate.
I vaguely know There were heroes of old, Troubles more than the heart could hold, There were wolves in the woods Yet lambs in the fold, Nests in the top of the almond tree.
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.
.
The evergreen tree.
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and the mulberry tree.
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Life and hurry and joy forgotten, Years on years I but half-remember.
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Man is a torch, then ashes soon, May and June, then dead December, Dead December, then again June.
Who shall end my dream's confusion? Life is a loom, weaving illusion.
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I remember, I remember There were ghostly veils and laces.
.
.
In the shadowy bowery places.
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.
With lovers' ardent faces Bending to one another, Speaking each his part.
They infinitely echo In the red cave of my heart.
`Sweetheart, sweetheart, sweetheart.
' They said to one another.
They spoke, I think, of perils past.
They spoke, I think, of peace at last.
One thing I remember: Spring came on forever, Spring came on forever," Said the Chinese nightingale.
Written by Christina Rossetti | Create an image from this poem

Bride Song

 From 'The Prince's Progress' 

TOO late for love, too late for joy, 
 Too late, too late! 
You loiter'd on the road too long, 
 You trifled at the gate: 
The enchanted dove upon her branch 
 Died without a mate; 
The enchanted princess in her tower 
 Slept, died, behind the grate; 
Her heart was starving all this while 
 You made it wait.
Ten years ago, five years ago, One year ago, Even then you had arrived in time, Though somewhat slow; Then you had known her living face Which now you cannot know: The frozen fountain would have leap'd, The buds gone on to blow, The warm south wind would have awaked To melt the snow.
Is she fair now as she lies? Once she was fair; Meet queen for any kingly king, With gold-dust on her hair.
Now there are poppies in her locks, White poppies she must wear; Must wear a veil to shroud her face And the want graven there: Or is the hunger fed at length, Cast off the care? We never saw her with a smile Or with a frown; Her bed seem'd never soft to her, Though toss'd of down; She little heeded what she wore, Kirtle, or wreath, or gown; We think her white brows often ached Beneath her crown, Till silvery hairs show'd in her locks That used to be so brown.
We never heard her speak in haste: Her tones were sweet, And modulated just so much As it was meet: Her heart sat silent through the noise And concourse of the street.
There was no hurry in her hands, No hurry in her feet; There was no bliss drew nigh to her, That she might run to greet.
You should have wept her yesterday, Wasting upon her bed: But wherefore should you weep to-day That she is dead? Lo, we who love weep not to-day, But crown her royal head.
Let be these poppies that we strew, Your roses are too red: Let be these poppies, not for you Cut down and spread.
Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | Create an image from this poem

A Sea-Side Walk

 We walked beside the sea,
After a day which perished silently
Of its own glory---like the Princess weird
Who, combating the Genius, scorched and seared,
Uttered with burning breath, 'Ho! victory!'
And sank adown, an heap of ashes pale;
So runs the Arab tale.
The sky above us showed An universal and unmoving cloud, On which, the cliffs permitted us to see Only the outline of their majesty, As master-minds, when gazed at by the crowd! And, shining with a gloom, the water grey Swang in its moon-taught way.
Nor moon nor stars were out.
They did not dare to tread so soon about, Though trembling, in the footsteps of the sun.
The light was neither night's nor day's, but one Which, life-like, had a beauty in its doubt; And Silence's impassioned breathings round Seemed wandering into sound.
O solemn-beating heart Of nature! I have knowledge that thou art Bound unto man's by cords he cannot sever--- And, what time they are slackened by him ever, So to attest his own supernal part, Still runneth thy vibration fast and strong, The slackened cord along.
For though we never spoke Of the grey water **** the shaded rock,--- Dark wave and stone, unconsciously, were fused Into the plaintive speaking that we used, Of absent friends and memories unforsook; And, had we seen each other's face, we had Seen haply, each was sad.


Written by Linda Pastan | Create an image from this poem

Jump Cabling

 When our cars touched
When you lifted the hood of mine
To see the intimate workings underneath,
When we were bound together
By a pulse of pure energy,
When my car like the princess
In the tale woke with a start, 
I thought why not ride the rest of the way together.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

A Ballad of Jakkko Hill

 One moment bid the horses wait,
 Since tiffin is not laid till three,
Below the upward path and straight
 You climbed a year ago with me.
Love came upon us suddenly And loosed -- an idle hour to kill -- A headless, armless armory That smote us both on Jakko Hill.
Ah Heaven! we would wait and wait Through Time and to Eternity! Ah Heaven! we could conquer Fate With more than Godlike constancy I cut the date upon a tree -- Here stand the clumsy figures still: "10-7-85, A.
D.
" Damp with the mist of Jakko Hill.
What came of high resolve and great, And until Death fidelity! Whose horse is waiting at your gate? Whose 'rickshaw-wheels ride over me? No Saint's, I swear; and -- let me see To-night what names your programme fill -- We drift asunder merrily, As drifts the mist on Jakko Hill.
L'ENVOI.
Princess, behold our ancient state Has clean departed; and we see 'Twas Idleness we took for Fate That bound light bonds on you and me.
Amen! Here ends the comedy Where it began in all good will; Since Love and Leave together flee As driven mist on Jakko Hill!
Written by Robert Browning | Create an image from this poem

Abt Vogler

 Would that the structure brave, the manifold music I build,
Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work,
Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when Solomon willed
Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk,
Man, brute, reptile, fly,--alien of end and of aim,
Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep removed,--
Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable Name,
And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess he loved!

Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine,
This which my keys in a crowd pressed and importuned to raise!
Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart now and now combine,
Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their master his praise!
And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down to hell,
Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of things,
Then up again swim into sight, having based me my palace well,
Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs.
And another would mount and march, like the excellent minion he was, Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many a crest, Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as glass, Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest: For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire, When a great illumination surprises a festal night-- Outlining round and round Rome's dome from space to spire) Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my soul was in sight.
In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to match man's birth, Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I; And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to reach the earth, As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to scale the sky: Novel splendours burst forth, grew familiar and dwelt with mine, Not a point nor peak but found and fixed its wandering star; Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not pale nor pine, For earth had attained to heaven, there was no more near nor far.
Nay more; for there wanted not who walked in the glare and glow, Presences plain in the place; or, fresh from the Protoplast, Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier wind should blow, Lured now to begin and live, in a house to their liking at last; Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed through the body and gone, But were back once more to breathe in an old world worth their new: What never had been, was now; what was, as it shall be anon; And what is,--shall I say, matched both? for I was made perfect too.
All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish of my soul, All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed visibly forth, All through music and me! For think, had I painted the whole, Why, there it had stood, to see, nor the process so wonder-worth: Had I written the same, made verse--still, effect proceeds from cause, Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told; It is all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws, Painter and poet are proud in the artist-list enrolled:-- But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can, Existent behind all laws, that made them and, lo, they are! And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man, That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound, but a star.
Consider it well: each tone of our scale in itself is nought; It is everywhere in the world--loud, soft, and all is said: Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in my thought: And, there! Ye have heard and seen: consider and bow the head! Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music I reared; Gone! and the good tears start, the praises that come too slow; For one is assured at first, one scarce can say that he feared, That he even gave it a thought, the gone thing was to go.
Never to be again! But many more of the kind As good, nay, better, perchance: is this your comfort to me? To me, who must be saved because I cling with my mind To the same, same self, same love, same God: ay, what was, shall be.
Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the ineffable Name? Builder and maker, thou, of houses not made with hands! What, have fear of change from thee who art ever the same? Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that thy power expands? There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before; The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound; What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more; On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round.
All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist; Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist When eternity affirms the conception of an hour.
The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard, The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky, Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard; Enough that he heard it once: we shall hear it by and by.
And what is our failure here but a triumph's evidence For the fulness of the days? Have we withered or agonized? Why else was the pause prolonged but that singing might issue thence? Why rushed the discords in, but that harmony should be prized? Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear, Each sufferer says his say, his scheme of the weal and woe: But God has a few of us whom he whispers in the ear; The rest may reason and welcome; 'tis we musicians know.
Well, it is earth with me; silence resumes her reign: I will be patient and proud, and soberly acquiesce.
Give me the keys.
I feel for the common chord again, Sliding by semitones till I sink to the minor,--yes, And I blunt it into a ninth, and I stand on alien ground, Surveying awhile the heights I rolled from into the deep; Which, hark, I have dared and done, for my resting-place is found, The C Major of this life: so, now I will try to sleep.
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