The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean--
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I FEAR thy kisses gentle maiden;
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
Ever to burthen thine.
I fear thy mien thy tones thy motion; 5
Thou needest not fear mine;
Innocent is the heart's devotion
With which I worship thine.
Today is Sunday.
For the first time they took me out into the sun today.
And for the first time in my life I was aghast
that the sky is so far away
and so blue
and so vast
I stood there without a motion.
Then I sat on the ground with respectful devotion
leaning against the white wall.
Who cares about the waves with which I yearn to roll
Or about strife or freedom or my wife right now.
The soil, the sun and me.
I feel joyful and how.
Stephen Vincent Benet
And so, to you, who always were
Perseus, D'Artagnan, Lancelot
To me, I give these weedy rhymes
In memory of earlier times.
Now all those careless days are not.
Of all my heroes, you endure.
Words are such silly things! too rough,
Too smooth, they boil up or congeal,
And neither of us likes emotion --
But I can't measure my devotion!
And you know how I really feel --
And we're together.
There, enough .
BARCAROLE ON THE STYX
Fair youth with the rose at your lips,
A riddle is hid in your eyes;
Discard conversational quips,
Give over elaborate disguise.
The rose's funeral breath
Confirms by intuitive fears;
To prove your devotion, Sir Death,
Avaunt for a dozen of years.
But do not forget to array
Your terror in juvenile charms;
I shall deeply regret my delay
If I sleep in a skeleton's arms.
Yes, it is beautiful to enjoy good fame; it is shameful
to complain of the injustice of heaven; it is better to
become drunk with the juice of the grape, than to be
puffed up with false devotion.
Outside the long window,
With his head on the stone sill,
The dog is lying,
Gazing at his Beloved.
His eyes are wet and urgent,
And his body is taut and shaking.
It is cold on the terrace;
A pale wind licks along the stone slabs,
But the dog gazes through the glass
And is content.
The Beloved is writing a letter.
Occasionally she speaks to the dog,
But she is thinking of her writing.
Does she, too, give her devotion to one
Daily and nightly devotion.
Ye that obey th' immortal King,
Attend his holy place;
Bow to the glories of his power,
And bless his wondrous grace.
Lift up your hands by morning light,
And send your souls on high;
Raise your admiring thoughts by night
Above the starry sky.
The God of Zion cheers our hearts
With rays of quick'ning grace;
The God that spread the heav'ns abroad,
And rules the swelling seas.
To drink wine and seek beautiful faces is wiser than
to practise hypocrisy and apparent devotion. It is evident
that if there exist a Hell for lovers and drinkers,
no one would wish for Paradise.
For thee, that which is best is to flee from the seeking
of knowledge and devotion; to finger the tresses of
thy ravishing friend; to pour into the cup the blood
of the vine ere time has spilled thine own.
Now is the time to drink the morning wine; the noise
makes itself heard, O cupbearer! Now we are ready, O
cupbearer! here is the wine, behold the tavern. Could a
moment like this be for prayer? Silence, O cupbearer!
Leave thy discourse upon tradition and upon devotion;
drink, O cupbearer!