(S 1)
Across the leaping springs of death and birth
And over shifting borders of soul-change,
A hunter on the spirit’s creative track,
540 He followed in life’s fine and mighty trails
Pursuing her sealed formidable delight
In a perilous adventure without close.
(S 2)
At first no aim appeared in those large steps:
Only the wide source he saw of all things here
545 Looking towards a wider source beyond.
(S 3)
For as she drew away from earthly lines,
A tenser drag was felt from the Unknown,
A higher context of delivering thought
Drove her towards marvel and discovery;
550 There came a high release from pettier cares,
A mightier image of desire and hope,
A vaster formula, a greater scene.
(S 4)
Ever she circled towards some far-off Light:
Her signs still covered more than they revealed;
555 But tied to some immediate sight and will
They lost their purport in the joy of use,
Till stripped of their infinite meaning they became
A cipher gleaming with unreal sense.
(S 5)
Armed with a magical and haunted bow
560 She aimed at a target kept invisible
And ever deemed remote though always near.
(S 6)
As one who spells illumined characters,
The key-book of a crabbed magician text,
He scanned her subtle tangled weird designs
565 And the screened difficult theorem of her clues,
Traced in the monstrous sands of desert Time
The thread beginnings of her titan works,
Watched her charade of action for some hint,
Read the No-gestures of her silhouettes,
570 And strove to capture in their burdened drift
The dance-fantasia of her sequences
Escaping into rhythmic mystery,
A glimmer of fugitive feet on fleeing soil.
(S 7)
In the labyrinth pattern of her thoughts and hopes
575 And the byways of her intimate desires,
In the complex corners crowded with her dreams
And rounds crossed by an intrigue of irrelevant rounds,
A wanderer straying amid fugitive scenes,
He lost its signs and chased each failing guess.
(S 8)
580 Ever he met key-words, ignorant of their key.
(S 9)
A sun that dazzled its own eye of sight,
A luminous enigma’s brilliant hood
Lit the dense purple barrier of thought’s sky:
A dim large trance showed to the night her stars.
(S 10)
585 As if sitting near an open window’s gap,
He read by lightning-flash on crowding flash
Chapters of her metaphysical romance
Of the soul’s search for lost Reality
And her fictions drawn from spirit’s authentic fact,
590 Her caprices and conceits and meanings locked,
Her rash unseizable freaks and mysteried turns.
(S 11)
The magnificent wrappings of her secrecy
That fold her desirable body out of sight,
The strange significant forms woven on her robe,
595 Her meaningful outlines of the souls of things
He saw, her false transparencies of thought-hue,
Her rich brocades with imaged fancies sewn
And mutable masks and broideries of disguise.
(S 12)
A thousand baffling faces of the Truth
600 Looked at him from her forms with unknown eyes
And wordless mouths unrecognisable,
Spoke from the figures of her masquerade,
Or peered from the recondite magnificence
And subtle splendour of her draperies.
(S 13)
605 In sudden scintillations of the Unknown,
Inexpressive sounds became veridical,
Ideas that seemed unmeaning flashed out truth;
Voices that came from unseen waiting worlds
Uttered the syllables of the Unmanifest
610 To clothe the body of the mystic Word,
And wizard diagrams of the occult Law
Sealed some precise unreadable harmony,
Or used hue and figure to reconstitute
The herald blazon of Time’s secret things.
(S 14)
615 In her green wildernesses and lurking depths,
In her thickets of joy where danger clasps delight,
A glimmer of blue and gold and scarlet fire.
(S 15)
In her covert lanes, bordering her chance field-paths
620 And by her singing rivulets and calm lakes
He found the glow of her golden fruits of bliss
And the beauty of her flowers of dream and muse.
(S 16)
As if a miracle of heart’s change by joy
He watched in the alchemist radiance of her suns
625 The crimson outburst of one secular flower
On the tree-of-sacrifice of spiritual love.
(S 17)
In the sleepy splendour of her noons he saw,
A perpetual repetition through the hours,
Thought’s dance of dragonflies on mystery’s stream
630 That skim but never test its murmurs’ race,
And heard the laughter of her rose desires
Running as if to escape from longed-for hands,
Jingling sweet anklet-bells of fantasy.
(S 18)
Amidst live symbols of her occult power
635 He moved and felt them as close real forms:
In that life more concrete than the lives of men
Embodied was there what we but think and feel,
Self-framed what here takes outward borrowed shapes.
(S 19)
640 A comrade of Silence on her austere heights
Accepted by her mighty loneliness,
He stood with her on meditating peaks
Where life and being are a sacrament
Offered to the Reality beyond,
645 And saw her loose into infinity
Her hooded eagles of significance,
Messengers of Thought to the Unknowable.
(S 20)
Identified in soul-vision and soul-sense,
Entering into her depths as into a house,
650 All he became that she was or longed to be,
He thought with her thoughts and journeyed with her steps,
Lived with her breath and scanned all with her eyes
That so he might learn the secret of her soul.
(S 21)
A witness overmastered by his scene,
655 He admired her splendid front of pomp and play
And the marvels of her rich and delicate craft,
And thrilled to the insistence of her cry;
Impassioned he bore the sorceries of her might,
Felt laid on him her abrupt mysterious will,
660 Her hands that knead fate in their violent grasp,
Her touch that moves, her powers that seize and drive.
(S 22)
But this too he saw, her soul that wept within,
Her seekings vain that clutch at fleeing truth,
Her hopes whose sombre gaze mates with despair,
665 The passion that possessed her longing limbs,
The trouble and rapture of her yearning breasts,
Her mind that toils unsatisfied with its fruits,
Her heart that captures not the one Beloved.
(S 23)
Always he met a veiled and seeking Force,
670 An exiled goddess building mimic heavens,