(S 1)
Ever he felt near a spirit in her forms:
Its passive presence was her nature’s strength;
This sole is real in apparent things,
675 Even upon earth the spirit is life’s key,
But her solid outsides nowhere bear its trace.
(S 2)
Its stamp on her acts is undiscoverable.
(S 3)
A pathos of lost heights is its appeal.
(S 4)
Only sometimes is caught a shadowy line
680 That seems a hint of veiled reality.
(S 5)
Life stared at him with vague confused outlines
Offering a picture the eyes could not keep,
A story that was yet not written there.
(S 6)
As in a fragmentary half-lost design
685 Life’s meanings fled from the pursuing eye.
(S 7)
Life’s visage hides life’s real self from sight;
Life’s secret sense is written within, above.
(S 8)
The thought that gives it sense lives far beyond;
It is not seen in its half-finished design.
(S 9)
690 In vain we hope to read the baffling signs
Or find the word of the half-played charade.
(S 10)
Only in that greater life a cryptic thought
Is found, is hinted some interpreting word
That makes the earth-myth a tale intelligible.
(S 11)
695 Something was seen at last that looked like truth.
(S 12)
In a half-lit air of hazardous mystery
The eye that looks at the dark half of truth
Made out an image mid a vivid blur
And peering through a mist of subtle tints
700 He saw a half-blind chained divinity
Bewildered by the world in which he moved,
Yet conscious of some light prompting his soul.
(S 13)
Attracted to strange far-off shimmerings,
Led by the fluting of a distant Player
705 He sought his way amid life’s laughter and call
And the index chaos of her myriad steps
Towards some total deep infinitude.
(S 14)
Around crowded the forest of her signs:
At hazard he read by arrow-leaps of Thought
710 That hit the mark by guess or luminous chance,
Her changing coloured road-lights of idea
And her signals of uncertain swift event,
The hieroglyphs of her symbol pageantries
And her landmarks in the tangled paths of Time.
(S 15)
715 In her mazes of approach and of retreat
To every side she draws him and repels,
But drawn too near escapes from his embrace;
All ways she leads him but no way is sure.
(S 16)
Allured by the many-toned marvel of her chant,
720 Attracted by the witchcraft of her moods
And moved by her casual touch to joy and grief,
He loses himself in her but wins her not.
(S 17)
A fugitive paradise smiles at him from her eyes:
He dreams of her beauty made for ever his,
725 He dreams of his mastery her limbs shall bear,
He dreams of the magic of her breasts of bliss.
(S 18)
In her illumined script, her fanciful
Translation of God’s pure original text,
He thinks to read the Scripture Wonderful,
730 Hieratic key to unknown beatitudes.
(S 19)
The chant of Life has lost its divine note.
(S 20)
Unseen, a captive in a house of sound,
The spirit lost in the splendour of a dream
735 Listens to a thousand-voiced illusion’s ode.
(S 21)
A delicate weft of sorcery steals the heart
Or a fiery magic tints her tones and hues,
Yet they but wake a thrill of transient grace;
A vagrant march struck by the wanderer Time,
740 They call to a brief unsatisfied delight
Or wallow in ravishments of mind and sense,
But miss the luminous answer of the soul.
(S 22)
A blind heart-throb that reaches joy through tears,
A yearning towards peaks for ever unreached,
745 An ecstasy of unfulfilled desire
Track the last heavenward climbings of her voice.
(S 23)
Transmuted are past suffering’s memories
Into an old sadness’s sweet escaping trail:
Turned are her tears to gems of diamond pain,
750 Her sorrow into a magic crown of song.
(S 24)
Brief are her snatches of felicity
That touch the surface, then escape or die:
A lost remembrance echoes in her depths,
A deathless longing is hers, a veiled self’s call;
755 A prisoner in the mortal’s limiting world,
A spirit wounded by life sobs in her breast;
A cherished suffering is her deepest cry.
(S 25)
A wanderer on forlorn despairing routes,
Along the roads of sound a frustrate voice
760 Forsaken cries to a forgotten bliss.
(S 26)
Astray in the echo caverns of Desire,
It guards the phantoms of a soul’s dead hopes
And keeps alive the voice of perished things
Or lingers upon sweet and errant notes
765 Hunting for pleasure in the heart of pain.
(S 27)
A fateful hand has touched the cosmic chords
And the intrusion of a troubled strain
That guides unheard the surface cadences.
(S 28)
770 Yet is it joy to live and to create
And joy to love and labour though all fails,
And joy to seek though all we find deceives
And all on which we lean betrays our trust;
Yet something in its depths was worth the pain,
775 A passionate memory haunts with ecstasy’s fire.
(S 29)
For nothing is truly vain the One has made:
In our defeated hearts God’s strength survives
And victory’s star still lights our desperate road;
780 Our death is made a passage to new worlds.
(S 30)
This to Life’s music gives its anthem swell.
(S 31)
To all she lends the glory of her voice;
Heaven’s raptures whisper to her heart and pass,
Earth’s transient yearnings cry from her lips and fade.
(S 32)
785 Alone the God-given hymn escapes her art
That came with her from her spiritual home
But stopped half-way and failed, a silent word
Awake in some deep pause of waiting worlds,
A murmur suspended in eternity’s hush:
790 But no breath comes from the supernal peace:
A sumptuous interlude occupies the ear
And the heart listens and the soul consents;
An evanescent music it repeats
Wasting on transience Time’s eternity.
(S 33)
795 A tremolo of the voices of the hours
Oblivious screens the high intended theme
The self-embodying spirit came to play
On the vast clavichord of Nature-Force.
(S 34)
Only a mighty murmur here and there
800 Of the eternal Word, the blissful Voice
Or Beauty’s touch transfiguring heart and sense,
A wandering splendour and a mystic cry,
Recalls the strength and sweetness heard no more.