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919                                        Impression de Nuit


SEE what a mass of gems the city wears
  Upon her broad live bosom! row on row
  Rubies and emeralds and amethysts glow.
See! that huge circle, like a necklace, stares
With thousands of bold eyes to heaven, and dares
  The golden stars to dim the lamps below
  And in the mirror of the mire I know
The moon has left her image unawares.

That’s the great town at night: I see her breasts,
  Prick’d out with lamps they stand like huge black towers,
    I think they move! I hear her panting breath.
And that’s her head where the tiara rests.
    And in her brain, through lanes as dark as death,
Men creep like thoughts ... The lamps are like pale

920                                              To Olive

I HAVE been profligate of happiness
  And reckless of the world’s hostility,
  The blessêd part has not been given to me
Gladly to suffer fools, I do confess
I have enticed and merited distress,
  By this, that I have never bow’d the knee
  Before the shrine of wise Hypocrisy,
Nor worn self-righteous anger like a dress.

Yet write you this, sweet one, when I am dead:
  ‘Love like a lamp sway’d over all his days
    And all his life was like a lamp-lit chamber,
Where is no nook, no chink unvisited
  By the soft affluence of golden rays,
    And all the room is bathed in liquid amber.’

921                                               Green River

I KNOW a green grass path that leaves the field,
  And like a running river, winds along
  Into a leafy wood where is no throng
Of birds at noon-day, and no soft throats yield
Their music to the moon. The place is seal’d,
  An unclaim’d sovereignty of voiceless song,
  And all the unravish’d silences belong
To some sweet singer lost or unreveal’d.

So is my soul become a silent place.
  Oh may I wake from this uneasy night
    To find a voice of music manifold.
Let it be shape of sorrow with wan face,
  Or Love that swoons on sleep, or else delight
    That is as wide-eyed as a marigold.


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