Monthly Archives: June 2015
O Living Always, Always Dying
O living always, always dying! O the burials of me past and present, O me while I stride ahead, material, visible, imperious as ever; O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not, I am content;) O to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn and look at where I cast them, To pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses behind.
A Noiseless Patient Spider
A noiseless patient spider, I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
That Music Always Round Me
That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning, yet long untaught I did not hear, But now the chorus I hear and am elated, A tenor, strong, ascending with power and health, with glad notes of daybreak I hear, A soprano at intervals sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves, A transparent base shuddering lusciously under and through the universe, The triumphant tutti, the funeral wailings with sweet flutes and violins, all these I fill myself with, I hear not the volumes of sound merely, I am moved by the exquisite meanings, I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contending with fiery vehemence to excel each other in emotion; I do not think the performers know themselves—but now I think begin to know them.
Quicksand years that whirl me I know not whither, Your schemes, politics, fail, lines give way, substances mock and elude me, Only the theme I sing, the great and strong-possess'd soul, eludes not, One's-self must never give way—that is the final substance—that out of all is sure, Out of politics, triumphs, battles, life, what at last finally remains? When shows break up what but One's-Self is sure?
I need no assurances, I am a man who is preoccupied of his own soul; I do not doubt that from under the feet and beside the hands and face I am cognizant of, are now looking faces I am not cognizant of, calm and actual faces, I do not doubt but the majesty and beauty of the world are latent in any iota of the world, I do not doubt I am limitless, and that the universes are limitless, in vain I try to think how limitless, I do not doubt that the orbs and the systems of orbs play their swift sports through the air on purpose, and that I shall one day be eligible to do as much as they, and more than they, I do not doubt that temporary affairs keep on and on millions of years, I do not doubt interiors have their interiors, and exteriors have their exteriors, and that the eyesight has another eyesight, and the hearing another hearing, and the voice another voice, I do not doubt that the passionately-wept deaths of young men are provided for, and that the deaths of young women and the deaths of little children are provided for, (Did you think Life was so well provided for, and Death, the purport of all Life, is not well provided for?) I do not doubt that wrecks at sea, no matter what the horrors of them, no matter whose wife, child, husband, father, lover, has gone down, are provided for, to the minutest points, I do not doubt that whatever can possibly happen anywhere at any time, is provided for in the inherences of things, I do not think Life provides for all and for Time and Space, but I believe Heavenly Death provides for all.
As If a Phantom Caress’d Me
As if a phantom caress'd me, I thought I was not alone walking here by the shore; But the one I thought was with me as now I walk by the shore, the one I loved that caress'd me, As I lean and look through the glimmering light, that one has utterly disappear'd. And those appear that are hateful to me and mock me.
Yet, Yet, Ye Downcast Hours
Yet, yet, ye downcast hours, I know ye also, Weights of lead, how ye clog and cling at my ankles, Earth to a chamber of mourning turns—I hear the o'erweening, mocking voice, Matter is conqueror—matter, triumphant only, continues onward. Despairing cries float ceaselessly toward me, The call of my nearest lover, putting forth, alarm'd, uncertain, The sea I am quickly to sail, come tell me, Come tell me where I am speeding, tell me my destination. I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you, I approach, hear, behold, the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes, your mute inquiry, Whither I go from the bed I recline on, come tell me,— Old age, alarm'd, uncertain—a young woman's voice, appealing to me for comfort; A young man's voice, Shall I not escape?