Excerpt THE GOD AND THE OPALTO THÉOPHILE GAUTIER Gray caught he from the cloud, and green from earth,And from a human breast the fire he drew,And life and death were blended in one dew.A sunbeam golden with the morning's mirth,A wan, salt phantom from the sea, a girthOf silver from the moon, shot colour throughThe soul invisible, until it grewTo fulness, and the Opal Song had birth. And then the god became the artisan.With rarest skill he made his gem to glow,Carving and shaping it to beauty suchThat down the cycles it shall gleam to man,And evermore man's wonderment shall knowThe perfect finish, the immortal touch. Agnes Lee. PREFACE When empires lay riven apart,Fared Goethe at battle time's thunderTo fragrant oases of art,To weave his Divan into wonder. Leaving Shakespeare, he pondered the noteOf Nisami, and heard in his leisureThe hoopoe's weird monody float,And set it to soft Orient measure. As Goethe at Weimar delayedAnd dreamed in the fair garden closes,And, questing in sun or in shade,With Hafiz plucked redolent roses,— I, closed from the tempest that shookMy window with fury impassioned,Sat dreaming, and, safe in my nook,Enamels and Cameos fashioned. AFFINITYA PANTHEISTIC MADRIGAL On an ancient temple gleaming,Two great blocks of marble highThrice a thousand years lay dreamingDreams against an Attic sky. Set within one silver whiteness,Two wave-tears for Venus shed,Two fair pearls of orient brightness,Through the waste of water sped. In the Generalife's fresh closes,By a Moorish light illumed,Two delicious, tender rosesBy a fountain met and bloomed. In the balm of May's bright weather,Where the domes of Venice rise,Lighted on Love's nest togetherTwo pale doves from azure skies. All things vanish into wonder,Marble, pearl, dove, rose on tree,Pearl shall melt and marble sunder,Flower shall fade and bird shall flee! Not a smallest part but lowlyThrough the crucible must pass,Where all shapes are molten slowlyIn the universal mass. Then as gradual Time disclosesMarbles melt to whitest skin,Roses red to lips of roses,And anew the lives begin. And again the doves are plightedIn the hearts of lovers, whileOcean pearls are reunited,Set within a coral smile. Thus affinity comes welling;By its beauty everywhereSoul a sister-soul foretelling,All awakened and aware. Quickened by a zephyr sunny,Or a perfume, subtlewise,As the bee unto the honey,Atom unto atom flies. And remembered are the hoursIn the temple, down the blue,And the talks amid the flowers,Near the fount of crystal dew, Kisses warm, and on the royalGolden domes the wings that beat;For the atoms all are loyal,And again must love and greet. Love forgotten wakes imperious,For the past is never dead,And the rose with joy deliriousBreathes again from lips of red. Marble on the flesh of maidenFeels its own white bloom, and faintKnows the dove a murmur ladenWith the echo of its plaint, Till resistance giveth over,And the barriers fall undone,And the stranger is the lover,And affinity hath won...!
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