A dozen paintings on a wall,
A hundred statues standing tall,
A thousand symphonies of might,
A bursting million beams of light—
All are fragile things and few
Next to love in me and you.
The mountains high, the valleys low,
The force of winds that twist and blow,
The massiveness of tides that flow,
The vastness of all stars a-glow—
All are empty, all are nought,
Set against the love we’ve wrought.
The perfect circle, straightest line,
Beside love’s bliss is not so fine;
The song of brook and rambling bird
Not sweeter than Love’s softest word.
All of nature, all of man,
Paled when our love began.
Our hero-flame of love is great;
O’er sea and land and every state
It stands untouched, it has no fate;
It is the measure and the weight,
Start of day, end of night,
Guardian of souls in flight!
She sat there in the straight-back chair,
With elbows on the table;
A pen lay by her hand, astray,
And paper on the table.
She thought of what she’d write her love,
But yet she wasn’t able;
The roots were much too deep for her,
And wouldn’t rise for label.
“Oh love, too dear for words too new,
At least, too new to me;
Oh love, I can but ache and sigh,
Now chained, and oh so free!
“Oh gentle beats that through me thrill
With soundless, loudest song,
Contain yourself, or I’ll not ‘dure
Your hungry babbling throng!
“My love, he’s on some far-off seas;
My letter waits, I know.
I’ll write it yet, if I have wit
To state love’s overflow.”
Awhile she sits and seems to see
A child alone, a-wait,
That hero might come in her sight
Who heeds no fear or fate.
Her hand now grasps the pen somehow—
Her mind has grasped its story—
And now is pen and ink all his
In overflowing glory!
She walked swiftly through the station. Yes,
She had a train to catch. A sunshaft
Shot through and down from windows high
And caught her face and lit her eye,
And like a flame in fairy tale
Her hair blazed all a golden sail,
And men were shocked to see such might
Of beauty, swift and fiery, pure and bright,
Pass by their new-born power of sight,
And that great hall of Central, Grand,
Was held as by a giant hand,
And no one breathed till she was gone,
A vision of some coming dawn.
But you and I, we nod and wink;
What’s coming was right here, we think.
He came as one not spent of life or love,
Tall in stature, glad-eyed, and firm of face.
She saw, and thought of jet-trails high above,
Competence in the sureness of his pace.
His deep blue eyes swung, capturing her there,
As she stood rigid on the granite stair
With proud and open gaze, yet breathless quite
To feel the rapture of her glorious sight.
The bank was open, but he stopped and turned,
And said, “There’s riches in, but more are out,
And you will still be here, I do not doubt.”
Then she, “How e’er much gold it holds, I’ve more,
Deposited when you walk out the door.”
The bank is closed, all Wall Street empty lies,
While two walk side by side with glitt’ring eyes.
Sure profits are not ever to be spurned.
In days of old,
When we were young,
We sang the gold
That is the sun.
Now days are young
As we grow old,
For all we sing
Is inner gold.
Far in the darkened cavern of a room
A man sits reading in a shaft of light
Flung through the window as the dawn through night.
All around is age and dust and gloom,
And yet he sits there giving of his sight
To pages bearing paragraphs so bright
That unknown joying shines upon his face,
For all his thoughts are in a happy place
(The things around us may be full of woe,
But deepest thought is our glad overflow).
Then suddenly he gazes out the glass;
He hears sweet children’s voices as they pass,
And one, the loudest, does recite a poem
Of one reading within his hallowed home!
Many unwise sages say desire is low,
That want corrupts a pure mind’s easy flow,
That angels fell, and Eve lost her good place,
Desiring pleasure in expected taste.
But they are wrong, these dunces of the mind;
Yea, wrong and brutal, traitors of mankind!
Desiring is a virtuous, living height,
Affirming will and action, hearing, sight.
From judgment it arises, blossoms whole,
Fills up the tingling body and the soul,
Seeks mental guidance, integrated plan,
Asks full incorporation with one aim—
To be that perfect woman and pure man
Who lives to love, and loves to live, a-flame!