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by [?]

Queen of the shadows, Maid and Wife,
Twifold in essence, as in life,
The lamp of Death, the star of Birth,
Half cradled and half mourned by Earth,
By Hell half won, half lost! aid me
To sing thy fond Hypsipyle,
Thy bosom’s mate who, unafraid,
Renounced for thee what part she had
In sun and wind upon the hill,
In dawn about the mere, in still
Woodlands, in kiss of lapping wave,
In laughter, in love–all this she gave!–
And shared thy dream-life, visited
The sunless country of the dead,
There to abide with thee, their Queen,
In that gray region, shadow-seen
By them that cast no shadows, yet
Themselves are shadows. Nor forget,
Kore, her love made manifest
To thee, familiar of her breast
And partner of her whispering mouth.

Thee too, Our Lady of the South,
Uranian Kypris, I invoke,
Regent of starry space, with stroke
Of splendid wing, in whose white wake
Stream those who, filled with thee, forsake
Their clinging shroudy clots, and rise,
Lover and loved, to thy pure skies,
To thy blue realm! O lady, touch
My lips with rue, for she loved much.

What poet in what cloistered nook,
Indenting in what roll of a book
His rhymes, can voice the tides of love?
Nay, thrilling lark, nay, moaning dove,
The nightingale’s full-charged throat
That cheereth now, and now doth gloat,
And now recordeth bitter-sweet
Longing, too wise to image it:
These be your minstrels, lovers! Choose
From their winged choir your urgent Muse;
Let her your speechless joys relate
Which men with words sophisticate,
Striving by reasons make appear
To head what heart proclaims so clear
To heart; as if by wit to wis
What mouth to mouth tells in a kiss,
Or in their syllogisms dry
Freeze a swift glance’s cogency.
Nay, but the heart’s so music-fraught,
Music is all in love, words naught.
One heart’s a rote, with music stored
Though mute; but two hearts make a chord
Of piercing music. One alone
Is nothing: two make the full tone.


On Enna’s uplands, on a lea
Between the mountains and the sea,
Shadowed anon by wandering cloud,
Or flickering wings of birds a-crowd,
And now all golden in the sun,
See Kore, see her maidens run
Hither and thither through those hours
Of dawn among the wide-eyed flowers,
While gentian, crocus, asphodel
(With rosy star in each white bell),
Anemone, blood-red with rings
Of paler fire, that plant that swings
A crimson cluster in the wind
They pluck, or sit anon to bind
Of these earth-stars a coronet
For their smooth-tressed Queen, who yet
Strays with her darling interlaced,
Hypsipyle the grave, the chaste–
Her whose gray shadow-life with his
Who singeth now for ever is.
She, little slim thing, Kore’s mate,
Child-faced, gray-eyed, of sober gait,
Of burning mind and passion pent
To image-making, ever went
Where wonned her Mistress; for those two
By their hearts’ grace together grew,
The one to need, the one to give
(As women must if they would live,
Who substance win by waste of self
And only spend to hoard their pelf:
“O heart, take all of mine!” “O heart,
That which thou tak’st of thee is part–
No robbery therefore: mine is thine,
Take then!”): so she and Proserpine
Intercommunion’d each bright day,
And when night fell together lay
Cradled in arms, or cheek to cheek
Whispered the darkness out. Thou meek
And gentle vision! let me tell
Thy beauties o’er I love so well:
Thy sweet low bosom’s rise and fall,
Pulsing thy heart’s clear madrigal;
Or how the blue beam from thine eyes
Imageth all love’s urgencies;
Thy lips’ frail fragrance, as of flowers
Remembered in penurious hours
Of winter-exile; of thy brow,
Not written as thy breast of snow
With love’s faint charact’ry, for his wing
Leaves not the heart long! Last I sing
Thy thin quick fingers, in whose pleaching
Lieth all healing, all good teaching–
Wherewith, touching my discontent,
I know how thou art eloquent!
Remember’d joy, Hypsipyle!
Now may that serve to comfort me,
While I, O Maiden dedicate,
Seek voice for singing thy gray Fate!