‘Tis a little room, my friend;
A baby-walk from end to end;
All the things look sadly real,
This hot noontide’s Unideal.
Seek not refuge at the casement,
There’s no pasture for amazement
But a house most dim and rusty,
And a street most dry and dusty;
Seldom here more happy vision
Than water-cart’s blest apparition,
We’ll shut out the staring space,
Draw the curtains in its face.
Close the eyelids of the room,
Fill it with a scarlet gloom:
Lo! the walls on every side
Are transformed and glorified;
Ceiled as with a rosy cloud
Furthest eastward of the crowd,
Blushing faintly at the bliss
Of the Titan’s good-night kiss,
Which her westward sisters share,–
Crimson they from breast to hair.
‘Tis the faintest lends its dye
To my room–ah, not the sky!
Worthy though to be a room
Underneath the wonder-dome:
Look around on either hand,
Are we not in fairy-land?
In the ruddy atmosphere
All familiar things appear
Glowing with a mystery
In the red light shadowy;
Lasting bliss to you and me,
Colour only though it be.
Now on the couch, inwrapt in mist
Of vapourized amethyst,
Lie, as in a rose’s heart;
Secret things I will impart;
Any time you would receive them;
Easier though you will believe them
In dissolving dreamy red,
Self-same radiance that is shed
From the summer-heart of Poet,
Flushing those that never know it.
Tell me not the light thou viewest
Is a false one; ’tis the truest;
‘Tis the light revealing wonder,
Filling all above and under;
If in light you make a schism,
‘Tis the deepest in the prism.
The room looks common; but the fact is
‘Tis a cell of magic practice,
So disguised by common daylight,
By its disenchanting grey light,
Only spirit-eyes, mesmeric,
See its glories esoteric.
There, that case against the wall,
A piano to the prosy–
Not to us in twilight rosy:
‘Tis a cave where Nereids lie.
Naiads, Dryads, Oreads sigh,
Dreaming of the time when they
Danced in forest and in bay.
In that chest before your eyes,
Nature’s self enchanted lies;
Awful hills and midnight woods;
Sunny rains in solitudes;
Deserts of unbounded longing;
Blessed visions, gladness thronging;
All this globe of life unfoldeth
In phantom forms that coffer holdeth.
True, unseen; for ’tis enchanted–
What is that but kept till wanted?
Do you hear that voice of singing?
‘Tis the enchantress that is flinging
Spells around her baby’s riot,
Music’s oil the waves to quiet:
She at once can disenchant them,
To a lover’s wish to grant them;
She can make the treasure casket
Yield its riches, as that basket
Yielded up the gathered flowers;
Yet its mines, and fields, and bowers,
Full remain, as mother Earth
Never tired of giving birth.
Do you doubt me? Wait till night
Brings black hours and white delight;
Then, as now, your limbs outstretching,
Yield yourself to her bewitching.
She will bring a book of spells
Writ like crabbed oracles;
Wherewith necromantic fingers
Raise the ghosts of parted singers:
Straight your senses will be bound
In a net of torrent sound.
For it is a silent fountain,
Fed by springs from unseen mountain.
Till with gestures cabalistic,
Crossing, lining figures mystic,
(Diagram most mathematic,
Simple to these signs erratic,)
O’er the seals her quick hands going
Loose the rills and set them flowing:
Pent up music rushing out
Bathes thy spirit all about;
Spell-bound nature, freed again,
Joyous revels in thy brain.