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Words In The Night
by [?]


I woke at midnight, and my heart,
My beating heart, said this to me:
Thou seest the moon, how calm and bright!
The world is fair by day and night,
But what is that to thee?
One touch to me, down dips the light
Over the land and sea.
All is mine, all is my own!
Toss the purple fountain high!
The breast of man is a vat of stone;
I am alive, I, only I!

One little touch and all is dark–
The winter with its sparkling moons,
The spring with all her violets,
The crimson dawns and rich sunsets,
The autumn’s yellowing noons!
I only toss my purple jets,
And thou art one that swoons
Upon a night of gust and roar,
Shipwrecked among the waves, and seems
Across the purple hills to roam:
Sweet odours touch him from the foam,
And downward sinking still he dreams
He walks the clover fields at home
And hears the rattling teams.
All is mine, all is my own!
Toss the purple fountain high!
The breast of man is a vat of stone;
I am alive, I, only I!

Thou hast beheld a throated fountain spout
Full in the air, and in the downward spray
A hovering Iris span the marble tank,
Which, as the wind came, ever rose and sank,
Violet and red; so my continual play
Makes beauty for the Gods with many a prank
Of human excellence, while they,
Weary of all the noon, in shadows sweet,
Supine and heavy-eyed rest in the boundless heat.
Let the world’s fountain play!
Beauty is pleasant in the eyes of Jove;
Betwixt the wavering shadows where he lies
He marks the dancing column with his eyes
Celestial, and amid his inmost grove
Upgathers all his limbs, serenely blest,
Lulled by the mellow noise of the great world’s unrest.

One heart beats in all nature, differing
But in the work it works; its doubts and clamours
Are but the waste and brunt of instruments
Wherewith a work is done, or as the hammers
On forge Cyclopean plied beneath the rents
Of lowest Etna, conquering into shape
The hard and scattered ore;
Choose thou narcotics, and the dizzy grape
Outworking passion, lest with horrid crash
Thy life go from thee in a night of pain;
So tutoring thy vision, shall the flash
Of dove white-breasted be to thee no more
Than a white stone heavy upon the plain.

Hark, the cock crows loud!
And without, all ghastly and ill,
Like a man uplift in his shroud,
The white, white morn is propped on the hill;
And adown from the eaves, pointed and chill
The icicles ‘gin to glitter
And the birds with a warble short and shrill
Pass by the chamber-window still–
With a quick, uneasy twitter!
Let me pump warm blood, for the cold is bitter;
And wearily, wearily, one by one,
Men awake with the weary sun!
Life is a phantom shut in thee:
I am the master and keep the key;
So let me toss thee the days of old
Crimson and orange and green and gold;
So let me fill thee yet again
With a rush of dreams from my spout amain;
For all is mine, all is my own:
Toss the purple fountain high!
The breast of man is a vat of stone,
And I am alive, I only, I!