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My Room
by [?]

On a mountain-top you stand,
Looking o’er a sunny land;
Giant forces marching slow,
Rank on rank, the great hills go,
On and on without a stay,
Melting in the blue away.
Wondrous light, more wondrous shading;
High relief in faintness fading;
Branching streams, like silver veins,
Meet and part in dells and plains.
There a woody hollow lies,
Dumb with love, and bright with eyes;
Moorland tracks of broken ground
Rising o’er, it all around:
Traveller climbing from the grove
Needs the tender heavens above.
“Ah, my pictured life,” you cry,
“Fading into sea and sky!”

Lost in thought that gently grieves you,
All the fairy landscape leaves you;
Sinks the sadness into rest,
Ripple-like on water’s breast;
Mother’s bosom rests the daughter,–
Grief the ripple, Love the water.
All the past is strangely blended
In a mist of colours splendid,
But chaotic as to form,
An unfeatured beauty-storm.

Wakes within, the ancient mind
For a gloriousness defined:
As she sought and knew your pleasure,–
Wiling with a dancing measure,
Underneath your closed eyes
She calls the shapes of clouded skies;
White forms flushing hyacinthine
Twine in curvings labyrinthine;
Seem with godlike graceful feet,
For such mazy motion meet,
To press from air each lambent note,
On whose throbbing fire they float;
With an airy wishful gait
On each others’ motion wait;
Naked arms and vesture free
Fill up the dance of harmony.

Gone the measure polyhedral!
Springs aloft a high cathedral;
Every arch, like praying arms
Upward flung in love’s alarms,
Knit by clasped hands o’erhead,
Heaves to heaven the weight of dread.
Underneath thee, like a cloud,
Gathers music, dim not loud,
Swells thy bosom with devotion,
Floats thee like a wave of ocean;
Vanishes the pile away,–
In heaven thou kneelest down to pray.

Let the sounds but reach thy heart,
Straight thyself magician art;
Walkest open-eyed through earth;
Seest wonders in their birth,
Whence they come and whither go;
Thou thyself exalted so,
Nature’s consciousness, whereby
On herself she turns her eye.
Only heed thou worship God;
Else thou stalkest on thy sod,
Puppet-god of picture-world,
For thy foolish gaze unfurled;
Mirror-thing of things below thee.
Thy own self can never know thee;
Not a high and holy actor;
A reflector, and refractor;
Helpless in thy gift of light,
Self-consuming into night.

Lasting yet the roseate glory!
I must hasten with my story
Of the little room’s true features,
Seldom seen by mortal creatures;
Lest my prophet-vision fading
Leave me in the darkness wading.
What are those upon the wall,
Ranged in rows symmetrical?
They are books, an owl would say;
But the owl’s night is the day:
Of these too, if you have patience,
I can give you revelations:
Through the walls of Time and Sight,
Doors they are to the Infinite;
Through the limits that embrace us,
Openings to the eternal spaces,
Round us all the noisy day,
Full of silences alway;
Round us all the darksome night,
Ever full of awful light:
And, though closed, may still remind us
There is mystery behind us.

That, my friend? Now, it is curious,
You should hit upon the spurious!
‘Tis a blind, a painted door:
Knock at it for evermore,
Never vision it affords
But its panelled gilded boards;
Behind it lieth nought at all,
But the limy, webby wall.
Oh no, not a painted block–
Not the less a printed mock;
A book, ’tis true; no whit the more
A revealing out-going door.
There are two or three such books
For a while in others’ nooks;
Where they should no longer be,
But for reasons known to me.