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The passionate heart of the poet is whirl'd into
folly and vice.
I would not marvel at either, but keep a temperate
For not to desire or admire, if a man could learn
it, were more
Than to walk all day like the sultan of old in a
garden of spice.
For the drift of the Maker is dark, an Isis hid by
Who knows the ways of the world, how God will
bring them about?
Our planet is one, the suns are many, the world
Shall I weep if a Poland fall ? shall I shriek if a
Or an infant civilisation be ruled with rod or with
I have not made the world, and He that made it
Be mine a philosopher's life in the quiet woodland
Where if I cannot be gay let a passionless peace
be my lot,
Far-off from the clamour of liars belied in the
hubbub of lies" ;
From the long-neck'd geese of the world that are
ever hissing dispraise Because their natures are little, and, whether he
heed it or not,
Where each man walks with his head in a cloud of
And most of all would I flee from the cruel
madness of love,
The honey of poison-flowers and all the measure
Ah Maud, you milkwhite fawn, you are all unmeet
for a wife.
Your mother is mute in her grave as her image
in marble above;
Your father is ever in London, you wander about
at your will;
You have but fed on the roses, and lain in the
lilies of life.
A voice by the cedar tree,
In the meadow under the Hall !
She is singing an air that is known to me,
Singing alone in the morning of life,
array, Ready in heart and ready in hand, March with banner and bugle and fife
To the death, for their native land.
Maud with her exquisite face,
And feet like sunny gems on an English green, Maud in the light of her youth and her grace, Singing of Death, and of Honour that cannot die, Till I well could weep for a time so sordid and mean And myself so languid and base.
Silence, beautiful voice !
Still! I will hear you no more,
For your sweetness hardly leaves me a choice
Her feet on the meadow grass, and adore,
Not her, not her, but a voice.