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Collected Poems


page 203


It seemed that Time had died,
and all the ghosts came wandering from the shades—
from Heaven's blue shining hills, from the dark glades
of unborn years, from Hell's rose-tinted tombs…

And by the poppied side
of a slow stream that lies with limbs soft-curled
in the green darkness of some intangible world
far beyond space, the living and the dead,
the fruits of unborn wombs,
all the souls of unknown fathomless ages
past and yet to be, were suddenly bound
into a moment's compass, trapped and caught,
(lovers and fools, voluptuaries and sages),
and with them all the things that they had sought
of loveliness and joy, were prisoned fast…
fair orchards, blossom-crowned,
all singing and all sound,
all love and laughter, touch and taste and scent,
and all things men had found,
had gathered, stored, and spent
in markets of the soul to buy delight;
the ocean and her moon, the myriad stars,
and the still-shining sun;
all things, unknown and known, all were made one
in one immortal moment, crowned with content,
timeless and immutable, wreathed with flowers
of brief far-gathered hours,
of mouldering centuries and unborn years…
For Time, the old grey Robber-God, lay dead,
with his unnumbered host
gathered about him, cold and quiet and still.
Age was a tavern-jest, and olden dread
long-buried; Change a half-remembered ghost
haunting a ruined town;
Eternity the shadow of thistledown
blowing upon a windy, timeless hill.