Poems (Botta)/Eros

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For works with similar titles, see Eros.


As when untaught and blind, To the mute stone the pagan bows his knee, Spirit of Love! phantom of my own mind! So have I worshipped thee!

When first a laughing child, I gazed on nature with a wondering eye, I learned of her in calm and tempest wild, This thirst for sympathy.

I saw the flowers appear, And spread their petals out to meet the sun, The dew-drops on their glistening leaves draw near And mingle into one.

And if a harp was stirred By the soft pulses of some wandering sound, Attuned to the same key, then I have heard Its chords untouched respond.

Fast through the vaulted sky, Giving no sound or light, when storms were loud, I saw the electric cloud in silence fly,— Seeking its sister cloud.

I saw the winds, and sea, And all the hosts of heaven in bright array, Governed by this sweet law of sympathy, Roll on their destined way.

And then my spirit pined, And, like the sea-shell for its parent sea, Moaned for those kindred souls it could not find, And panted to be free.

And then came wild despair, And laid her palsying hand upon my soul, And her dread ministers were with her there, The dagger and the bowl.

Oh God of life and light, Thou who didst stay my hand in that dread hour Thou who didst save me in that fearful night, Of maddening passion’s power!

Before thy throne I bow; I tear my worshipped idols from their shrine; I give to thee, though bruised and aching now, This heart,—oh! make it thine.

I’ve sought to fill in vain Its lonely, silent depths with human love: Help me to cast away each earthly chain, And rise to thee above.

Poems (1853), p. 129.jpg