Lotus and Lethe on my lips like dew,
And shed around and over and under me
Thick darkness and the insuperable sea."
I haven't seen the poem since and there may be verbal inaccuracies in my version; but the music and passion of the verses enthralled me and when I came to "The Leper", the last stanzas brought hot tears to my eyes and in the "Garden of Proserpine", I heard my own soul speaking with divine if hopeless assurance. Was there ever such poetry? Even the lighter verses were, charming:
"Remembrance may recover
And time bring back to time
The name of your first lover,
The ring of my first rhyme:
But rose-leaves of December,
The storms of June shall fret;
The day that you remember,
The day that I forget.
And then the gay defiance:
In the teeth of the glad salt weather,
In the blown wet face of the sea;
While three men hold together,
Their Kingdoms are less by three.
And the divine songs to Hugo and to Whitman and the superb "Dedication": the last verse of it a miracle:
Though the many lights dwindle to one light,
There is help if the Heavens have one;
Though the stars be discrowned of the sunlight
And the earth dispossessed of the Sun:
They have moonlight and sleep for repayment:
When refreshed as a bride and set free;
With stars and sea-winds in her raiment
Night sinks on the sea."