That Nature is a Herclitean Fire
Cloud-puff ball, torn tufts, tossed pillows flaunt forth, then chevy on the air- built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs they throng; they glitter in marches. Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, wherever an elm arches, Shivelights and shadowtackle in long lashes lace, lance, and pair. Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare Of yestertempest's creases; in pool and rut peel parches Squandering ooze to squeezed dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches Squadroned masks and manmarks tredmire toil there Footfettered in it. Million-fueled, nature's bonfire burns on. But quench her bonniest, dearest to her, her clearest-selved spark Man, how fast his firedint, his mark on mind, is gone! Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark Drowned. O pity and indignation! Manshape, that shone Sheer off dissereval, a star, death blots black out; nor mark Is any of him at all so stark But vastness blurs and time beats level. Enough! the Resurrection, A heart's-clarion! Away grief's gasping, joyless days, Dejection. Across my foundering deck shone A beacon, an eternal beam. Flesh fade, and mortal trash Fall to the residuary worm; world's wildfire, leave but ash; In a flash, at a trumpet crash, I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond, Is immortal diamond.
To Christ our Lord I caught this morning morning's minion, king- dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing, As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird, -- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing! Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier! No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down silion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
Felix Randal the farrier, O he is dead then? my duty all ended Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and some Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended? Sickness broke him. Impatient he cursed at first, but mended Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier heart began some Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom Tendered to him. Ah well, God rest him all road ever he offended! This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears. My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched they tears, Thy tears that touched my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Randal; How far from then forethought of, all they more boisterous years, When thou at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers, Didst fettle for the great grey drayhorse his bright and battering sandal!
No Worst, there is None
No worst, there none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing-- Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked "No ling- ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief." O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
I wake and feel the Fell of Dark
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day. What hours, O what black hours we have spent This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went! And more must in yet longer light's delay. With witness I speak this. But where I say Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent To dearest him that lives alas away. I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me; Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse. Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see The lost are like this, and their scourge to be As I am mine, their sweating selves, but worse.
Thou art indeed just, Lord
Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum: verumtamen justa loquar ad te: Quare via impriorum prosperatur? &c. Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just. Why do sinners' ways prosper? and why must Disappointment all I endeavour end: Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend, How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend, Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes Now, leaved how thick! laced they are again With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes Them; birds build-- but not I build; no, but strain, Time's eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes. Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.