Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore, That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, The weary, way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore. On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece. And the grandeur that was Rome. Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche How statue-like I see thee stand! The agate lamp within thy hand, Ah! Psyche from the regions which Are Holy Land!
Edgar Allan Poe - 1809-1849
"In Youth I Have Known One"
How often we forget all time, when lone Admiring Nature’s universal throne; Her woods—her wilds—her mountains-the intense Reply of Hers to Our intelligence! I In youth I have known one with whom the Earth In secret communing held-as he with it, In daylight, and in beauty, from his birth: Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth A passionate light such for his spirit was fit And yet that spirit knew-not in the hour Of its own fervor-what had o’er it power. II Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought To a fever* by the moonbeam that hangs o’er, But I will half believe that wild light fraught With more of sovereignty than ancient lore Hath ever told-or is it of a thought The unembodied essence, and no more That with a quickening spell doth o’er us pass As dew of the night-time, o’er the summer grass? III Doth o’er us pass, when, as th’ expanding eye To the loved object-so the tear to the lid Will start, which lately slept in apathy? And yet it need not be—(that object) hid From us in life-but common-which doth lie Each hour before us—but then only bid With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken T’ awake us—‘Tis a symbol and a token IV Of what in other worlds shall be—and given In beauty by our God, to those alone Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven Drawn by their heart’s passion, and that tone, That high tone of the spirit which hath striven Though not with Faith-with godliness—whose throne With desperate energy ‘t hath beaten down; Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown. * Query “fervor”?—ED.