- Ill times may be; she hath no thought of time:
She reigns beside the waters yet in pride.
Rude voices cry: but in her ears the chime
Of full, sad bells brings back her old springtide.
Like to a queen in pride of place, she wears
The splendour of a crown in Radcliffe's dome.
Well fare she, well! As perfect beauty fares;
And those high places, that are beauty's home.
- The winds are sometimes sad to me,
The starry spaces, full of fear;
Mine is the sorrow on the sea,
And mine the sigh of places drear.
Some players upon plaintive strings
Publish their wistfulness abroad;
I have not spoken of these things,
Save to one man, and unto God.
- "The Precept of Silence"
- What comes now? The earth awaits
What fierce wonder from the skies?
Thunder, trampling through the night?
Morning, with illustrious eyes?
Morning, from the springs of light:
Thunder, round Heaven's opening gates.
The Age of a Dream (1890)
- Imageries of dreams reveal a gracious age:
Black armour, falling lace, and altar lights at morn.
The courtesy of saints, their gentleness and scorn,
Lights on an earth more fair, than shone from Plato's page:
The courtesy of knights, fair calm and sacred rage:
The courtesy of love, sorrow for love's sake borne.
Vanished, those high conceits! Desolate and forlorn,
We hunger against hope for the lost heritage.
- Now from the broken tower, what solemn bell still tolls,
Mourning what piteous death? Answer, O saddened souls!
Who mourn the death of beauty and the death of grace.
By the Statue of King Charles at Charing Cross (1895)
- Alone he rides, alone,
The fair and fatal king:
Dark night is all his own,
That strange and solemn thing.
- Which are more full of fate:
The stars; or those sad eyes?
Which are more still and great:
Those brows; or the dark skies?
- Vanquished in life, his death
By beauty made amends:
The passing of his breath
Won his defeated ends.
- Our wearier spirit faints,
Vexed in the world‘s employ:
His soul was of the saints;
And art to him was joy.
- King, tried in fires of woe!
Men hunger for thy grace:
And through the night I go,
Loving thy mournful face.
Yet, when the city sleeps;
When all the cries are still:
The stars and heavenly deeps
Work out a perfect will.
The Dark Angel (1895)
- Dark Angel, with thine aching lust
To rid the world of penitence:
Malicious Angel, who still dost
My soul such subtile violence!
- Through thee, the gracious Muses turn,
To Furies, O mine Enemy!
And all the things of beauty burn
With flames of evil ecstasy.
Because of thee, the land of dreams
Becomes a gathering place of fears:
Until tormented slumber seems
One vehemence of useless tears.
- I fight thee, in the Holy Name!
Yet, what thou dost, is what God saith:
Tempter! should I escape thy flame,
Thou wilt have helped my soul from Death:
The second Death, that never dies,
That cannot die, when time is dead:
Live Death, wherein the lost soul cries,
- Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not so,
Dark Angel! triumph over me:
Lonely, unto the Lone I go;
Divine, to the Divinity.