Alfred Noyes

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The towering Babels that we raised
Where scoffing sophists brawl,
The little Antichrists we praised —
The night is on them all.

Alfred Noyes (16 September 188028 June 1958) was an English poet.

Sourced[edit]

Enough of dreams! No longer mock
The burdened hearts of men!
Not on the cloud, but on the rock
Build thou thy faith again
  • Enough of dreams! No longer mock
    The burdened hearts of men!
    Not on the cloud, but on the rock
    Build thou thy faith again
    ;

    O range no more the realms of air,
    Stoop to the glen-bound streams;
    Thy hope was all too like despair:
    Enough, enough of dreams.

    • "The Secret Inn : 'The Kingdom is Within You'" in Master Mind Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 3 (December 1914), p. 99.
  • Descend, descend, Urania, speak
    To men in their own tongue!
    Leave not the breaking heart to break
    Because thine own is strong.

    This is the law, in dream and deed,
    That heaven must walk on earth!
    O, shine upon the humble creed
    That holds the heavenly birth.
    • "The Secret Inn : 'The Kingdom is Within You'" in Master Mind Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 3 (December 1914), p. 99.
  • A shadow leaned over me, whispering, in the darkness,
    Thoughts without sound;
    Sorrowful thoughts that filled me with helpless wonder
    And held me bound.
    • "The Shadow" in The Empire Review (1923) Vol. 37, p. 620.
  • Soundlessly, shadow with shadow, we wrestled together,
    Till the grey dawn.
    • "The Shadow" in The Empire Review (1923) Vol. 37, p. 620.
  • Never since Drake and Raleigh won
    Our freedom of the seas,
    Have sons of Britain dared and done
    More valiantly than these.
    • To the R.A.F., in Shadows on the Down and Other Poems (1941), p. 2.

Poems (1906)[edit]

Full text online
Yes; as the music changes,
Like a prismatic glass,
It takes the light and ranges
Through all the moods that pass...
  • Yes; as the music changes,
    Like a prismatic glass,
    It takes the light and ranges
    Through all the moods that pass
    ;
    Dissects the common carnival
    Of passions and regrets,
    And gives the world a glimpse of all
    The colours it forgets.
    • The Barrel Organ
  • Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac-time, in lilac-time;
    Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!)
    And you shall wander hand in hand with love in summer's wonderland;
    Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!)
    • The Barrel Organ
  • There was music all about us, we were growing quite forgetful
    We were only singing seamen from the dirt of Londontown.
    • Forty Singing Seamen
  • There’s a magic in the distance, where the sea-line meets the sky.
    • Forty Singing Seamen

The Highwayman (1907)[edit]

Full text online
  • The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
    The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
    The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
    And the highwayman came riding —
    Riding — riding —
    The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.
  • One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,
    But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
    Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
    Then look for me by moonlight,
    Watch for me by moonlight,
    I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.

The Flower of Old Japan and Other Poems (1907)[edit]

Full text online

The Flower of Old Japan[edit]

Mystery: Time and Tide shall pass,
I am the Wisdom Looking-Glass.
Carol, every violet has
Heaven for a looking-glass!
Every little glimmering pond
Claims the mighty shores beyond...
We have come by curious ways
To the Light that holds the days;
We have sought in haunts of fear
For that all-enfolding sphere:
And lo! it was not far, but near
The shore that has no shore beyond.

Deep in every heart it lies
With its untranscended skies;
For what heaven should bend above
Hearts that own the heaven of love?

  • Mystery: Time and Tide shall pass,
    I am the Wisdom Looking-Glass.

    This is the Ruby none can touch:
    Many have loved it overmuch;
    Its fathomless fires flutter and sigh,
    Being as images of the flame
    That shall make earth and heaven the same
    When the fire of the end reddens the sky,
    And the world consumes like a burning pall,
    Till where there is nothing, there is all.

    • Part III : The Mystic Ruby
  • Back to the glass in terror we came,
    And stared at the writing round the frame.
    We could not understand one word:
    And suddenly we thought we heard
    The hissing of the snakes again:
    How could we front them all alone?
    O, madly we clutched at the mirrored stone
    And wished we were back on the flowery plain:
    And swifter than thought and swift as fear
    The whole world flashed, and behold we were there.
    • Part III : The Mystic Ruby
  • And at our feet unbroken lay
    The glass that had whirled us thither away:
    And in the grass, among the flowers
    We sat and wished all sorts of things:
    O, we were wealthier than kings!
    We ruled the world for several hours!

    And then, it seemed, we knew not why,
    All the daisies began to die.
    We wished them alive again; but soon
    The trees all fled up towards the moon
    Like peacocks through the sunlit air:
    And the butterflies flapped into silver fish;
    And each wish spoiled another wish;
    Till we threw the glass down in despair;
    For, getting whatever you want to get,
    Is like drinking tea from a fishing net.

    • Part III : The Mystic Ruby
  • But just as the world grew right again,
    We heard a wanderer out on the plain
    Singing what none of us understood;
    Yet we thought that the world grew thrice more sweet
    And the meadows were blossoming under his feet.
    And we felt a grand and beautiful fear,
    For we knew that a marvellous thought drew near;
    So we kept the glass for a little while:
    And the skies grew deeper and twice as bright,
    And the seas grew soft as a flower of light,
    And the meadows rippled from stile to stile;
    And memories danced in a musical throng
    Thro' the blossom that scented the wonderful song.
    • Part III : The Mystic Ruby
  • The Flower of Old Japan.
    The Flower above all other flowers,
    The Flower that never dies;
    Before whose throne the scented hours
    Offer their sacrifice;
    The Flower that here on earth below
    Reveals the heavenly plan;
    But only little children know
    The Flower of Old Japan.
    • Song
  • Like the dawn upon a dream
    Slowly through the scented gloom
    Crept once more the ruddy gleam
    O'er the friendly nursery room.
    There, before our waking eyes,
    Large and ghostly, white and dim,
    Dreamed the Flower that never dies,
    Opening wide its rosy rim.
    • Part IV : The End of the Quest
  • Carol, every violet has
    Heaven for a looking-glass!

    Every little valley lies
    Under many-clouded skies;
    Every little cottage stands
    Girt about with boundless lands;
    Every little glimmering pond
    Claims the mighty shores beyond;
    Shores no seaman ever hailed,
    Seas no ship has ever sailed.

    All the shores when day is done
    Fade into the setting sun,
    So the story tries to teach
    More than can be told in speech.

    • Epilogue
  • Beauty is a fading flower,
    Truth is but a wizard's tower,
    Where a solemn death-bell tolls,
    And a forest round it rolls.
    • Epilogue
  • We have come by curious ways
    To the Light that holds the days;
    We have sought in haunts of fear
    For that all-enfolding sphere:
    And lo! it was not far, but near.

    We have found, O foolish-fond,
    The shore that has no shore beyond.

    Deep in every heart it lies
    With its untranscended skies;
    For what heaven should bend above
    Hearts that own the heaven of love?

    • Epilogue

Forest of Wild Thyme[edit]

  • Critics, you have been so kind,
    I would not have you think me blind

    To all the wisdom that you preach;
    Yet before I strictlier run
    In straiter lines of chiselled speech,
    Give me one more hour, just one
    Hour to hunt the fairy gleam
    That flutters through this childish dream.
    • Apologia
  • It mocks me as it flies, I know:
    All too soon the gleam will go
    ;
    Yet I love it and shall love
    My dream that brooks no narrower bars
    Than bind the darkening heavens above,
    My Jack o'Lanthorn of the stars:
    Then, I'll follow it no more,
    I'll light the lamp: I'll close the door.
    • Apologia
  • Come and look for Peterkin, poor little Peterkin.
    No one would believe us if we told them what we know,
    Or they wouldn't grieve for Peterkin, merry little Peterkin...
    • Prelude
  • They wouldn't mourn for Peterkin, merry little Peterkin.
    Put away your muskets, lay aside the drum,
    Hang it by the wooden sword we made for little Peterkin!
    • Prelude
  • He was once our trumpeter, now his bugle's dumb,
    Pile your arms beneath it, for the owlet light is come,
    We'll wander through the roses where we marched of old with Peterkin,
    We'll search the summer sunset where the Hybla beehives hum,
    And — if we meet a fairy there — we'll ask for news of Peterkin.

Drake, an English Epic (1908)[edit]

Your dreamers may dream it
The shadow of a dream,
Your sages may deem it
A bubble on the stream;
Yet our kingdom draweth nigher
With each dawn and every day,
Through the earthquake and the fire
"Love will find out the way."
  • Ye that follow the vision
    Of the world's weal afar,
    Have ye met with derision
    And the red laugh of war;
    Yet the thunder shall not hurt you,
    Nor the battle-storms dismay;
    Tho' the sun in heaven desert you,
    "Love will find out the way."
    • Song, Book VIII, p. 146.
  • Your dreamers may dream it
    The shadow of a dream,
    Your sages may deem it
    A bubble on the stream;
    Yet our kingdom draweth nigher
    With each dawn and every day,
    Through the earthquake and the fire
    "Love will find out the way."
    • Song, Book VIII, p. 146.
  • Dawn, ever bearing some divine increase
    Of beauty, love, and wisdom round the world,
    Dawn, like a wild-rose in the fields of heaven
    Washed grey with dew, awoke, and found the barque
    At anchor in a little land-locked bay.
    • Book VIII, p. 148.

Collected Poems (1913)[edit]

Full text online
  • Once more I hear the everlasting sea
    Breathing beneath the mountain's fragrant breast
    • Resurrection
  • We plucked down all His altars, left not one
    Save where, perchance (and ah, the joy was fleet),
    We laid our garlands in the sun
    At the white Sea-born's feet.
    • Resurrection
  • "He is dead," we cried, and even amid that gloom
    The wintry veil was rent! The new-born day
    Showed us the Angel seated in the tomb
    And the stone rolled away.
    • Resurrection

The Golden Hynde and Other Poems (1914)[edit]

Heart of my heart, the world is young;
Love lies hidden in every rose!
One, we are one with the song to-day,
One with the clover that scents the world,
One with the Unknown, far away,
One with the stars, when earth grows old.
Heart of my heart, we are one with the wind,
One with the clouds that are whirled o'er the lea,
One in many, O broken and blind,
One as the waves are at one with the sea!
  • Heart of my heart, the world is young;
    Love lies hidden in every rose!

    Every song that the skylark sung
    Once, we thought, must come to a close:
    Now we know the spirit of song,
    Song that is merged in the chant of the whole,
    Hand in hand as we wander along,
    What should we doubt of the years that roll?
    • Unity, § I
  • Heart of my heart, we cannot die!
    Love triumphant in flower and tree,
    Every life that laughs at the sky
    Tells us nothing can cease to be:
    One, we are one with the song to-day,
    One with the clover that scents the world,
    One with the Unknown, far away,
    One with the stars, when earth grows old.
    • Unity, § II
  • Heart of my heart, we are one with the wind,
    One with the clouds that are whirled o'er the lea,
    One in many, O broken and blind,
    One as the waves are at one with the sea!

    Ay! when life seems scattered apart,
    Darkens, ends as a tale that is told,
    One, we are one, O heart of my heart,
    One, still one, while the world grows old.
    • Unity, § III

A Belgian Christmas Eve (1915)[edit]

Full text online
Grant us the single heart once more
That mocks no sacred thing,
The Sword of Truth our fathers wore
When Thou wast Lord and King.
  • Thou whose deep ways are in the sea,
    Whose footsteps are not known,
    To-night a world that turned from Thee
    Is waiting — at Thy Throne.

    The towering Babels that we raised
    Where scoffing sophists brawl,
    The little Antichrists we praised —
    The night is on them all.

  • The fool hath said … The fool hath said
    And we, who deemed him wise,
    We, who believed that Thou wast dead,
    How should we seek Thine eyes?

    How should we seek to Thee for power,
    Who scorned Thee yesterday?
    How should we kneel in this dread hour?
    Lord, teach us how to pray.

    • Dedication, later published as "A Prayer in Time of War".
  • Grant us the single heart once more
    That mocks no sacred thing,
    The Sword of Truth our fathers wore
    When Thou wast Lord and King.

    Let darkness unto darkness tell
    Our deep unspoken prayer;
    For, while our souls in darkness dwell,
    We know that Thou art there.

    • Dedication, later published as "A Prayer in Time of War".

The Lord of Misrule and Other Poems (1915)[edit]

Full text online
This is the sign we bring you, before the darkness fall,
That Spring is risen, is risen again,
That Life is risen, is risen again,
That Love is risen, is risen again, and Love is Lord of all.
  • Your God still walks in Eden, between the ancient trees,
    Where Youth and Love go wading through pools of primroses.
    And this is the sign we bring you, before the darkness fall,
    That Spring is risen, is risen again,
    That Life is risen, is risen again,
    That Love is risen, is risen again, and
    Love is Lord of all.
    • The Lord of Misrule
  • He died and He went down to hell!
    You know not what you mean.
    Our rafters were of green fir. Also our beds were green.
    But out of the mouth of a fool, a fool, before the darkness fall,
    We tell you He is risen again,
    The Lord of Life is risen again,
    The boughs put forth their tender buds, and
    Love is Lord of all!
    • The Lord of Misrule

Songs of Shadow-of-a-leaf and other poems (1924)[edit]

  • Memory, out of the mist, in a long slow ripple
    Breaks, blindly, against the shore.
    • "Seagulls on the Serpentine".

External links[edit]

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