from Heart of Love
As like the madd'ning mercury that laves
the walls of its glass catacomb
extended in its melancholy waves
in summer's swoon,
the painted maple autumn did assume
as though inebriated from the blast,
and felt at last
the winter's waking womb
that spilled the colors of its glass
from nature's verdant naves,
its labor to consume.
At her expense, the lanes are littered gold
although her boughs as to the frigid bone
are cut with poverty, and cannot hold
the ornaments that once her limbs called home.
Hell hath a people furious and bold,
and she cannot atone.
Amidst this tribal wilderness is sown
the witnesses of heaven, in the cold.
Invisible fire that warms the sacristy
within the soul's communing place
is summoned in the subterfuge of form
and swells the sap back to its vernal spring.
The voices of departed prophets ring
anew in intonations to conform
contemporary pillars of the faith
which late have lapsed in lethargy.
Much still the choir in its early mood
descants its raptured verse on golden tongue,
whose vantage is beyond the burning stars,
and seated in the heavenlies she sings.
Her visage struck by visions, and by kings
whose madness is incurable as Mars.
The seraphs and the cherubim have hung
on secrets which the mortals viewed.
Hell hunts with plaguey vitriol and sword,
her hourglass is to the furies mated;
the fires of damnation have imbued
her leopard-essence with the spirits' hatred.
The undershepherd Providence has fated
to give to his beloved ones their food;
and to the Devil's power sorely dated,
the retribution of the Lord.
I laid my head to heaven's heart
and wished to feel the heat
that whispered not from human smart
nor winged by human feet.
But on this orb by human art
I only found the human warmth
which was no more than human mirth,
which was no more than human worth.
The deathless ague in every vein
remediated not with pain
but multiplied in every part
sin-stricken with the cosmic dart.
Behold, he shall sustain.
She comes, the remnant of the earth
with tears to dew her train.
But wisdom's pearl has its birth:
her agonies are gain.
There is a place beneath the sod
whose veil is the Lamb of God,
whose curtained chambers stars compel
to consort with the wedding-bell.
There is among the glassy sea
one trained in seraph minstrelsy
whose coronal, in budding grief
now sits the amaranthine wreath.