How steep the stairs within King’s houses are For exile-wearied feet as mine to tread, And O how salt and bitter is the bread Which falls from this Hound’s table, – better far That I had died in the red ways of war, Or that the gate of Florence bare my head, Than to live thus, by all things comraded Which seek the get rid of lower back pain essence of my soul to mar.
‘Curse God and die: what better hope than this? He hath forgotten thee in all the bliss Of his gold city, and eternal day’ – Nay peace: behind my prison’s blinded bars I do possess what none can take away, My love and all the glory of the stars.
These are the letters which Endymion wrote To one he loved in secret, and apart. And now the brawlers of the auction mart Bargain and bid for each poor blotted note, Ay! for each separate pulse of passion quote The merchant’s price. I think they love not art Who break the crystal of a poet’s heart That small and sickly eyes may glare and gloat.
Is it not said that many years ago, In a far Eastern town, some soldiers ran With torches through the midnight, and began To wrangle for mean raiment, and to throw Dice for the garments of a wretched man, Not knowing the God’s wonder, or His woe?
The sin was mine; I did not understand. So now is music prisoned in her cave, Save where some ebbing desultory wave Frets with its restless whirls this meagre strand. And in the withered hollow of this land Hath Summer dug herself so deep a grave, That hardly can the leaden willow crave One silver blossom from keen Winter’s hand.
But who is this who cometh by the shore? (Nay, love, look up and wonder!) Who is this Who cometh in dyed garments from the South? It is thy new-found Lord, and he shall kiss The yet unravished roses of thy mouth, And I shall weep and worship, as before.