THE RAINBOW


On land wrought of starlight rain lingers

In delicate spirals and spines,
And sunlight’s immaculate fingers

Creep through the desire of the pines;
The promise is flashed into being,

Tremendous and florid and proud,
To be seen by the eyes of the seeing,
A bow in the cloud.


O flamed through the sky as a harlot

In splendour transcendent and bold,
With purple and crimson and scarlet

And azure and olive and gold!
O melting to magic and mystery,

As clouds fly to heaven again,
And holy Hyperion’s history
Is flashed into rain!


O Godhead of glory through anguish!

O Christ shone through Magdalen’s tears!
Thy sons on the universe languish

In iron bands strong as the spheres;
With virtue Thy likeness we cover, [18]

With priestcraft we mock at Thy power,
And the meanest on earth is a lover,
As vile as a flower.


Come down through the visionless aether,

And watch for the sprout of the grain
Hid dark in the wonder beneath her,

A marvel of passion and pain;
Smite power from on high into mortals,

Draw spirit to spirit and nigher,
That winds burst the wonderful portals
And tongues as of fire.


O Life of the stars in their glory,

O Light of the passionate spring,
How sweet and supreme is thy story,

Most Wonderful, Counsellor, King!
O crucified, slain, re-arisen!

Burst open the fetters that bind,
Change from us the garb of our prison
And lighten the mind.



O Spring, tell the bountiful Giver

Thy smiles on the world are in vain;
Come down, O Lord God, and deliver

Our souls from the wheel and the chain, [19]
That Love may lie fragrant and shaded,

And Joy may spread wings unto flight,
And Peace stand above, unupbraided,
As splendid as night.


No longer the sun shall cast shadow,

No longer the flower shall lack rain,
The word shall be fair as a meadow,

And Love know no tincture of pain;
The Glory of God shall be on us,

And over the kingdom unpriced
The Spirit of Love is upon us,
A crucified Christ!


O rapture! O glory! O gladness!

When Satan is fled from the land,
When Christ cleanses sin, and from madness

Deletes its indelible brand;
For life shall spring where they have smitten,

And Love rise from under the rod,
Till all men behold what is written,
The kingdom of God! [20]

 

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Preface | Dedicace | Prefatory Sonnet to the Virgin Mary | A Fragment | The Rainbow | With a Copy of ‘Poems and Ballads’ | Ad Lydiam, Ut Secum A Martio Fugeret | Contra Conjugium T.B.B. | A Ballad of Choosing | A Jealous Lover | Ballade de la Jolie Marion | At Stockholm | Mathilde | Yet Time To Turn | All Night | Ode to Venus Callipyge | Volupté | …