Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Mad Moments: Or First Verse Attempts by a Born Natural (1833).
III. To Psyche (Ode II)
By Henry Ellison (1811–1880)
 
    WHY stand’st thou thus at gaze
    In the faint taper’s rays,
With strainèd eyeballs fixed upon that bed?
    Has he then flown away,
    Lost, like a star in day,        5
Or like a pearl in depths unfathomèd?
Alas! thou hast done very ill,
Thus with thine eyes the vision of thy soul to kill
 
    Thought’st thou that earthly light
    Could then assist thy sight?        10
Or that the limits of reality
    Could grasp things fairer than
    Imagination’s span,
Who communes with the angels of the sky?
Thou graspest at the rainbow, and        15
Would’st make it as the zone with which thy waist is spann’d!
 
    And what find’st thou in his stead?
    Only the empty bed!
And what is that when no more hallowed by
Imagination? a mere sty        20
    For Sensualism to wallow in,
    To which thy fault is near akin;
Thou sought’st the earthly and therefore
The heavenly is gone, for that must ever soar!
 
    For the bright world of        25
    Pure and boundless love
What hast thou found? alas! a narrow room
    Put out that light,
    Restore thy soul its sight,
For better ’tis to dwell in outward gloom,        30
    Than thus, by the vile body’s eye,
    To rob the soul of its infinity!
 
    Love, Love has wings, and he
    Soon out of sight will flee,
Lost in far ether to the sensual eye,        35
    But the soul’s vision true
    Can track him, yea! up to
The Presence and the Throne of the Most High:
For thence he is, and tho’ he dwell below,
To the soul only he his genuine form will show!        40
 
Oh Psyche, Psyche, ’tis by our own thought
That Heaven’s gifts to fit use must be wrought,
But what the soul itself can scarcely grasp,
Thou in thine arms wouldst sensually clasp!
 
 
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