Soul of the leaping flame; Heart of the scarlet fire, Spirit that hath for name Only the name -- Desire! Subtle art thou and strong; Glowing in sunlit skies; Sparkling in wine and song; Shining in women's eyes; Gleaming on shores of Sleep -- Moon of the wild dream-clan -- Burning within the deep Passionate heart of Man. Spirit we can but name, Essence of Forms that seem, Odour of violet flame, Weaver of Thought and Dream. Laught of the World's great Heart, Who shall thy rune recote? Child of the gods thou art, Offspring of Day and Night. Lord of the Rainbow ealm, Many a shape hast thou -- Glory with laurelled helm; Love with the myrtled brow; Sanctity, robed in white; Liberty, proud and calm, Ringed wth auroral light, Bearing the sword and palm. Maidens with dreamful eyes Eyes of a dreaming dove, See thee in noble guise Coming, and call thee -- Love! Youth with his blood aflame, Running in crystal red, Sees, on the Mount of Fame, Thee with thy hands outspread. Leader of Hope Forlorn, When he beholds thine eyes Shining in splendid scorn, Storming the rampart dies. Many have, by good hap, Seen thee in arms arrayed, Wearing a Phyrian cap, High on a barricade; Aye, and by dome and arch Leading, with eyes ablaze, Onward the Patriots' March, Singing the Marseillaise. Lo, where with trembling lyre Held in his long white hands Thrilled by thy glance of fire, Rapt the Musician stands; Feeling them all around Glow in the quiv'ring air -- Luminous Soul of Sound! Music of all things fair! Poet, and Sage, and Seer, Smile when the world grows wan, Knowing thine advent near, Over the Hills of Dawn. Anchorite, aple and worn, Sees thee, and earth disowns -- Lifted on prayer, and borne Up to the Shining Thrones. Yea, as a seraph-star Chanting in ecstasy, Singing in fire afar, So he beholdeth thee. And, as in darksome mines, far down a corridor, Starlike a small lamp shines, Raying along the floor -- So, ere his race be ran, Parted his last faint breath, Thou, for the dying man, Lightest the ways of Death; And, while his kindred mourn Over his shell of clay, Shinest beyond the bourne, Dawn of his first new day. Thus through the lives to be We shall fare, each alone, Evermore lured by thee Unto an End unknown.
First published in The Bulletin, 10 December 1898, p16