In magic dances dread

Over my head.

Yet these should know me too

Lover and bondman true,

One that has honoured well

The mystic spell

Of earth's most solemn hours

Wherein the ancient powers

Of dryad, elf, or faun

Or leprechaun

Oft have their faces shown

To me that walked alone

Seashore or haunted fen

Or mountain glen

Wherefore I will not fear

To walk the woodlands sere

Into this autumn day

Far, far away.

Part II Hesitation

XXII. L'Apprenti Sorcier

Suddenly there came to me

The music of a mighty sea

That on a bare and iron shore

Thundered with a deeper roar

Than all the tides that leap and run

With us below the real sun:

Because the place was far away,

Above, beyond our homely day,

Neighbouring close the frozen clime

Where out of all the woods of time,

Amid the frightful seraphim

The fierce, cold eyes of Godhead gleam,

Revolving hate and misery

And wars and famines yet to be.

And in my dreams I stood alone

Upon a shelf of weedy stone,

And saw before my shrinking eyes

The dark, enormous breakers rise,

And hover and fall with deafening thunder

Of thwarted foam that echoed under

The ledge, through many a cavern drear,

With hollow sounds of wintry fear.

And through the waters waste and grey,

Thick-strown for many a league away,

Out of the toiling sea arose

Many a face and form of those

Thin, elemental people dear

Who live beyond our heavy sphere.

And all at once from far and near,

They all held out their arms to me,

Crying in their melody,

"Leap in! Leap in and take thy fill

Of all the cosmic good and ill,

Be as the Living ones that know

Enormous joy, enormous woe,

Pain beyond thought and fiery bliss:

For all thy study hunted this,

On wings of magic to arise,

And wash from off thy filmed eyes

The cloud of cold mortality,

To find the real life and be

As are the children of the deep!

Be bold and dare the glorious leap,

Or to thy shame, go, slink again

Back to the narrow ways of men."

So all these mocked me as I stood

Striving to wake because I feared the flood.

XXIII. Alexandrines

There is a house that most of all on earth I hate.

Though I have passed through many sorrows and have been

In bloody fields, sad seas, and countries desolate,

Yet most I fear that empty house where the grasses green

Grow in the silent court the gaping flags between,

And down the moss-grown paths and terrace no man treads

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