Sunday MorningIComplacencies of the peignoir, and lateCoffee and oranges in a sunny chair,And the green freedom of a cockatooUpon a rug mingle to dissipateThe holy hush of ancient sacrifice.She dreams a little, and she feels the darkEncroachment of that old catastrophe,As a calm darkens among water-lights.The pungent oranges and bright, green wingsSeem things in some procession of the dead,Winding across wide water, without sound.The day is like wide water, without sound,Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feetOver the seas, to silent Palestine,Dominion of the blood and sepulchre. IIWhy should she give her bounty to the dead?What is divinity if it can comeOnly in silent shadows and in dreams?Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or elseIn any balm or beauty of the earth,Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?Divinity must live within herself:Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;Grievings in loneliness, or unsubduedElations when the forest blooms; gustyEmotions on wet roads on autumn nights;All pleasures and all pains, rememberingThe bough of summer and the winter branch.These are the measures destined for her soul. IIIJove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.No mother suckled him, no sweet land gaveLarge-mannered motions to his mythy mind.He moved among us, as a muttering king,Magnificent, would move among his hinds,Until our blood, commingling, virginal,With heaven, brought such requital to desireThe very hinds discerned it, in a star.Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to beThe blood of paradise? And shall the earthSeem all of paradise that we shall know?The sky will be much friendlier then than now,A part of labor and a part of pain,And next in glory to enduring love,Not this dividing and indifferent blue. IVShe says, "I am content when wakened birds,Before they fly, test the realityOf misty fields, by their sweet questionings;But when the birds are gone, and their warm fieldsReturn no more, where, then, is paradise?"There is not any haunt of prophecy,Nor any old chimera of the grave,Neither the golden underground, nor isleMelodious, where spirits gat them home,Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palmRemote on heaven's hill, that has enduredAs April's green endures; or will endureLike her remembrance of awakened birds,Or her desire for June and evening, tippedBy the consummation of the swallow's wings. VShe says, "But in contentment I still feelThe need of some imperishable bliss."Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreamsAnd our desires. Although she strews the leavesOf sure obliteration on our paths,The path sick sorrow took, the many pathsWhere triumph rang its brassy phrase, or loveWhispered a little out of tenderness,She makes the willow shiver in the sunFor maidens who were wont to sit and gazeUpon the grass, relinquished to their feet.She causes boys to pile new plums and pearsOn disregarded plate. The maidens tasteAnd stray impassioned in the littering leaves. VIIs there no change of death in paradise?Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughsHang always heavy in that perfect sky,Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,With rivers like our own that seek for seasThey never find, the same receding shoresThat never touch with inarticulate pang?Why set the pear upon those river banksOr spice the shores with odors of the plum?Alas, that they should wear our colors there,The silken weavings of our afternoons,And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,Within whose burning bosom we deviseOur earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly. VIISupple and turbulent, a ring of menShall chant in orgy on a summer mornTheir boisterous devotion to the sun,Not as a god, but as a god might be,Naked among them, like a savage source.Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,Out of their blood, returning to the sky;And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,The windy lake wherein their lord delights,The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,That choir among themselves long afterward.They shall know well the heavenly fellowshipOf men that perish and of summer morn.And whence they came and whither they shall goThe dew upon their feet shall manifest. VIIIShe hears, upon that water without sound,A voice that cries, "The tomb in PalestineIs not the porch of spirits lingering.It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay."We live in an old chaos of the sun,Or old dependency of day and night,Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,Of that wide water, inescapable.Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quailWhistle about us their spontaneous cries;Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;And, in the isolation of the sky,At evening, casual flocks of pigeons makeAmbiguous undulations as they sink,Downward to darkness, on extended wings.- Wallace Stevens, Poetry (November 1915).
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on December 6th, 2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.