Why hast thou nothing in thy face?
Thou idol of the human race,
Thou tyrant of the human heart,
The flower of lovely youththat art;
Yea, and that standesr in thy youth
An image of eternal Truth,
With thy exuberant flesh so fair,
That only Pheidias might compare,
Ere from his chaste marmoreal form
Time had decayed the colours warm;
Like to his gods in thy proud dress,
Thy starry sheen of nakedness.
Surely thy body is thy mind,
For in thy face is nought to find,
Only thy soft unchristen’d smile,
That shadows neither love nor guile,
But shameless will and power immense,
In secret sensuous innocence.
O king of jy, what is thy thought?
I dream thou knowest it is nought,
And wouldst in darkness come, but thou
Makest the light where’er thou go.
Ah yet no victim of thy grace,
None who e’er long’d for thy embrace,
Hath cared to look upon thy face.
Nr. 20 van New Poems
First collected 1899
Smith, Elder & Co. Volume II
* * * * *
WANTON with long delay the gay spring leaping cometh;
The blackthorn starreth now his bough on the eve of May:
All day in the sweet box-tree the bee for pleasure hummeth:
The cuckoo sends afloat his note on the air all day.
Now dewy nights again and rain in gentle shower
At root of tree and flower have quenched te winter’s drouht:
On high te hot sun smiles, and banks ofcloud uptower
In bulging heads that crowd for miles te dazzling south.
Uit: Shorter Poems Book IV, 6
First collected October 1890, Clarendon Press.
Geo. Bell & Sons.
Afbeelding: De Engelse dichter Robert Bridges — Augustus 1912.