SONNET ON THE SONNET
To see the moment holds a madrigal,
To find some cloistered place, some hermitage
For free devices, some deliberate cage
Wherein to keep wild thoughts like birds in thrall;
To eat sweet honey and to taste black gall,
To fight with form, to wrestle and to rage,
Till at the last upon the conquered page
The shadows of created Beauty fall.
This is the sonnet, this is all delight
Of every flower that blossoms in every Spring,
And all desire of every desert place;
This is the joy that fills a cloudy night
When, bursting from her misty following,
A perfect moon wins to an empty space.
TO A SILENT POET
Where are the eagle-wings that lifted thee
Above the ken of mortal hopes and fears,
And was it thou who in serener years
Framed magic words with such sweet symmetry?
Didst thou compel the sun, the stars, the sea,
Harness the golden horses of the spheres,
And make the winds of God thy charioteers
Along the roads of Immortality?
Art thou dead then? Nay, leave the folded scroll,
Let us keep quiet lips and patient hands,
Not as sheer children use, who would unclose
The petals of young flowers, but paying toll
At that high gate where Time, grave gardener, stands
Waiting the ripe fulfilment of the rose.
Overgenomen uit: Caspar Wintermans: Alfred Douglas — A Poet’s Life and His Finest Work. Peter Owen, London and Chester Springs PA, USA, maart 2007; ISBN 0 7206 1270 5.