The Great War

from War: an Ode And Other Poems, an electronic edition

A Blossom of Flowering Seas

NO spirit brooded on the placid deep,

Like blind blue eyes awake and yet asleep,

Like dead blue eyes that neither laugh nor weep,

The ocean lay. The waves no blossom bore,

There flowered no foam upon the barren shore.

Then wondrously and strangely as a star

Out of a firemist grows,

I saw a billow blossoming afar

Into a rose--

Into the lily, and the rose of thee,

Thou fairy blossom of the flowerless sea.

O, as upon the sea I saw thee float,

Thro' the blue water gleamed thine arms and throat

Like water-lilies swaying in a mist

Of lapis lazuli and amethyst,

And thy face, sweetly blossoming above,

Lay like a rose upon the breast of Love.

Then found I all the meaning of the world,

I saw all nature like a bud unroll;

From the far nebula I saw unfurled

The beauty of thy body and thy soul,

And knew that God's importunate desire

For beauty had conceived the mist of fire,

And that a living heart of love must be

Within the heaving bosom of the sea.