Laura - daybreak's fiery blaze
Burns within thy golden gaze,
In these cheeks of thine springs crimson
And thy tears, thy pearls in flood,
Rapture calls them mother, sings their praise
Whom the lovely drops do thaw,
Who therein a deity saw,
Ah, the lad who, thus rewarded, cries
Suns for him do paint the skies!
Like the image on the waves, thy
Silver clear and sunbeam bright,
Turns to May the gloomy autumn's
Deserts, in their ghastly blight,
Are transfigured in thy fount of
Somber futures, dimly viewed afar,
Grow more golden in thy star.
Dost thou smile upon this harmony?
It brings only tears to me. -
Was not our citadel long undermined
Already by the Realm of Night?
The proud palatial towers of mankind,
Our cities' stately show of might,
All repose on rotting skeletons;
Thy carnations sweetly suck perfume
Out of corruption, so thy wellspring
Weeping from the vessel of - a tomb.
Glance above - the planets
Let them, Laura, speak to thee!
Underneath their compassing
A thousand rainbowed springs did
Here a thousand thrones arose,
Howled a thousand times the clash of
Search the iron plains
For what trace remains!
Sooner, later, summoned to the grave,
The planetary gears run down, our
Celestial clockwork wanes.
Blink three times - the sun's exalted
Into the sea of night eternal sinks!
Ask me then, whence burn thy
Dost thou boast of thy bright gaze?
Of the lively crimson of thy cheeks,
Borrowed from corruption though it
Profit for the Red it lends,
Profit, Maiden, Death demands
A fearful usury!
Speak not, Maiden, with such mockery!
Every blush's rosy stain
Is but a finer throne where Death should
And behind this flowered tapestry
The Spoiler even now doth bend his bow
Believe it, Laura, from thy devotee:
'Tis but to Death thy yearning glances
Every beam that from thine eyes doth
Drains thy meagre lamp yet poorer
Though my heartbeats, thou dost
Skip yet youthfully at every ray -
Ah! The Tyrant's creatures have
Us all insidiously with decay.
In an instant's time the Reaper blows
This smile asunder, like the wind
Doth scatter rainbow-colored foam. To
A vestige, one forever fruitless
Out of springtime, 'tis decreed,
Out of life, as from his infant seed,
None but the eternal slayer grows.
Woe! I see thy roses lorn of petals
Thy sweet mouth is faded, bleak,
The graceful curving of thy cheek
Shall by bitter winter storms be
The somber haze of decades misted
Shall murk the silver springs of youth;
Shall Laura - Laura shall no longer
Laura shall be lovable no more.
Maiden - mighty as an oak thy poet
Blunted on my youthful granite might
Doth the javelin of death alight,
Burning are my glances, like the
Of heaven - fierier my spirit, than
The lamps of His eternal heaven
He that in the oceans of His teeming
Mighty crags piles up, then down he
Boldly through the universe my thoughts do
And naught - except His limits do they
Glowest thou, Laura? Swells thy breast with
Learn it, Maid, this potion of
This chalice, whence Divinity doth
Laura - is a poison draught!
Calamitous! to dare it, O Calamitous!
To strike the spark of Deity from
Ah, the boldest harmony
Shall smash the lyre to sad debris,
And Genius' blazing ether-beam
Is nourished only by Life's flickering gleam
Cheated of a worldly throne,
Each watchman's lamp serves him
Ah! My spirits, now reduced to brazen
Together swear a pact against my
Let fly but two more fleeting springs like
And, Laura, as this dwelling of decay
Totters toward the precipice,
Extinguished shall I be in mine own ray.
Weepest thou, Laura? - teardrops, be
That o'er the impunity of Age are
Away! Ye tears, ye sinners, cease!
Laura wills it, that my strength should
That, trembling, I beneath this sun should
This sun, that my young eagle-flight did see?
Wills it that I should condemn,
With frozen heart, the bosom's flame,
That my fairest sins be cursed by me?
No! Ye tears, ye sinners, cease!
Pick the flower in its fairest age,
O weep, thou youngster with the mournful
And let my torch be doused!
As the curtain of the tragic stage
Comes rustling down amidst the fairest
The shadows flee - yet hearkens still the