A seat for gods, a mount divine;
And from the height of this eternal dome,
Sky, sea, and earth are mine.
All these I love, but only heaven is near,
Only the tranquil stars I know;
I see the map of earth, but never hear
Life’s tumult far below.
Bright hieroglyphs I read in heaven’s book;
But oft, with eyes too dim for these,
On common fields and trees.
Scant fare for wife and child the fisher gains
From yon broad belt of lucent grey;
Rude peasants till those green and golden plains;
Am I more wise than they?
Oh, far less glad! And yet, could I descend
And breathe the lowland air again,
How should I find a brother or a friend
’Mid earth‐contented men?
Though, while I sat beside my household fire,
Some dear, dear hand should clasp my own,
Must I not pine with home‐sick, sharp desire
For this my mountain throne?
I were impatient of the narrowed skies,
Yes, even of the clasping hand;
And she, sad gazing in my restless eyes,
Would haply understand,
And know my fevered yearning to depart,
To dwell once more alone and free:
Well might I love, yet needs must break the heart
That puts its trust in me.
Yet hope and ecstasy desert me not,
But coldly shine, like moonlit snows;
This earthly dream, renounced yet unforgot,
To heavenly splendour grows.
For oft, when sleep has lulled a brain o’erwrought,
Strange light across my brow is thrown;
The glorious incarnation of my thought,
Urania stands alone.
She, passionless, of no fond woman born,
Towers awful in her virgin grace;
Calmly she smiles; the first faint rose of morn
Flushes her sovereign face.
Athwart the fading moonlight swims;
Rare vapour, like a comet’s luminous haze,
Floats round her argent limbs.
Her clear celestial eyes look deep in mine,
Her brow and breast gleam icy pure;
She whispers—“Be thy heart my secret shrine,
So shall thy strength endure.