Thought is an unseen net wherein our mind
   Is taken and vainly struggles to be free:
   Words, that should loose our spirit, do but bind
   New fetters on our hoped-for liberty:
   And action bears us onward like a stream
   Past fabulous shores, scarce seen in our swift course;
   Glorious—and yet its headlong currents seem
   Backwaters of some nobler purer force.
   There are slow curves, more subtle far than thought,
   That stoop to carry the grace of a girl’s breast;
   And hanging flowers, so exquisitely wrought
   In airy metal, that they seem possessed
   Of souls; and there are distant hills that lift
   The shoulder of a goddess towards the light;
   And arrowy trees, sudden and sharp and swift,
   Piercing the spirit deeply with delight.
   Would I might make these miracles my own!
   Like a pure angel, thinking colour and form,
   Hardening to rage in a flame of chiselled stone,
   Spilling my love like sunlight, golden and warm
   On noonday flowers, speaking the song of birds
   Among the branches, whispering the fall of rain,
   Beyond all thought, past action and past words,
   I would live in beauty, free from self and pain.
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