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Eyesight and speech they wrought
A time to serve and to sin;
And love, and a space for delight,
And night, and sleep in the night.
With his lips he travaileth;
In his eyes foreknowledge of death;
WE HAVE SEEN THEE, O LOVE.
We have seen thee, O Love, thou art fair; thou art goodly, O Love;
Thy wings make light in the air as the wings of a dove. Thy feet are as winds that divide the stream of the sea; Earth is thy covering to hide thee, the garment of thee. Thou art swift and subtle and blind as a flame of fire; Before thee the laughter, behind thee the tears of desire; And twain go forth beside thee, a man with a maid; Her eyes are the eyes of a bride whom delight makes afraid; As the breath in the buds that stir is her bridal breath: But Fate is the name of her; and his name is Death.
For an evil blossom was born
Of sea-foam and the frothing of blood,
And the seed of it laughter and tears,
And the leaves of it madness and scorn;
Sprung of the sea without root,
The weft of the world was untorn
When a wonder, a world's delight,
And the waves of the sea as she came
Fawning, rejoiced to bring forth
To the cold white ends of the north.
And in air the clamorous birds,
Sweetly divided apart,
And in shallow and channel and mere The rapid and footless herds,
Rejoiced, being foolish of heart.
For all they said upon earth,
She is fair, she is white like a dove,
And the life of the world in her breath Breathes, and is born at her birth;
For they knew thee for mother of love, And knew thee not mother of death. What hadst thou to do being born,
Mother, when winds were at ease, As a flower of the springtime of corn, A flower of the foam of the seas?
For bitter thou wast from thy birth,
For life was not then as thou art,
But as one that waxeth in years
Earth had no thorn, and desire
Thou, sprung of the seed of the seas As an ear from a seed of corn,
As a brand plucked forth of a pyre, As a ray shed forth of the morn,
For division of soul and disease, For a dart and a sting and a thorn? What ailed thee then to be born?
Was there not evil enough,
Mother, and anguish on earth
Storm out of heaven, and dearth
And tears that spring and increase In the barren places of mirth, That thou, having wings as a dove, Being girt with desire for a girth,
That thou must come after these, That thou must lay on him love?
Thou shouldst not so have been born:
Grief, and the wringing of hands,
A cry as of perishing lands,
And thunder of storm on the sands,
Loud shoals and shipwrecking reefs,
Darkness, and noises of night;
Clamour of currents, and foam;
Rains making ruin on earth,
And blind things dead in their birth;
All these we know of; but thee
Between the wheel of the sun
Wilt thou turn thee not yet nor have pity,
But abide with despair and desire
Lamentation of one with another
The severing of brother and brother;
For against all men from of old
These things are spoken of thee.
WHO HATH GIVEN MAN SPEECH
Who hath given man speech? or who hath set therein A thorn for peril and a snare for sin?
For in the word his life is and his breath,
And in the word his death,
That madness and the infatuate heart may breed
And life bring one thing forth ere all pass by,
But death is strong and full of blood and fair