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SYMONS, Arthur

White Heliotrope

The feverish room and that white bed,

The tumbled skirts upon a chair,

The novel flung half-open, where

Hat, hair-pins, puffs, and paints are spread;

The mirror that has sucked your face

Into its secret deep of deeps,

And there mysteriously keeps

Forgotten memories of grace;

And you half dressed and half awake,

Your slant eyes strangely watching me,

And I, who watch you drowsily,

With eyes that, having slept not, ache;

This (need one dread? nay, dare one hope?)

Will rise, a ghost of memory, if

Ever again my handkerchief

Is scented with White Heliotrope.


Water and marble and that silentness

Which is not broken by a wheel or hoof;

A city like a water-lily, less

Seen than reflected, palace wall and roof,

In the unfruitful waters motionless,

Without one living grass's green reproof;

A city without joy or weariness,

Itself beholding, from itself aloof.

Alla Dogana

Night, and the silence of the night,

In Venice; far away, a song;

As if the lyric water made

Itself a serenade;

As if the water's silence were a song

Sent up into the night.

Night, a more perfect day,

A day of shadows luminous,

Water and sky at one, at one with us;

As if the very peace of night,

The older peace than heaven or light,

Came down into the day.

At Burgos

Miraculous silver-work in stone

Against the blue miraculous skies,

The belfry towers and turrets rise

Out of the arches that enthrone

That airy wonder of the skies.

Softly against the burning sun

The great cathedral spreads its wings;

High up, the lyric belfry sings.

Behold Ascension Day begun

Under the shadow of those wings!