Exhilaration — is within –
There can no Outer Wine
So royally intoxicate
As that diviner Brand
The Soul achieves — Herself –
To drink — or set away
For Visitor — Or Sacrament –
‘Tis not of Holiday
To stimulate a Man
Who hath the Ample Rhine
Within his Closet — Best you can
Exhale in offering.
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I should have been too glad, I see –
Too lifted — for the scant degree
Of Life’s penurious Round –
My little Circuit would have shamed
This new Circumference — have blamed –
The homelier time behind.
I should have been too saved — I see –
Too rescued — Fear too dim to me
That I could spell the Prayer
I knew so perfect — yesterday –
That Scalding One — Sabachthani –
Recited fluent — here –
Earth would have been too much — I see –
And Heaven — not enough for me –
I should have had the Joy
Without the Fear — to justify –
The Palm — without the Calvary –
So Savior — Crucify –
Defeat — whets Victory — they say –
The Reefs — in old Gethsemane –
Endear the Coast — beyond!
‘Tis Beggars — Banquets — can define –
‘Tis Parching — vitalizes Wine –
“Faith” bleats — to understand!
In Ebon Box, when years have flown
To reverently peer,
Wiping away the velvet dust
Summers have sprinkled there!
To hold a letter to the light –
Grown Tawny now, with time –
To con the faded syllables
That quickened us like Wine!
Perhaps a Flower’s shrivelled check
Among its stores to find –
Plucked far away, some morning –
By gallant — mouldering hand!
A curl, perhaps, from foreheads
Our Constancy forgot –
Perhaps, an Antique trinket –
In vanished fashions set!
And then to lay them quiet back –
And go about its care –
As if the little Ebon Box
Were none of our affair!
These are the days when Birds come back –
A very few — a Bird or two –
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies resume
The old — old sophistries of June –
A blue and gold mistake.
Oh fraud that cannot cheat the Bee –
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief.
Till ranks of seeds their witness bear –
And softly thro’ the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.
Oh Sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze –
Permit a child to join.
Thy sacred emblems to partake –
They consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!