Robert Laurence Binyon
Psyche - Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon
She is not fair, as some are fair,
Cold as the snow, as sunshine gay:
On her clear brow, come grief what may,
She suffers not too stern an air;
But, grave in silence, sweet in speech,
Loves neither mockery nor disdain;
Gentle to all, to all doth teach
The charm of deeming nothing vain.
She joined me: and we wandered on;
And I rejoiced, I cared not why,
Deeming it immortality
To walk with such a soul alone.
Primroses pale grew all around,
Violets, and moss, and ivy wild;
Yet, drinking sweetness from the ground,
I was but conscious that she smiled.
The wind blew all her shining hair
From her sweet brows; and she, the while,
Put back her lovely head, to smile
On my enchanted spirit there.
Jonquils and pansies round her head
Gleamed softly; but a heavenlier hue
Upon her perfect cheek was shed,
And in her eyes a purer blue.
There came an end to break the spell;
She murmured something in my ear;
The words fell vague, I did not hear,
And ere I knew, I said farewell;
And homeward went, with happy heart
And spirit dwelling in a gleam,
Rapt to a Paradise apart,
With all the world become a dream.
Yet now, too soon, the world's strong strife
Breaks on me pitiless again;
The pride of passion, hopes made vain,
The wounds, the weariness of life.
And losing that forgetful sphere,
For some less troubled world I sigh,
If not divine, more free, more clear,
Than this poor, soiled humanity.
But when, in trances of the night,
Wakeful, my lonely bed I keep,
And linger at the gate of Sleep,
Fearing, lest dreams deny me light;
Her image comes into the gloom,
With her pale features moulded fair,
Her breathing beauty, morning bloom,
My heart's delight, my tongue's despair.
With loving hand she touches mine,
Showers her soft tresses on my brow,
And heals my heart, I know not how,
Bathing me with her looks divine.
She beckons me; and I arise;
And, grief no more remembering,
Wander again with rapturous eyes
Through those enchanted lands of Spring.
Then, as I walk with her in peace,
I leave this troubled air below,
Where, hurrying sadly to and fro,
Men toil, and strain, and cannot cease:
Then, freed from tyrannous Fate's control,
Untouched by years or grief, I see
Transfigured in that child--like soul
The soiled soul of humanity.
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