THAT voice I hear,—how heard I cannot tell,—
Although my home is this, seems from my home:
Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been;
I am also call'd No-more, Too-late, Farewell;
Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell
Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet between;
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,--
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
This is that blessed Mary, pre-elect
God's Virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.
Unto God's will she brought devout respect,
When do I see thee most, beloved one?
When in the light the spirits of mine eyes
Before thy face, their altar, solemnize
Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,
Tell me now in what hidden way is
Lady Flora the lovely Roman?
Where's Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
Neither of them the fairer woman?
What thing unto mine ear
Wouldst thou convey,--what secret thing,
O wandering water ever whispering?
Surely thy speech shall be of her.
O thou who at Love's hour ecstatically
Unto my heart dost evermore present,
Clothed with his fire, thy heart his testament;