previous next

[247] ‘I know,’ she said, “the letter kills;
     That on our arid fields of strife
And heat of clashing texts distils
     The dew of spirit and of life.
But, searching still the written Word,
     I fain would find, Thus saith the Lord,
A voucher for the hope I also feel
     That sin can give no wound beyond love's power to heal.”

‘Pray,’ said the Man of Books, “give o'er
     A theme too vast for time and place.
Go on, Sir Poet, ride once more
     Your hobby at his old free pace.
But let him keep, with step discreet,
     The solid earth beneath his feet.
In the great mystery which around us lies,
     The wisest is a fool, the fool Heaven-helped is
wise.”

The Traveller said: “If songs have creeds,
     Their choice of them let singers make;
But Art no other sanction needs
     Than beauty for its own fair sake.
It grinds not in the mill of use,
     Nor asks for leave, nor begs excuse;
It makes the flexile laws it deigns to own,
     And gives its atmosphere its color and its tone.

Confess, old friend, your austere school
     Has left your fancy little chance;
You square to reason's rigid rule
     The flowing outlines of romance.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: