BOOK II: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds
CANTO III: The Glory and the Fall of Life
The grand creatrix with her cryptic touch
Has turned to pathos and power being’s self-dream,
Made a passion-play of its fathomless mystery.
But here were worlds lifted half-way to heaven.
The Veil was there but not the Shadowy Wall;
In forms not too remote from human grasp
Some passion of the inviolate purity
Broke through, a ray of the original Bliss.
Heaven’s joys might have been earth’s if earth were pure.
There could have reached our divinised sense and heart
Some natural felicity’s bright extreme,
Some thrill of Supernature’s absolutes:
All strengths could laugh and sport on earth’s hard roads
And never feel her cruel edge of pain,
All love could play and nowhere Nature’s shame.
But she has stabled her dreams in Matter’s courts
And still her doors are barred to things supreme.
These worlds could feel God’s breath visiting their tops;
Some glimmer of the Transcendent’s hem was there.
Across the white aeonic silences
Immortal figures of embodied joy
Traversed wide spaces near to eternity’s sleep.
Pure mystic voices in beatitude’s hush
Appealed to Love’s immaculate sweetnesses,
Calling his honeyed touch to thrill the worlds,
His blissful hands to seize on Nature’s limbs,
His sweet intolerant might of union
To take all beings into his saviour arms,
Drawing to his pity the rebel and the waif
To force on them the happiness they refuse.
A chant hymeneal to the unseen Divine,
A flaming rhapsody of white desire
Lured an immortal music into the heart
And woke the slumbering ear of ecstasy.
A purer, fierier sense had there its home,
A burning urge no earthly limbs can hold;
One drew a large unburdened spacious breath
And the heart sped from beat to rapturous beat.
The voice of Time sang of the Immortal’s joy;
An inspiration and a lyric cry,
The moments came with ecstasy on their wings;
Beauty unimaginable moved heaven-bare
Absolved from boundaries in the vasts of dream;
The cry of the Birds of Wonder called from the skies
To the deathless people of the shores of Light.
Creation leaped straight from the hands of God;
Marvel and rapture wandered in the ways.
Only to be was a supreme delight,
Life was a happy laughter of the soul
And Joy was king with Love for minister.
The spirit’s luminousness was bodied there.
Life’s contraries were lovers or natural friends
And her extremes keen edges of harmony:
Indulgence with a tender purity came
And nursed the god on her maternal breast:
There none was weak, so falsehood could not live;
Ignorance was a thin shade protecting light,
Imagination the free-will of Truth,
Pleasure a candidate for heaven’s fire;
The intellect was Beauty’s worshipper,
Strength was the slave of calm spiritual law,
Power laid its head upon the breasts of Bliss.