Farewell to Poetry

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Farewell to Poetry
by Théophile Gautier, translated by Frederic Cesar De Sumichrast and Agnes Lee
From the French Adieux à la Poésie.

Come, fallen angel, fold thy wings of rose,
    Doff thy white garment and thy golden ray !
    Piercing the ambient ether of thy way,
A star, thou couldst but hurtling fall to prose.
Upon the ground thy dove-like feet unclose —
    Walk — for thy soaring-time is not to-day.
    Within thy bosom bid thy treasure stay,
And let thy lyre a moment now repose.

O thou poor child of heaven, thy song was vain!
    Earth's ears were deaf to thy most subtle chord,
        Nor could it guess the language of thy spell.
But ere thou leave me, O fair angel mine,
    Go seek me out my pale sweet love adored,
        And on her lips imprint a long farewell!