Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/41

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32
AURORA LEIGH.


Erect, sublime,—the measure of a man,
And that’s the measure of an angel, says
The apostle. Ay, and while your common men
Build pyramids, gauge railroads, reign, reap, dine,
And dust the flaunty carpets of the world
For kings to walk on, or our senators,
The poet suddenly will catch them up
With his voice like a thunder . . ‘This is soul,
This is life, this word is being said in heaven,
Here’s God down on us! what are you about?’
How all those workers start amid their work,
Look round, look up, and feel, a moment’s space,
That carpet-dusting, though a pretty trade,
Is not the imperative labour after all.

My own best poets, am I one with you,
That thus I love you,—or but one through love?
Does all this smell of thyme about my feet
Conclude my visit to your holy hill
In personal presence, or but testify
The rustling of your vesture through my dreams
With influent odours? When my joy and pain,
My thought and aspiration, like the stops
Of pipe or flute, are absolutely dumb
If not melodious, do you play on me,
My pipers,—and if, sooth, you did not blow,
Would not sound come? or is the music mine,
As a man’s voice or breath is called his own,
Inbreathed by the Life-breather? There’s a doubt
For cloudy seasons!