Home - George MacDonald - Phantastes

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DUMB ART THOU? O Love immortal,

More than words thy speech must be;

Childless yet the tender portal

Of the home of melody.

the nostrils open fearless, Proud in calm unconsciousness,

Sure it must be something peerless

That the great Pan would express!

Deepens, crowds some meaning tender,

In the pure, dear lady-face.

a blinding burst of splendour!-- 'Tis the free soul's issuing grace.
calm lakes of molten glory Circling round unfathomed deeps!

Lightning-flashes, transitory,

Cross the gulfs where darkness sleeps.

This the gate, at last, of gladness,

To the outward striving me:

In a rain of light and sadness,

Out its loves and longings flee!

With a presence I am smitten

Dumb, with a foreknown surprise;

Presence greater yet than written

Even in the glorious eyes.

Through the gulfs, with inward gazes,

I may look till I am lost;

Wandering deep in spirit-mazes,

In a sea without a coast.

Windows open to the glorious!

Time and space, oh, far beyond!

Woman, ah! thou art victorious,

And I perish, overfond.

Springs aloft the yet Unspoken

In the forehead's endless grace,

Full of silences unbroken;

Infinite, unfeatured face.

Domes above, the mount of wonder;

Height and hollow wrapt in night;

Hiding in its caverns under

Woman-nations in their might.

Passing forms, the highest Human

Faints away to the Divine

Features none, of man or woman,

Can unveil the holiest shine.

Sideways, grooved porches only

Visible to passing eye,

Stand the silent, doorless, lonely

Entrance-gates of melody.

all sounds fly in as boldly, Groan and song, and kiss and cry

At their galleries, lifted coldly,

Darkly, 'twixt the earth and sky.

Beauty, thou art spent, thou knowest

So, in faint, half-glad despair,

From the summit thou o'erflowest

In a fall of torrent hair;

Hiding what thou hast created

In a half-transparent shroud:

Thus, with glory soft-abated,

Shines the moon through vapoury cloud.

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