Here Fancy far outdoes the deed;
So hath Eternity the need
Of telling more than Time has taught
To fill the boundaries of thought.
Thou art to me as is the sea
Unto the shell;
A life whereof I breathe, a love
Wherein I dwell.
For one extinguished light
Of Love, all heaven is night;
For one frail flower the less,
The world a wilderness.
This, biting Frost—this, branding Sun—
This, Wind or drenching Rain hath done:
Each perfecting the Sculptor’s plan
Upon the godlike image, Man.
She sleeps—her hiding-place unknown
To other worshippers,
Till Art, her lover, comes alone
To press his lips to hers.
For a recitation, click the play button:[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122749979″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
“Imagination”: Poems, p. 131; Poetry, p. 358. September 1893.
“Alter Ego”: Poems, p. 146; Poetry, p. 361. December 1892. Alter Ego: Latin, the other I; thus, a second self, someone close and trusted.
“Loss”: Later Poems, p. 44; Poetry, p. 369. January 1909.
“Wrinkles”: Later Poems, p. 71; Poetry, p. 370. November 1903. The last line alludes to Genesis 1:26.
“Beauty”: Later Poems, p. 38; Poetry, p. 371. 1910.