Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomePoemsStudies For Two Heads
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Studies For Two Heads Post by :Jigar_Banker Category :Poems Author :James Russell Lowell Date :November 2010 Read :3392

Click below to download : Studies For Two Heads (Format : PDF)

Studies For Two Heads

I

Some sort of heart I know is hers,--
I chanced to feel her pulse one night;
A brain she has that never errs,
And yet is never nobly right;
It does not leap to great results,
But, in some corner out of sight
Suspects a spot of latent blight,
And, o'er the impatient infinite,
She hargains, haggles, and consults.

Her eye,--it seems a chemic test
And drops upon you like an acid; 11
It bites you with unconscious zest,
So clear and bright, so coldly placid;
It holds you quietly aloof,
It holds,--and yet it does not win you;
It merely puts you to the proof
And sorts what qualities are in you:
It smiles, but never brings you nearer,
It lights,--her nature draws not nigh;
'Tis but that yours is growing clearer 20
To her assays;--yes, try and try,
You'll get no deeper than her eye.

There, you are classified: she's gone
Far, far away into herself;
Each with its Latin label on,
Your poor components, one by one,
Are laid upon their proper shelf
In her compact and ordered mind,
And what of you is left behind
Is no more to her than the wind;
In that clear brain, which, day and night, 31
No movement of the heart e'er jostles,
Her friends are ranged on left and right,--
Here, silex, hornblende, sienite;
There, animal remains and fossils.

And yet, O subtile analyst,
That canst each property detect
Of mood or grain, that canst untwist
Each tangled skein of intellect,
And with thy scalpel eyes lay bare 40
Each mental nerve more fine than air,--
O brain exact, that in thy scales
Canst weigh the sun and never err,
For once thy patient science fails,
One problem still defies thy art;--
Thou never canst compute for her
The distance and diameter
Of any simple human heart.


II

Hear him but speak, and you will feel
The shadows of the Portico 50
Over your tranquil spirit steal,
To modulate all joy and woe
To one subdued, subduing glow;
Above our squabbling business-hours,
Like Phidian Jove's, his beauty lowers,
His nature satirizes ours;
A form and front of Attic grace,
He shames the higgling market-place,
And dwarfs our more mechanic powers.

What throbbing verse can fitly render 60
That face so pure, so trembling-tender?
Sensation glimmers through its rest,
It speaks unmanacled by words,
As full of motion as a nest
That palpitates with unfledged birds;
'Tis likest to Bethesda's stream,
Forewarned through all its thrilling springs,
White with the angel's coming gleam,
And rippled with his fanning wings.

Hear him unfold his plots and plans, 70
And larger destinies seem man's;
You conjure from his glowing face
The omen of a fairer race;
With one grand trope he boldly spans
The gulf wherein so many fall,
'Twixt possible and actual;
His first swift word, talaria-shod,
Exuberant with conscious God,
Out of the choir of planets blots
The present earth with all its spots. 80

Himself unshaken as the sky,
His words, like whirlwinds, spin on high
Systems and creeds pellmell together;
'Tis strange as to a deaf man's eye,
While trees uprooted splinter by,
The dumb turmoil of stormy weather;
Less of iconoclast than shaper,
His spirit, safe behind the reach
Of the tornado of his speech,
Burns calmly as a glowworm's taper. 90

So great in speech, but, ah! in act
So overrun with vermin troubles,
The coarse, sharp-cornered, ugly fact
Of life collapses all his bubbles:
Had he but lived in Plato's day,
He might, unless my fancy errs,
Have shared that golden voice's sway
O'er barefooted philosophers.
Our nipping climate hardly suits
The ripening of ideal fruits: 100
His theories vanquish us all summer,
But winter makes him dumb and dumber;
To see him mid life's needful things
Is something painfully bewildering;
He seems an angel with clipt wings
Tied to a mortal wife and children,
And by a brother seraph taken
In the act of eating eggs and bacon.
Like a clear fountain, his desire
Exults and leaps toward the light, 110
In every drop it says 'Aspire!'
Striving for more ideal height;
And as the fountain, falling thence,
Crawls baffled through the common gutter,
So, from his speech's eminence,
He shrinks into the present tense,
Unkinged by foolish bread and butter.

Yet smile not, worldling, for in deeds
Not all of life that's brave and wise is;
He strews an ampler future's seeds, 120
'Tis your fault if no harvest rises;
Smooth back the sneer; for is it naught
That all he is and has is Beauty's?
By soul the soul's gains must be wrought,
The Actual claims our coarser thought,
The Ideal hath its higher duties.


(The end)
James Russell Lowell's poem: Studies For Two Heads

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

On A Portrait Of Dante By Giotto On A Portrait Of Dante By Giotto

On A Portrait Of Dante By Giotto
Can this be thou who, lean and pale, With such immitigable eyeDidst look upon those writhing souls in bale, And note each vengeance, and pass byUnmoved, save when thy heart by chanceCast backward one forbidden glance, And saw Francesca, with child's glee, Subdue and mount thy wild-horse kneeAnd with proud hands control its fiery prance?With half-drooped lids, and smooth, round brow, And eye remote, that inly seesFair Beatrice's spirit wandering now In some sea-lulled Hesperides,Thou movest through the jarring street,Secluded from the noise of feet By her gift-blossom in thy hand, Thy branch of palm from Holy Land;--No trace is here
PREVIOUS BOOKS

The Ghost-seer The Ghost-seer

The Ghost-seer
Ye who, passing graves by night,Glance not to the left or right,Lest a spirit should arise,Cold and white, to freeze your eyes,Some weak phantom, which your doubtShapes upon the dark withoutFrom the dark within, a guessAt the spirit's deathlessness,Which ye entertain with fearIn your self-built dungeon here, 10Where ye sell your God-given livesJust for gold to buy you gyves,--Ye without a shudder meetIn the city's noonday street,Spirits sadder and more dreadThan from out the clay have fled,Buried, beyond hope of light,In the body's haunted night!See ye not that woman pale?There are bloodhounds on her trail! 20Bloodhounds two, all gaunt and lean,(For
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT