Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GENIUS, by ALICE CARY



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GENIUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A cunning and curious splendour
Last Line: The foreheads of women and men.
Subject(s): Genius


A CUNNING and curious splendor,
That glorifies commonest things --
Palissy, with clay from the river,
Moulds cups for the tables of kings.

A marvel of sweet and wise madness,
That passes our skill to define;
It clothes the poor peasant with grandeur,
And turns his rude hut to a shrine.

Full many a dear little daisy
Had passed from the light of the sun,
Ere Burns, with his pen and his ploughshare,
Upturned and immortalled that one.

And just with a touch of its magic
It gives to the poet's rough rhyme
A something that makes the world listen,
And will, to the ending of time.

It puts a great price upon shadows --
Holds visions, all rubies above,
And shreds of old tapestries pieces
To legends of glory and love.

The ruin it builds into beauty,
Uplifting the low-lying towers,
Makes green the waste place with a garden,
And shapes the dead dust into flowers.

It shows us the lovely court ladies,
All shining in lace and brocade;
The knights, for their gloves who did battle,
In terrible armor arrayed.

It gives to the gray head a glory,
And grace to the eyelids that weep,
And makes our last enemy even,
To be as the brother of sleep.

A marvel of madness celestial,
That causes the weed at our feet,
The thistle that grows at the wayside,
To somehow look strange and be sweet.

No heirs hath it, neither ancestry;
But just as it listeth, and when,
It seals with its own royal signet
The foreheads of women and men.





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