Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NARCISSUS, by ROBERT SEYMOUR BRIDGES

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NARCISSUS, by             Poem Explanation     Poet's Biography
First Line: Almighty wondrous everlasting
Last Line: A shadow and not thyself.
Alternate Author Name(s): Bridges, Robert+(2)
Subject(s): Mythology - Classical; Narcissus (mythology)

Almighty wondrous everlasting
Whether in a cradle of astral whirlfire
Or globed in a piercing star thou slumb'rest
The impassive body of God:
Thou deep i' the core of earth -- Almighty! --
From numbing stress and gloom profound
Madest escape in life desirous
To embroider her thin-spun robe.

'Twas down in a wood -- they tell --
In a running water thou sawest thyself
Or leaning over a pool: The sedges
Were twinn'd at the mirror's brim
The sky was there and the trees -- Almighty! --
A bird of a bird and white clouds floating
And seeing thou knewest thine own image
To love it beyond all else.

Then wondering didst thou speak
Of beauty and wisdom of art and worship
Didst build the fanes of Zeus and Apollo
The high cathedrals of Christ:
All that we love is thine -- Almighty! --
Heart-felt music and lyric song
Language the eager grasp of knowledge
All that we think is thine.

But whence? -- Beauteous everlasting! --
Whence and whither? Hast thou mistaken?
Or dost forget? Look again! Thou seest
A shadow and not thyself.

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