Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 4. AS THE GREEKS DREAMED, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 4. AS THE GREEKS DREAMED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: On the loose hot sands at foot of the cliffs
Last Line: With nature may either know or understand the other.
Subject(s): Aphrodite; Goddesses & Gods; Greece; Mythology; Mythology - Classical; Greeks


ON the loose hot sands at foot of the cliffs—
The cloudless blue burning above in furious midday heats—
As I bask,
Bathing my brown-tanned body in the warm dry clean grit, or cooling it in
the sea;
And the sea creeps up, spacious, in curves along the shore,
With fringes of tawny lacework, and green and blue, deepening into the
loveliest violet,
And Aphrodite herself out of this marvellously beautiful robe, this liquid
cincture, swiftly gliding, for a moment stands,
(Her feet on the watery plain, her head in the great height against the
Sun,}
Vast, glorious, white-armed, visible and invisible;

As the sea stretches miles and miles, and the grey chalk cliffs and capes,
fainter and fainter, run forward into it, looking on,
And the fisherman slumbers in the shade of his boat, impervious,
And fainter still and more slumbrous on the horizon, in haze and silence
the far ships go by;

Through it all, meseems, I see
How the human body bathed in the sheen and wet, steeped in sun and air,
Moving near and nude among the elements
Matches somehow and interprets the whole of Nature
How from shoulder to foot of mountain and man alike the lines of grace run
on;
How, as the Greeks dreamed, in rock and rill divinest human forms lie
shrined, or in the wild woods lurk embosomed;
And how at length and only in the loving union and uncoveredness of Man
with Nature may either know or understand the other.





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