Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WHITE PEACOCK, by STUART MERRILL

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WHITE PEACOCK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The white peacock in the blue night crying
Last Line: To the white peacock in the azure night.
Subject(s): Birds; Peacocks

The white peacock in the blue night crying
Feels that the breeze pale cherry-blossoms spills
Upon his tail; and, dolorously sighing,

The fountains' water that the midnight chills,
Where in the park the glades with mist are veiled,
Its many-coloured marble basius fills;

From distant city alleys is exhaled
To breathe upon our brow this amorous breeze,
With hint of lips uncertain, passion-paled;

And the rich perfume of round orange-trees,
Which in their jars of terra-cotta deck
And edge the perron's balusters; and these

Whisperings that wild-calm silence comes to check,
Shiverings of leaves, and dreams of birds, or cries
Of nymphs who feel a Faun's breath on their neck;

Or, as a wordless melody will rise
Upon her lips who spins the threaded wheel,
A song that to the reeds the forest sighs, --

All tells me now that where white flowers reveal
The black sward's softness over-starring it,
The Princess with the mad hands soon will steal,

And I shall see her like a phantom flit,
And sit down at the ancient statue's base
Which figures Love and Hope, and, in a fit

Of passion, like a prostitute, her lace,
And gold brocade, and broidered jewels tear
From off her raiment, till, with jealous face,

Naked, arising in her russet hair,
She tramples on her trail, and, pale with spite,
Throws all her finery to the peacock there,

To the white peacock in the azure night.

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