Idealized forms of anatomized man quake
With thund’rous shakings the whole benighted earth–
Dost thou propose, thou wastrel and rake
To despoil a faery-child of her mirth?
And art thou not also a pale and wretched knight
Caught by hot passion and left cold, loitering on hillsides chill?
Unaware, until the bitterness of the end, of thy sad plight
Beneath the wint’ry moon’s fickle wheel?
Proud knight! How didst thou dare?
With roving eyes to slow misfortunes, black,
Haunted with haints both plentious and fair–
Ever lusty love dawns her own sunless lack.
The unpigmented trough of Death discloses
What fire and fell deeds cannot:
A dreamworld glen of spring-fragrant roses
And a maiden in a faery-grot.
To trust to fancy? To embrace the moon,
More fickle with fiery passion, and persuade
Thyself of deception’s truth? Thy doom
Approaches under the starlit shade.
Ideals of man’s nature, perfected and made free
By the clamorous tools of man’s iniquity
Are a lie and a cheat, a cheat and disgrace
Known now, wretched knight, as thou gaze upon her face.