Mine eyes beheld a wreathe of  luminescence,

The perfection of purest light, like liquid gold,

Which lowered on the head of a maiden fair,

Softly rustling to rest in her raven hair.

The dance, the sacred movement of life, the song

That rises up from contumely and strife,

This, this has been my food, and hope, and joy.

I liken such to golden wreathes or halos,

Like mobiles hung above a baby’s crib,

Or yet, like that pure, sacred happiness

Which wove itself around our genitors,

Good Adam, hale of limb and ruddy of form,

And lovely Eve, most womanly of all.

Once did Eden’s bliss disclose itself

To me, though I reached out and cried for it

With many yearnings, searchings, wanderings

And cries of deepest need.

I saw it in her face. She held my boyhood,

With all its dreams and foolish thoughts that boys

Are known to entertain.  And she became my Eve.

I, a youth of hardy limb, and sturdy soul,

Made temples in my mind, like Venus’ Romans,

Or Aphrodite with her lusty Greeks.

Perhaps a son sees such in his own mother,

Transposes it into his own beloved,

And so he finds the truth. And so he forgets to dance.

Yet dance we must, for this is all of living,

Regardless of the priestly class enclosed

Within the walls of study, church, and pew.

For the Almighty knew to dance at first,

And surely dancing built the Universe:

That Triad tuned to purest harmony,

Unleashed as mortal worlds in ecstasy!

My paean song shall soar beyond the Mount

Aeonian and such a song shall light

The veiled eyes of men held captive here.

For, ever and anon, the poet’s dance

Avails to prick the stony hearts of men,

While preachers' oratories stilt and lumber.

To rise beyond the binding weight of matter,

To comprehend the things that fly unseen,

To stubbornly defend the ground contested

To tell the puppet master or his crone

To bugger off.

How small and limiting these words of matter

For purposes that seek beyond their stature.

Yet such are mine when I have sought to speak,

To truly speak, of something more than sorrow,

Sighing, sadness, and the All-Fate known as dying.

Ecclesiasticus, e pluri animus, septum severus, confecit Cerberus!

If I had all the words in all the languages

That men create the world over.

If I possessed the sum of language yet to come,

With all the poetry, plays, and novels,

Still then, my speech would surely falter at the gate,

To speak of that All-Fate known as living.

Inferiorus remediorus, damnationae rectorix!

The words of men flow on in endless streams,

And still, the dance description truly seems

The only word that best describes the All-Fate

Which we have known as living.

I reached out for the hand of Lady Time

In days of busy youth,

For there I saw the wealth of truth and greatness,

But still true wealth evades.

Yet what if knowing never held the truest Good?

And what if ignorance maintained childhood?

-- Not immature or peevish, but faithful, trusting, peaceful --

Juventus immolatus, terra regina, incriminatus vex e vita!

Still, still stand the stars enthroned in heav’nly time

Upward hid amid the antinomian clime,

Where that same lady speaks immortal words

Which the whole earth and universe undergirds

With flames of fire and frigid ice.

To seek, to know, to live, to show,

To throb, to burn, and in helping, learn

To walk, to run, to love, to shun,

To write, to speak, to climb the peak,

To breathe, to gasp, to gently enclasp,

To live the life appointed,

A saturnalia of throbbing, burning, churning,

Effervescent passion, drinking deep the river-flow

Of what has been anointed,

Of what has been proclaimed good!

Drink, my brothers, and taste uninhibited!

For such was truly spoken

And shall remain unbroken:

Vita contemplativa damnativa,  sed Rex e admarabila!