An Ancient Tale

An ancient story
I tell you now in bits and pieces,

At midnight in the month of June,
by the rude bridge that arched the flood,
that eternal spirit of the chainless mind
caused great things to happen
when man and mountain met.

What I am, no one knows or cares,
I arose from dreams, less than a leaf of grass,
restless, trailing the garments of night,
until I awakened to the essence of the sea.
Then all the world and love were young
and to this day they are the same.

His heart, to me, is a place of palaces and pinnacles;
hot sun, cool fire, tempered with sweet air.
How like the winter all the world has seemed in his absence.
How sweet the moonlight that sleeps upon this bank
where I stand captive of the alchemy.

Time shall not boast its power to change
for the soul selects her own society,
Not marble nor the gilded monuments hold sway,
and the wind, no more a stranger,
bears his voice
whispering ‘today’.

 

This tale was begun many years ago and is constructed of bits and pieces with much of it pilfered from the Index of First Lines in Louis Untermeyer’s Treasury of Great Poems, copyright 1955.

An ancient story I’ll tell you…King John and the Abbot of Canterbury…unknown
At midnight in the month of June…The Sleeper…Edgar Allen Poe
By the rude bridge that arched the flood…Concord Hymn…Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eternal spirit of the chainless mind…Sonnet of Chillon…Lord Byron
Great things are done when men and mountains meet..Gnomic Verses…William Blake What I am, no one knows or cares…I am…John Clare
I arise from dreams…I Arise from Dreams…Shelley
leaf of grass…Leaves of Grass…Walt Whitman
Trailing the garments of night…Hymn to the Night…Longfellow
All the world and love were young…The Nymph’s Reply…Walter Raleigh
His heart, to me, is a place of palaces and pinnacles…I Have Been through the Gates …Charlotte Mew
Hot sun, cool fire tempered with sweet air…Bethsabe Bathing…George Peele
How like the winter…Sonnet 97… Shakespeare
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank…The Merchant of Venice…Shakespeare The soul selects her own society…The Soul Selects…Emily Dickinson
Not marble nor the gilded monuments…Sonnet 55…Shakespeare

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