"The Return" by Thomas Cole‘Ode to Immortality’ by William Krusch The Society September 16, 2018 Beauty, Poetry 5 Comments Ye boundless vaults of heaven without an end, __Thy silvery fields of azure stars unfold Above the earth, and verdurous spruces bend __Toward the western halls of mellow gold; There, through their branches, amber rays illume __The resting place of an old gothic tower ____That once stood firmly rooted ‘gainst the gale __In distant, ancient times; now in the bower, ____The firs and pines enshroud its walls: the vale Now makes this grove a silent, desolate tomb. ‘Twas in some forlorn time when knights assailed __High-wallèd battlements of massy stone That this cathedral, in its prime, prevailed, __Was not entombed with verdure overgrown; Those old, forgotten times — where have they sped? __Those knights, with mail bright-gleaming in the sun, ____Their ivory coursers storming o’er the field __‘Midst fanfares of the horns, would proudly run ____Toward a certain death, would never yield A single step, from battle never fled. These ancient times are lost, remembered not, __And so that old cathedral, once so grand, Sits in the vale entombed within that spot __Of darkened, doleful spruce; across the land, The twilight’s glow descends in auburn beams __Which cast a rosy color o’er the face ____Of that worn structure: there, the gloaming light __In sanguine tones ignites the stone with grace, ____And though these colors quickly fade, the night Makes increase with the moon’s ethereal streams. But hark! There floats a sound within these walls, __A scintillating tone that softly creeps Throughout the vale, and echoes through the halls __Of that high-vaulted nave; the moonlight seeps In through the clerestory, and soon the rose __Is filled with bright, celestial beams: the rays ____Increase in sheen, and their intensity __Grows purer than the sun in watery bays ____Upon the noon. That airy melody Now fills the aisles, and upwards swiftly flows. Oh, how I knew these tones so well in times __Long past — they were the haunting sounds which swept My soul unto those gleaming heights, where rhymes __Are not obscured by mortal taint; I wept With gracious joy when on those heights I flew __In peace, and heard the singing of those spheres ____Magnificent in all their splendour. There, __I felt the warmth and Love Divine which steers ____The heart to contemplate that vision fair, That image whom through ecstasy I knew. Now heaven breathes! Across the altar pours __A purest light, a light of whitest sheen Not glimpsed on earth since ancient times; light soars __Up to the highest peaks: I have not seen Such glory e’er! O purest bliss of Art, __Thy calls now bid me fly. Awakening force! ____Speak now the answer of thy mysteries! __The heart can toil no more, must know the source ____Of all high universal light — aye, seize The flaming soul, and from the earth depart! She shines! That vision of my dreams returns! __O sacred one, O source of man’s relief, Direct my soul to thine — how much it yearns __To be within thy sweet embrace! All grief Now dissipates, for in thy radiant eyes __I see that heavenly land where light doth win, ____Where thrives the eternal spirit of all life. __My soul is set aflame, and deep within ____My aching breast, I feel Love’s tide surge rife With Joy — all sense is drowned as I arise. At last, my Love! My high, eternal star! __I find your sweet embrace again, and though I wandered from your path, your Love afar __Hath kissed my burning soul, and zephyrs blow My erring spirit toward that land I miss __On cool and tranquil nights; here, high above ____The plains, the seas, and sky, no more I roam __‘Low melancholy’s shade: Immortal Love, ____I have returned at last — that distant home Is here within Love’s high empyreal Bliss. William Krusch is a first-year English major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; he hails from Greensboro, North Carolina. Related Post ‘Sonnet for a Cosmetic Company’ and Other Poetry... Sonnet for a Cosmetic Company Ah Youth! To whom each maiden plights her troth To coax and woo each winsome charm to stay ‘Tis difficult to match yo... Tell the world:FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestRedditLinkedInEmail 5 Responses James Sale September 16, 2018 Thank you William – your line “where rhymes/ Are not obscured by mortal taint” perfectly expresses the poet’s perennial problem! Reply Amy Foreman September 16, 2018 William, you unapologetic Romantic–this lofty verse is the sort of fare that I imagine Wordsworth (with his similar””Ode: Intimations of Immortality”), would have loved reading! Thanks for bringing it to the SCP in the twenty-first century! Reply C.B. Anderson September 17, 2018 William, Although I commend your lofty aspirations, I think you have fallen far short of the mark. Within the first four lines you have already breached meter and wrenched standard grammar with unconnected dependent clauses. This kind of poem is one of the reasons that formal poetry has fallen out of favor in contemporary times, and as you now witness, it is out of favor with advocates of New Formalism. Reply William Krusch September 17, 2018 Mr. Anderson, I will concede you your dependent clauses, though I do not think that the error incites any semantic quandary – perhaps I should have been taught proper grammar back at the rural, boondocks elementary school I attended years ago. I make every effort to write grammatically correct English (and I would say that if you assail me with committing continuous dependent clauses, I must rebut by saying that at least it is a lesser crime than any of the entirely nonsensical grammatical errors committed by the majority of today’s poets). Despite any grammatical flaws, I will unwaveringly defend the meter. Perhaps it is from reading too much Milton and Keats, or perhaps it is from living in the southeastern United States (not that I have a particularly distinct southern accent, but I am aware that individuals tend to be unaware of their own dialectic particulars), I scan “heaven” as monosyllabic (perhaps “heav’n” would have been clearer), “verdurous” and “silvery” as disyllabic (trochaic in accent), and “toward” as disyllabic (iambic). Those are the only possible words where I could fathom the accent and number of syllables being misconstrued. I will stand by my vernacular. Perhaps I should spend less time studying Dante and more time studying the ribaldry over at The Penn. I am no puritan, but I fail to see how such verse is considered more masterful. Perhaps the work over at The Penn is merely a playground for The Lion’s club, and I am not privy to the masterworks published in the most elusive Trinacria. What the New Formalists desire from poetry is irrelevant to me, for I think formalism is by no means the hallmark of true poetic craftsmanship. Any poet who actually cares about the ideals he or she strives for and not the tinkling bells of the formal structure knows that form arises naturally from beautiful and sublime content. Anyone can pen a sonnet or a villanelle just by looking at the formal structures, but it takes genius to let the form arise as a natural result of the verse itself. Schumann did not sit down to write the Op. 17 Fantasy with sonata form in mind; beautiful form is a consequence of beautiful verse, and the failure to realize that will results only in mediocre, self-serving logorrhea. I want to thank Mr. Mantyk and his staff for maintaining this site; although I may not agree with the sentiments or values of every poem presented here, I am glad there exists a place where poets can have their works published and not worry about dying in obscurity. Better to be read by a few and denounced by most than to die unread. As Shelley proclaimed to Byron, “Time will reverse the judgment of the vulgar,” or, in keeping with the spirit of my incomprehensible vernacular, as they say in Bavaria, “Schau ma moi.” Wilbur Dee Case September 18, 2018 1. …dann seng mas scho. 2. You have not fallen far short of the mark, you hit Romantic gold; and that’s where you are at—in the forest of Keats, with a touch of Shelley—Milton not so much, nor Dante. 3. The diction is sublime, situated between Romantic and Victorian. The meter is decidedly iambic pentametre, and your variants are typical. Do not put down your rural, boondocks elementary school; frequently such schools are superior to “smart” urban ones; you seem to have learned your basic grammar. 4. No, it would be better to spend more time studying Dante than the ribaldry at The Penn; but The Penn, like Trinacria, the SCP, etc. all offer nice, if limited, examples of New Millennial poetry. The World is big. There are more places than these. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.