The Heavens rest upon thee that the eye
Of man may not, for when thou sittest hid
In thunderstorm of lofty pyramid
Of thwarting sea-cloud whitening up the sky,
Then are the clouds set on thee to forbid
That man should share the mystery of Sinai;[1]
Then are thy ashen cones again bestrid
By living fire – impenetrably nigh.

For thus, by the Dualla, art thou seen,
Home of a God they know, yet would not know;
But I, who far above their doubts have been
Upon thy forehead hazardous, may grow
To fuller knowledge, rooted sure and slow
Where lava slid – like pines Enceladine.


And I have seen thee in the West’s red setting
Stand like some Monarch in a crimson field,
With fleeing clouds empurpling as they yield.
And sunset still the glorious sham abetting.
While high above thy purple forest’s fretting
Thy mighty chest in tranquil gold concealed,
And on thy brows of the dead days begetting
A light that comes from higher things revealed.

So shows there in a passing soul’s transgression
A light of hope beyond these prison bars
Divinely rendered, that, when doubting mars
Our day’s decline, we still may find progression
Of light to light, as day with silent cession
Makes o’er to night – articulate with stars.

[1] To this line there is a note: – “This line is admissible in a sonnet.”