The Three Urgandas
Cast on sleep there came to me Three Urgandas; and the sea In lost lands of Briogne Sounded moaning, moaning: Cloudy clad in awful white; And each face a lucid light Rayed and blossomed out of night, - And a wind was groaning. In my sleep I saw them rest, Each a long hand at her breast, A soft flame that lulls the West; - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - Hair like hoarded ingots rolled Down white shoulders glossy gold, Streaks of molten moonlight cold, - And a wind was groaning. Rosy 'round each high brow bent Four-fold starry gold that sent Barbs of fire redolent; - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - 'Neath their burning crowns their eyes Burned like southern stars the skies Rock in shattered storm that flies, - And a wind was groaning. Wisdom's eyes of lurid dark; And each red mouth like a spark Flashed and laughed off care and cark, - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - Mouths for song and lips to kiss; Lips for hate and mouths to hiss; Lips that fashioned hell or bliss, - And the wind was groaning. Tall as stately virgins dead, Tapers lit at feet and head, 'Round whom Latin prayers are said, - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - Or as vampire women, who, Buried beauties, rise and woo Youths whose blood they suck like dew, - And a wind was groaning. Then the west one said to me: "Thou hast slept thus holily While seven sands ran secretly." - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - "Earth hath served thee like a slave, Serving us who found thee brave, Fearless of or life or grave." - And a wind was groaning. "Know!" - she smote my brow; a pain, Riddling arrows, rent my brain, Ceased and earth fell, some vast strain; - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - Then I understood all thought; What was life the spirit fraught; Love and hate; how worlds were wrought: - And a wind was groaning. Then the east one said to me: "Thou hast wandered wearily By what mist-enveloped sea!" - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - "Know the things thou hast not seen; Life and law, and love and teen; Things that be and have not been." - And the wind was groaning. "See!" her voice sung like a lyre Throbs of thunderous desire; Then the iron sight like fire - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - Burst; the inner eyelids, which Husked clairvoyance, with a twitch Rose - and I with light was rich; - And a wind was groaning. Then I saw the eyes of Sleep; Nerves of Life and veins that leap; Laws of entity; the deep: - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - Orbs and eons; springs of Power; Circumstance - blown like a flower; - Time - the second of an hour: - And the wind was groaning. To the central third one's full Balanced being beautiful Heart, to hearken, made a lull, - And the sea was moaning, moaning; - As she sternly stooped to me: "Thou dost know and thou canst see; What thou art arise and be!" - And the wind was groaning. To my mouth hot lips she pressed; And my famished soul, thrice blessed, Quaffed her radiance and caressed: - And vague seas were moaning, moaning: - Mounted; star-vibrating fled; Soared to love, with her who said: "Thou dost live and thou art dead." - Far off winds were groaning.
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