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The House Of Clouds | by Abra K.
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The House Of Clouds

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I would build a cloudy House

For my thoughts to live in;

When for earth too fancy-loose

And too low for Heaven!

Hush! I talk my dream aloud --

I build it bright to see, --

I build it on the moonlit cloud,

To which I looked with thee.

 

Cloud-walls of the morning's grey,

Faced with amber column, --

Crowned with crimson cupola

From a sunset solemn!

May mists, for the casements, fetch,

Pale and glimmering;

With a sunbeam hid in each,

And a smell of spring.

 

Build the entrance high and proud,

Darkening and then brightening, --

If a riven thunder-cloud,

Veined by the lightning.

Use one with an iris-stain,

For the door within;

Turning to a sound like rain,

As I enter in.

 

Build a spacious hall thereby:

Boldly, never fearing.

Use the blue place of the sky,

Which the wind is clearing;

Branched with corridors sublime,

Flecked with winding stairs --

Such as children wish to climb,

Following their own prayers.

 

In the mutest of the house,

I will have my chamber:

Silence at the door shall use

Evening's light of amber,

Solemnising every mood,

Softemng in degree, --

Turning sadness into good,

As I turn the key.

 

Be my chamber tapestried

With the showers of summer,

Close, but soundless, -- glorified

When the sunbeams come here;

Wandering harpers, harping on

Waters stringed for such, --

Drawing colours, for a tune,

With a vibrant touch.

 

Bring a shadow green and still

From the chestnut forest,

Bring a purple from the hill,

When the heat is sorest;

Spread them out from wall to wall,

Carpet-wove around, --

Whereupon the foot shall fall

In light instead of sound.

 

Bring the fantasque cloudlets home

From the noontide zenith

Ranged, for sculptures, round the room, --

Named as Fancy weeneth:

Some be Junos, without eyes;

Naiads, without sources

Some be birds of paradise, --

Some, Olympian horses.

 

Bring the dews the birds shake off,

Waking in the hedges, --

Those too, perfumed for a proof,

From the lilies' edges:

From our England's field and moor,

Bring them calm and white in;

Whence to form a mirror pure,

For Love's self-delighting.

 

Bring a grey cloud from the east,

Where the lark is singing;

Something of the song at least,

Unlost in the bringing:

That shall be a morning chair,

Poet-dream may sit in,

When it leans out on the air,

Unrhymed and unwritten.

 

Bring the red cloud from the sun

While he sinketh, catch it.

That shall be a couch, -- with one

Sidelong star to watch it, --

Fit for poet's finest Thought,

At the curfew-sounding, -- ;

Things unseen being nearer brought

Than the seen, around him.

 

Poet's thought, -- not poet's sigh!

'Las, they come together!

Cloudy walls divide and fly,

As in April weather!

Cupola and column proud,

Structure bright to see --

Gone -- except that moonlit cloud,

To which I looked with thee!

 

Let them! Wipe such visionings

From the Fancy's cartel --

Love secures some fairer things

Dowered with his immortal.

The sun may darken, -- heaven be bowed --

But still, unchanged shall be, --

Here in my soul, -- that moonlit cloud,

To which I looked with thee!

 

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~

 

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Taken on July 14, 2009