Tag Archive | amy lowell

The Promise of the Morning Star

THE PROMISE OF THE MORNING STAR

By Amy Lowell

Thou father of the children of my brain
By thee engendered in my willing heart,
How can I thank thee for this gift of art
Poured out so lavishly, and not in vain.

What thou created never more can die,
Thy fructifying power lives in me
And I conceive, knowing it is by thee,
Dear other parent of my poetry!

For I was but a shadow with a name,
Perhaps by now the very name’s forgot;
So strange is Fate that it has been my lot
To learn through thee the presence of that aim

Which evermore must guide me.  All unknown,
By me unguessed, by thee not even dreamed,
A tree has blossomed in a night that seemed
Of stubborn, barren wood.  For thou hast sown

This seed of beauty in a ground of truth.
Humbly I dedicate myself, and yet
I tremble with a sudden fear to set
New music ringing through my fading youth.

An Aquarium

AN AQUARIUM

By Amy Lowell

Streaks of green and yellow iridescence,
Silver shiftings,
Rings veering out of rings,
Silver — gold —
Grey-green opaqueness sliding down,
With sharp white bubbles
Shooting and dancing,
Flinging quickly outward.
Nosing the bubbles,
Swallowing them,
Fish.
Blue shadows against silver-saffron water,
The light rippling over them
In steel-bright tremors.
Outspread translucent fins
Flute, fold, and relapse;
The threaded light prints through them on the pebbles
In scarcely tarnished twinklings.
Curving of spotted spines,
Slow up-shifts,
Lazy convolutions:
Then a sudden swift straightening
And darting below:
Oblique grey shadows
Athwart a pale casement.
Roped and curled,
Green man-eating eels
Slumber in undulate rhythms,
With crests laid horizontal on their backs.
Barred fish,
Striped fish,
Uneven disks of fish,
Slip, slide, whirl, turn,
And never touch.
Metallic blue fish,
With fins wide and yellow and swaying
Like Oriental fans,
Hold the sun in their bellies
And glow with light:
Blue brilliance cut by black bars.
An oblong pane of straw-coloured shimmer,
Across it, in a tangent,
A smear of rose, black, silver.
Short twists and upstartings,
Rose-black, in a setting of bubbles:
Sunshine playing between red and black flowers
On a blue and gold lawn.
Shadows and polished surfaces,
Facets of mauve and purple,
A constant modulation of values.
Shaft-shaped,
With green bead eyes;
Thick-nosed,
Heliotrope-coloured;
Swift spots of chrysolite and coral;
In the midst of green, pearl, amethyst irradiations.
Outside,
A willow-tree flickers
With little white jerks,
And long blue waves
Rise steadily beyond the outer islands.