To Imagination

By George Sterling

Thou needest not the guides of Sense,
   O soul and inner light of song!
   Despotic Wisdom works thee wrong
And frowning Reason chides thee hence.
Thy lands are hid from ordered sight:
   Thy word an alien realm hath made,
   Suffused as with the glory laid
On mountains domed by sunset-light.
In visioned memory supreme,
   Thy heart beholds forgotten things;
   Thy winds recall the fabled kings
And whisper Time's remotest dream.
Thy feet obtain the hidden ways
   Where steal the angels of the dawn
   Down ferny glooms that hide the fawn,
Or evening lulls the woodland maze.
Thy wings at heavenly vigils rest,
   Or lost in human zeniths roam—
   Far down, the billow slips to foam;
The ships declare their ancient quest.
Thine eyes forsake the sterile noon,
   Till mottled flowers, where Circe treads,
   Like hooded serpents sway their heads,
In gardens ghostly with the moon.
Who once hath known thy harp's appeal
   Shall hold its music past his lore—
   Desirous of the crystalled shore
And snows thy lancing stars reveal.

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