What Porridge Had John Keats?

By George Sterling

Shaper of gold, in what mine of amazement
  Dug you the metal Time's acid eats not?
Whence were the tests of your cunning appraisement-
  Whispered from darkness and never forgot?
What was the mystery hid in the flame?
  Had you your greatness in real prevision?
  Spread you your wings for the pundits' derision-
Babbling that beauty and truth are the same?

Some, supercilious, grant, as in pity,
  Gaze to your treasure-house, blinking to see
Starry great chalices, saying, "They're pretty."
  What had they said when the fluxion was free?-
Gold of the vein without trace of alloy?
  Some of us agonize, some of us fake it:
  Is it a wonder we never quite make it?
What was your secret incredible boy?

Silversmith, casting the nymphs and the dragons-
  Artisan clever in gilding or glass,
Hark to the tinkle of delicate flagons!
  Hark to the roar of the vessels of brass!
Potter, with hands on your requisite clay,
  Tell of its uses, and we shall believe you;
  Still shall the custom of patrons deceive you,
Dreaming your wares are for more than today.

We that are given to problems alchemic,
  When the brain's crucible glows at the core,
Frown to find genius is non-epedemic,
  Grieve that its riddle is not in the ore.
Wanton of rule flows infinity's rhyme:
  Who shall protest when he sees the conclusion?-
  Gold of the ingot and slag of the fusion!
Gold of your star on the heavens of Time!

Bibliography Entry