Edward Dowden

(3 May 1843 - 4 April 1913 / Co. Cork / Ireland)

Durer's 'Melencholia'


THE bow of promise, this lost flaring star,
Terror and hope are in mid-heaven; but She,
The mighty-wing'd crown'd Lady Melancholy,
Heeds not. O to what vision'd goal afar
Does her thought bear those steadfast eyes which are
A torch in darkness? There nor shore nor sea,
Nor ebbing Time vexes Eternity,
Where that lone thought outsoars the mortal bar.
Tools of the brain--the globe, the cube--no more
She deals with; in her hand the compass stays;
Nor those, industrious genius, of her lore
Student and scribe, thou gravest of the fays,
Expect this secret to enlarge thy store;
She moves through incommunicable ways.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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