Sister and mother and diviner love, And of the sisterhood of the living dead Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom, And of the fragrant mothers the most dear And queen, and of diviner love the day And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown Its venom of renown, and on your head No crown is simpler than the simple hair.
Now, of the music summoned by the birth That separates us from the wind and sea, Yet leaves us in them, until earth becomes, By being so much of the things we are, Gross effigy and simulacrum, none Gives motion to perfection more serene Than yours, out of our own imperfections wrought, Most rare, or ever of more kindred air In the laborious weaving that you wear.
For so retentive of themselves are men That music is intensest which proclaims The near, the clear, and vaunts the clearest bloom, And of all the vigils musing the obscure, That apprehends the most which sees and names, As in your name, an image that is sure, Among the arrant spices of the sun, O bough and bush and scented vine, in whom We give ourselves our likest issuance.
Yet not too like, yet not so like to be Too near, too clear, saving a little to endow Our feigning with the strange unlike, whence springs The difference that heavenly pity brings. For this, musician, in your girdle fixed Bear other perfumes. On your pale head wear A band entwining, set with fatal stones. Unreal, give back to us what once you gave: The imagination that we spurned and crave.