Rome: The Vatican-Sala Delle Muse. by Thomas Hardy
I sat in the Muses' Hall at the mid of the day, And it seemed to grow still, and the people to pass away, And the chiselled shapes to combine in a haze of sun, Till beside a Carrara column there gleamed forth One.
She was nor this nor that of those beings divine, But each and the whole--an essence of all the Nine; With tentative foot she neared to my halting-place, A pensive smile on her sweet, small, marvellous face.
"Regarded so long, we render thee sad?" said she. "Not you," sighed I, "but my own inconstancy! I worship each and each; in the morning one, And then, alas! another at sink of sun.
"To-day my soul clasps Form; but where is my troth Of yesternight with Tune: can one cleave to both?" - "Be not perturbed," said she. "Though apart in fame, As I and my sisters are one, those, too, are the same.
- "But my loves go further--to Story, and Dance, and Hymn, The lover of all in a sun-sweep is fool to whim - Is swayed like a river-weed as the ripples run!" - "Nay, wight, thou sway'st not. These are but phases of one;
"And that one is I; and I am projected from thee, One that out of thy brain and heart thou causest to be - Extern to thee nothing. Grieve not, nor thyself becall, Woo where thou wilt; and rejoice thou canst love at all!