Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 143. The Monochord
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
143. The Monochord
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti  (1828–1882)
  
IS it the moved air or the moving sound
  That is Life’s self and draws my life from me,
  And by instinct ineffable decree
Holds my breath quailing on the bitter bound?
Nay, is it Life or Death, thus thunder-crowned,        5
  That ’mid the tide of all emergency
  Now notes my separate wave, and to what sea
Its difficult eddies labour in the ground?
 
Oh! what is this that knows the road I came,
The flame turned cloud, the cloud returned to flame,       10
  The lifted shifted steeps and all the way?—
That draws round me at last this wind-warm space,
And in regenerate rapture turns my face
  Upon the devious coverts of dismay?

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