Poet of the Day: George Darley

 

O BLEST unfabled Incense Tree,
That burns in glorious Araby,
With red scent chalicing the air,
Till earth-life grow Elysian there!

Half buried to her flaming breast
In this bright tree she makes her nest,
Hundred-sunned Phœnix! when she must
Crumble at length to hoary dust;

Her gorgeous death-bed, her rich pyre
Burnt up with aromatic fire;
Her urn, sight-high from spoiler men,
Her birthplace when self-born again.

The mountainless green wilds among,
Here ends she her unechoing song:
With amber tears and odorous sighs
Mourned by the desert where she dies.

– George Darley, Nepenthe

George Darley,  (born 1795, Dublin, Ire.—died  Nov. 23, 1846, London, Eng.), poet and critic little esteemed by his contemporaries but praised by 20th-century writers for his intense evocation, in his unfinished lyrical epic Nepenthe (1835), of a symbolic dreamworld. Long regarded as unreadable, this epic came to be admired in the 20th century for its dream imagery, use of symbolism to reveal inner consciousness, and tumultuous metrical organization.

It would be some of these lesser known Romantic Era poets that poets such as William Butler Yeats and Wallace Stevens would find certain allusive echoes to harbor within their own poems. One can find in Thomas Stoddart, early Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Spasmodic poets and Algernon Swinburne.

Other poems by George Darly…

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