The Jeweler Dreams

As we enter a new canto, notice how the catch line opening this first stanza uses the link word, "spot," from the previous canto, whereas the concluding catch line introduces a new link word, "adornment" or "adorned."

The poet's word "ghost" in the third line would, of course, normally translate into our word "soul," or "spirit." But to go modern would be to efface a beautiful piece of alliteration; so understand "ghost" according to the poet's meaning rather than ours.

Canto II

Adorned those downs were on every side--
With crystal cliffs so clear in kind.
Forests bright 'bout them stood betide
With boles in indigo blue outlined.
Like burnished silver the leaves did slide--
That trembled thickly where they twined.
The gleam of the glade 'gainst them did glide,
With shimmering sheen full sharp they shined.
The gravel that on the ground did grind
Was precious pearls of Orient;
The sunbeams were but blank and blind
In respect of that adornment.


The adornment of these downs so dear
engendered my ghost all grief to forget.
Of such fresh flavors the fruits were,
As food they would me fairly surfeit.
Fowls there flew thru the forest in flocks,
Of flamboyant hues, both small and great;
But citole string and gittern player
Their reckless mirth cannot repeat,
For when these birds their wings did beat--
They sang so, with a sweet assent.
More gracious glee could no one get
Than to hear and see this adornment.


Dearly adorned, I it all did apprise
In the forest where fortune had fared me forth
The dazzle thereof for to devise
In way of words is nothing worth.
I then walked out in well-feeling wise--
No bank so big but it gave me berth.
The farther in forest, the fairer did rise
The plain, the plants, the spice, the pears,
And rows and ridges and also rich rivers--
As filaments fine their banks were bent.
I wound up a water that past a shore swerves--
Lord, dear was its adornment!


The adornments of that darkling deep
Were beautiful banks of beryl bright.
Swirling sweetly the water did sweep;
With rumbling roar it went racing aright.
Out in the flood there stood stones so steep,
Gleaming as tho' they with glass were bedight.
As streaming stars do while stragglers sleep,
Swarmed in the welkin of cold winter night,
For an emerald, sapphire, or jewel bright
Was each of the pebbles in that pool
Limning all the loch with its light,
So dear was its adornment.

Copyright (c) 1983