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I WOULD build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in,
When for earth too fancy-loose,
And too low for heaven.
[5] Hush! I talk my dream aloud;
I build it bright to see,—
I build it on the moonlit cloud
To which I looked with thee.


Cloud-walls of the morning's grey,
[10] Faced with amber column,
Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn.
May-mists, for the casements, fetch,
Pale and glimmering,
[15] With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.


Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and then brightening,
Of a riven thunder-cloud,
[20] Veinèd by the lightning.
Use one with an iris-stain
For the door within,
Turning to a sound like rain
As I enter in.


[25] Build a spacious hall thereby,
Boldly, never fearing.
Use the blue place of the sky
Which the wind is clearing;
Branched with corridors sublime,
[30] Flecked with winding stairs,
Such as children wish to climb,
Following their own prayers.


In the mutest of the house,
I will have my chamber.
[35] Silence at the door shall use
Evening's light of amber;
Solemnising every mood,
Softening in degree,
Turning sadness into good
[40] As I turn the key.


Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,
Close, but soundless,—glorified
When the sunbeams come here;
[45] Wandering harpers, harping on
Waters stringed for such,
Drawing colour, for a tune,
With a vibrant touch.


Bring a shadow green and still
[50] From the chesnut forest,
Bring a purple from the hill,
When the heat is sorest.
Spread them out from wall to wall,
Carpet-wove around,
[55] Whereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.


Bring fantastic cloudlets home
From the noontide zenith,
Ranged for sculptures round the room,
[60] Named as Fancy weeneth.
Some be Junos, without eyes,
Naiads, without sources;
Some be birds of paradise,
Some, Olympian horses.


[65] Bring the dews the birds shake off,
Waking in the hedges,—
Those too, perfumed for a proof,
From the lilies' edges.
From our England's field and moor,
[70] Bring them calm and white in,
Whence to form a mirror pure
For Love's self-delighting.


Bring a grey cloud from the east
Where the lark is singing,
[75] (Something of the song at least
Unlost in the bringing.)
That shall be a morning chair,
Poet-dream may sit in,
When it leans out on the air,
[80] Unrhymed and unwritten.


Bring the red cloud from the sun!
While he sinketh, catch it.
That shall be a couch,—with one
Sidelong star to watch it,—
[85] Fit for Poet's finest thought
At the curfew-sounding;
Things unseen being nearer brought
Than the seen, around him.


Poet's thought,—not poet's sigh.
[90] 'Las, they come together!
Cloudy walls divide and fly,
As in April weather!
Cupola and column proud,
Structure bright to see,
[95] Gone! except that moonlit cloud
To which I looked with thee.


Let them. Wipe such visionings
From the fancy's cartel.
Love secures some fairer things,
[100] Dowered with his immortal.
The sun may darken, heaven be bowed,
But still unchanged shall be,—
Here, in my soul,—that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with THEE!