Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
October 6th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 298,706 comments.
Amy Lowell - Before the Altar

Before the Altar, bowed, he stands
With empty hands;
Upon it perfumed offerings burn
Wreathing with smoke the sacrificial urn.
Not one of all these has he given,
No flame of his has leapt to Heaven
Firesouled, vermilion-hearted,
Forked, and darted,
Consuming what a few spare pence
Have cheaply bought, to fling from hence
In idly-asked petition.
His sole condition
Love and poverty.
And while the moon
Swings slow across the sky,
Athwart a waving pine tree,
And soon
Tips all the needles there
With silver sparkles, bitterly
He gazes, while his soul
Grows hard with thinking of the poorness of his dole.
"Shining and distant Goddess, hear my prayer
Where you swim in the high air!
With charity look down on me,
Under this tree,
Tending the gifts I have not brought,
The rare and goodly things
I have not sought.
Instead, take from me all my life!
"Upon the wings
Of shimmering moonbeams
I pack my poet's dreams
For you.
My wearying strife,
My courage, my loss,
Into the night I toss
For you.
Golden Divinity,
Deign to look down on me
Who so unworthily
Offers to you:
All life has known,
Seeds withered unsown,
Hopes turning quick to fears,
Laughter which dies in tears.
The shredded remnant of a man
Is all the span
And compass of my offering to you.
"Empty and silent, I
Kneel before your pure, calm majesty.
On this stone, in this urn
I pour my heart and watch it burn,
Myself the sacrifice; but be
Still unmoved:  Divinity."
From the altar, bathed in moonlight,
The smoke rose straight in the quiet night.

Share |

Added: Feb 1 2004 | Viewed: 16275 times | Comments and analysis of Before the Altar by Amy Lowell Comments (48)

Before the Altar - Comments and Information

Poet: Amy Lowell
Poem: 1. Before the Altar
Volume: A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass
- Lyrical Poems

Comment 48 of 48, added on September 28th, 2015 at 10:46 AM.

ZCum5W Spot on with this write-up, I really believe this website needs much more attention. I all probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!

link building from Namibia
Comment 47 of 48, added on February 6th, 2015 at 1:45 AM.

c5A7w9 Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was once a amusement account it. Glance complex to more delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

cheap seo services from Hungary
Comment 46 of 48, added on December 21st, 2014 at 1:21 PM.

87B7Q5 It is actually a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

awesome seo from Sudan

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Before the Altar, has received 48 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Lowell Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links