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In this rare volume of poetry, Aldous Huxley is characteristically, uncompromisingly erudite; yet surprisingly forceful, passionate, and erotic.
I. UNDER THE TREES. There had been phantoms, pale–remembered shapes Of this and this occasion, sisterly In their resemblances, each effigy Crowned with the same bright hair above the nape’s White rounded firmness, and each body alert With such swift loveliness, that very rest Seemed a poised movement:… phantoms that impressed But a faint influence and could bless or hurt No more than dreams. And these ghost things were she; For formless still, without identity, Not one she seemed, not clear, but many and dim. One face among the legions of the street, Indifferent mystery, she was for him Something still uncreated, incomplete. II. Bright windy sunshine and the shadow of cloud Quicken the heavy summer to new birth Of life and motion on the drowsing earth; The huge elms stir, till all the air is loud With their awakening from the muffled sleep Of long hot days. And on the wavering line That marks the alternate ebb of shade and shine, Under the trees, a little group is deep In laughing talk. The shadow as it flows Across them dims the lustre of a rose, Quenches the bright clear gold of hair, the green Of a girl’s dress, and life seems faint. The light Swings back, and in the rose a fire is seen, Gold hair’s aflame and green grows emerald bright.