A Dialogue & Other Short Works

By Margaret Fuller

A Dialogue.   DAHLIA.
My cup already doth with light o’errun.
Descend, fair sun;
I am all crimsoned for the bridal hour,
Come to thy flower.

Ah, if I pause, my work will not be done,
On I must run,
The mountains wait. — I love thee, lustrous flower,
But give to love no hour.
RICHTER.Poet of Nature! Gentlest of the Wise!
Most airy of the fanciful, most keen
Of satirists, thy thoughts, like butterflies,
Still near the sweet-scented flowers have been;
With Titian’s colors thou canst sunset paint,
With Raphael’s dignity, celestial love;
With Hogarth’s pencil, each deceit and feint
Of meanness and hypocrisy reprove;
Canst to Devotion’s highest flight sublime
Exalt the mind, by tenderest pathos’ art,
Dissolve in purifying tears the heart,
Or bid it, shuddering, recoil at crime;
The fond illusions of the youth and maid,
At which so many world-formed sages sneer,
When by thy altar-lighted torch displayed,
Our natural religion can appear.
All things in thee tend to one polar star,
Magnetic all thy influences are!

Some murmur at the “want of system” in Richter’s writings.A LABYRINTH! a flowery wilderness!
Some in thy “Slip-boxes” and “Honey-moons”
Complain of — want of order, I confess,
But not of system, in its highest sense.
Who asks a guiding clue through this wide mind,
In love of Nature, such will surely find;
In tropic climes, live like the tropic bird,
Whene’er a spice-fraught grove may tempt thy stay,
Nor be by cares of colder climes disturbed, —
No frost the Summer’s bloom shall drive away.
Nature’s wide temple, and the azure dome,
Have plan enough for the free spirit’s home!

Like a sick child, spiritless, well nigh death,
Now curls and ripples in eternal play
Beneath thy breath.

A SKETCH.BESIDE me sat one of the few, one gifted
To draw some keen rays from the sun of Truth,
And guide them to the freezing hearts of men,
Whose mind, fill, ardent, to his race o’erflowing,
And by vocation given to heavenly themes,
Asked but one genial touch to wake to music,
And sing, like Memnon, of a fairer morning,
Which knows no cloud nor leads to sultry noon.

A SKETCH.SHE is a thing, all grace, all loveliness,
A fragrant flower nursed in an and waste,
A many-toned and ever-winning melody,
A fine-wrought vase, filled with enchanted wine,
A living, speaking book of Poesy,
The shape revealed to Wordsworth in a dream
From our lost star the only gladdening beam.

Did you never admire anything your friend did merely because he did it? Never! — you always had a better reason. Wise man, never knew what it is to love.

Source: The Dial (July 1840) pp. 134-136