Wisdom and wilderness are here at poise

Two from Yvor Winters on Herman Melville:

To a Portrait of Melville in My Library

O face reserved, unmoved by praise or scorn!
O dreadful heart that won Socratic peace!
What was the purchase-price of thy release
What life was buried, ere thou rose reborn?
Rest here in quiet, now. Our strength is shorn.
Honor my books! Preserve this room from wrack!
Plato and Aristotle at thy back,
Above thy head this ancient powder-horn.

The lids droop coldly, and the face is still:
Wisdom and wilderness are here at poise,
Ocean and forest are the mind’s device,
But still I feel the presence of thy will:
The midnight trembles when I hear thy voice,
The moon’s immobile when I meet thine eyes.

And

To Herman Melville in 1951

Saint Herman, grant me this: that I may be
Saved from the worms who have infested thee.

My very breath disowned in nights of study

From Yvor Winters: Selected Poems

Dark Spring

My mother
Foresaw deaths
And walked among
Chrysanthemums,
Winecolored,
Withered rose,
The earthy blossoms.

My very breath
Disowned
In nights of study,
And page by page
I came on spring.

The rats run on the roof,
These words come hard—-
Sadder than cockcrow
In a dreamless, earthen sleep.
The Christ, eternal
In the scented cold; my love,
Her hand on the sill
White, as if out of earth;
And spring, the sleep of the dead.