Coventry Patmore

Here you will find the Poem The Circles of poet Coventry Patmore

The Circles

`Within yon world-wide cirque of war
What's hidden which they fight so for??
My guide made answer, `Rich increase
Of virtue and use, which are by peace,
And peace by war. That inner ring
Are craftsmen, working many a thing
For use, and, these within, the wise
Explore the grass and read the skies.?
`Can the stars? motions give me peace,
Or the herbs' virtues mine increase?
Of all this triple shell,? said I,
`Would that I might the kernel spy!?
A narrower circle then I reach'd,
Where sang a few and many preach'd
Of life immortal. `But,? I said,
`The riddle yet I have not read.
Life I must know, that care I may
For life in me to last for aye.?
Then he, `Those voices are a charm
To keep yon dove-cot out of harm.?
In the centre, then, he show'd a tent
Where, laughing safe, a woman bent
Over her babe, and, her above,
Lean'd in his turn a graver love.
`Behold the two idolatries
By which,? cried he, `the world defies
Chaos and death, and for whose sake
All else must war and work and wake.?