To Poetry

Dull nature fades before your painted page;
Beneath rainbows of verse, the world goes slack.
When black ink plays across your vellum stage,
See! Mermaids riding on a dolphin's back!

Leviathan and Xanadu, the serpent king,
Moons that sail the night like ghostly galleons,
Lips like blushing pilgrims, ropes of thing,
And wordless poems dumb as old medallions.

The weeping brook, the whips and scorns of time,
A whale road pouring in a wine dark sea,
Love's lightning in the collied night of rhyme
Color the world for us in poetry.

Paint on! More florid nomenclature!
Don't bother holding mirrors up to nature.