Looking For A Poem
(11/2/2013 7:40:00 PM)
It is part of a longer poem:
by Edwin Markham
Had we two gone down the world together,
I had made fair ways for the feet of
And the world s fang been but a foam-soft feather,
The world that works us wrong.
If you had but stayed when the old- sweet
Was a precious pain in my pulsing side!
Ah, why did you hurry our lives asunder—
You, born to be my bride?
What sent it upon me—my soul importunes—
All the grief of the world in a little span,
All the tears and fears, all the fates and
That the heart holds for a man?
Is this then the grief that the first gods
Into all joy that the strange world brings?
Did the tears fall into the heap unheeded,
These tears in mortal things?
But why it was that the whole world
This you will know when they count
After the dust of the grave is tasted,
After this noise of years.
Yet some things stay though a world lies
I keep some things that were dear of
That first kiss spared and that last word
And the glint of your hair s dark gold.
Do you mind that hour in the soft sweet
When I held you fast in divine alarms,
When my soul stood up like a god adorning
His body with bright arms?
Forget it not till the crowns are crumbled
And the swords of the kings are rent
Forget it not till the hills lie humbled,
And the springs of the seas run dust.
What was I back in the world s first
An elf-child found on an ocean-reef,
A sea-child nursed by the surge and
And marked for the lyric grief.
I mind me well how the waves edge whitened
As the shapes of the storm went whirling by
How I laughed and ran when the loud
And tempest shook the sky.
So I will go down by the way of the willows,
And whisper it out to the mother Sea,
To the soft sweet shores and the long
The dream that cannot be.
There will be help for the soul's great
Where the sea's heart sings to the listening ear,
Where the high gray cliff in the pool
And the moon is misting the mere.
Twas down in the sea that your soul took
O strange Love born of the white sea-wave!
And only the sea and her lyric passion
Can ease the wound you gave.
I will go down to the wide wild places,
Where the calm cliffs look on the shores
I will rest in the power of their great grave
And the gray hush of the ground.
On a cliff s high head a gray gull clamors,
But down at the base is the Devil's brew,
And the swing of arms and the heave of
And the white flood roaring through.
There on the cliff is the sea-bird's tavern,
And there with the wild things I'll find
Laugh with the lightning, shout with the
Run with the feathering foam.
I will climb down where the nests are
And the young birds scream to the
Where the rocks and the iron winds are
And the long waves lift and leap.
I will thread the shores to the cavern
Where the edge of the wave runs white
I will sing to the surge and the foam that
When the dark tides thunder in.
I will go out where the sea-birds travel,
And mix my soul with the wind and sea;
Let the green waves weave and the gray
And the tides go over me.
The Sea is the mother of songs and sorrows,
And out of her wonder our wild loves
And so it will be through the long to-morrows,
Till all our lips are dumb.
She knows all sighs and she knows all sinning,
And they whisper out in her breaking
She has known it all since the far beginning,
Since the grief of that first grave.
She shakes the heart with her stars and
And her soft low word when the winds
For the sea is Woman, the sea is Wonder
Her other name is Fate!
There is daring and dream in her billows
In the power of her beauty our griefs
She can ease the heart of the long, long
And bury old regret.
Will you find rest as our ways dissever?
Will the gladness grow as the days in
Howbeit, I leave on your soul forever
The word of the eternal peace.
I will go the road and my song shall save
Though grief may stay as the heart's old
I will finish the work that the strange
God gave me,
And then pass on to rest.
I will go back to the great world-sorrow,
To the millions bearing the double
The fate of to-day and the fear of to
I will taste the dust of the road.
I will go back to the pains and the pities
That break the heart of the world with
I will forget in the grief of the cities
The burden of my own.
There in the world-grief my own grief
My wild hour melts in the days to be,
As the wild white foam of a river crumbles,
Forgotten in the sea.