Roy Campbell

(2 October 1901 / Durban, South Africa)

The Golden Shower, by Roy Campbell


Though we seem merely mortal, what we are
Is clearly mirrored on a deathless flood.
We change and fade: our dust is strewn afar—
Only the ancient river of our blood,
Rising far-off in unimagined spaces,
Red with the silt and ruin of the past
And churning with the strife of savage races,
Like deep Zambezi goes on rolling past,
Swiftens through us its energies unending,
And reaches out, beneath the shades we cast,
To what vast ocean of the night descending,
Or in what sunny lake at last to sleep,
We do not know — save that it turns to foam,
Just here, for us; its currents curl and comb
And all its castalies in thunder leap,
Silvering, forth into a white resilience
Of ecstasy, whose momentary brilliance
Must compensate eternities of sleep.

Knowing these things, are not we lovers, then,
Though mortal in our nature, more than men?
Since by our senses, as by rivers, veined,
The hills of primary memory are drained,
And the dim summits of their frosty spars,
Whose tops are nibbled by the grazing stars,
Thawed by the rising noon of our desire,
And fusing into consciousness and fire,
Down through the sounding canyons of the soul
Their rich alluvium of starlight roll.

Submitted: Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Edited: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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Comments about this poem (The Golden Shower, by Roy Campbell by Roy Campbell )

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  • Goodenough Sakhile(shotaromeo) Dlamini (4/28/2014 5:48:00 AM)

    real touching in what sunny lake at last to sleep,
    We do not know — save that it turns to foam,
    Just here, for us; its currents curl and comb
    And all its castalies in thunder leap,
    Silvering, forth into a white resilience
    Of ecstasy, whose momentary brilliance
    Must compensate eternities of sleep (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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