Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Clock Striking Midnight

Hark to the echo of time's footsteps; gone
These moments are into the unseen grave
Of ages. They have vanished nameless. None,
While they are deep under the eddying wave
Of the chaotic past, shall place a stone
Sacred to these, the nurses of the brave,
The mighty, and the good. Futurity
Broods on the the ocean, hatching 'neath her wing
Invisible to man the century,
That on its hundred feet, a sluggish thing,
Gnawing away the world, shall totter by
And sweep dead mortals with it. As I sing
Time, the colossus of the world, that strides
With each foot plunged in darkness silent glides,

And puffs death's cloud upon us. It is vain
To struggle with the tide. We all must sink,
Still grasping the thin air, with frantic pain
Grappling with fame to buoy us. Can we think
Eternity by whom swift Time is slain,
And dragged along to dark destruction's brink,
Shall be the echo of man's puny words?
Or that our grovelling stars shall e'er be writ
In never fading stars; or like proud birds
Undazzled in their cloud built eyrie sit
Clutching the lightning, or in cloudy herds
Diving amid the sea's vast treasury flit?
Sink, painted clay back to thy parent earth
While the glad spirit seeks a brighter birth.

-T.L. Beddoes-

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