by Arthur Stringer
Grey countries and grim empires pass away,
And all the pomp and glory of citied towers
Goes down to dust, as Youth itself shall age.
But O the splendour of this autumn dawn—
This passes not away! This dew-drenched Range,
This infinite great width of open space,
This cool keen wind that blows like God's own breath
On life's once drowsy coal, and thrills the blood,
This brooding sea of sun-washed solitude,
This virginal vast dome of opal air—
These, these endure, and greater are than grief!
Still there is strength: and life, oh, life is good!
Still the horizon lures, the morrow calls,
Still hearts adventurous seek outward trails,
Still life holds up its tattered hope!
Is goodly air, and God's own greenness spread.
Here youth audacious fronts the coming day
And age on life ne'er mountainously lies.
Here are no huddled cities old in sin,
Where coil in tangled langours all the pale
Envenomed mirths that poisoned men of old,
Where peering out with ever-narrowing eyes
Reptilious Ease unwinds its golden scales
And slimes with ugliness the thing it eats.
Here life takes on a glory and a strength
Of things still primal, and goes plunging on.
And what care I of time-encrusted tombs,
What care I here for all the ceaseless drip
Of tears in countries old in tragedy?
What care I here for all Earth's creeds outworn,
The dreams outlived, the hopes to ashes turned,
In that old East so dark with rain and doubt?
Here life swings glad and free and rude, and I
Shall drink it to the full, and go content!
Last updated September 07, 2017