by Hervey Allen

Hervey Allen

Once there was silence here, the jealous sea
Kept solitude environed by a moat,
The cedars flourished to eternity—
Time had not crossed the water in a boat.
Safe in the arms of cosmic decency,
Like paradise before the Word was Man,
This archipelago in cycled secrecy
Increased the beauty which the coral began.

Now there is little left of what earth meant
To do with birds and fishes, trees and flowers;
An upright mammal thinks that he was sent
To be the heir of the volcanic powers.
Only the sea glows 'round these island embers
Of earth's lost beauty as though it remembers.

Last updated January 14, 2019