Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AFTER THE WAR, by RICHARD THOMAS LE GALLIENNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AFTER THE WAR, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: After the war - I hear men ask - what then?
Last Line: Whose meaning is beyond the reach of time.
Subject(s): Peace; World War I; First World War

AFTER the war -- I hear men ask -- what then?
As though this rock-ribbed world, sculptured with fire,
And bastioned deep in the ethereal plan
Can never be its morning self again
Because of this brief madness, man with man;
As though the laughing elements should tire,
The very seasons in their order reel;
As though indeed yon ghostly golden wheel
Of stars should cease from turning, or the moon
Befriend the night no more, or the wild rose
Forget the world, and June be no more June.

How many wars and long-forgotten woes
Unnumbered, nameless, made a like despair
In hearts long stilled; how many suns have set
On burning cities blackening the air, --
Yet dawn came dreaming back, her lashes wet
With dew, and daisies in her innocent hair.
Nor shall, for this, the soul's ascension pause,
Nor the sure evolution of the laws
That out of foulness lift the flower to sun,
And out of fury forge the evening star.

Deem not Love's building of the world undone --
Far Love's beginning was, her end is far;
By paths of fire and blood her feet must climb,
Seeking a loveliness she scarcely knows,
Whose meaning is beyond the reach of Time.

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