Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GODS AND THE WINDS, by ALEXANDER ANDERSON



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THE GODS AND THE WINDS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The still gods, though they move apart
Last Line: "we won our godship far too young."
Alternate Author Name(s): Surfaceman
Subject(s): Goddesses & Gods; Mythology; Railroads; Wind; Railways; Trains


THE still gods, though they move apart
From interchange of thoughts with men,
Yearn to come down, and, in the mart,
Rub shoulders with them once again,

And help them in each fearless deed,
When Science with serenest eyes
Lays a white finger on each need,
While Thought springs forward to devise.

"We won our godship far too young,"
They moan with an Immortal's woe;
"Our mighty strength is all unstrung
In shame when we look down below.

"The vigour of our limb is weak,
Our pulses move as with a load,
And only place upon our cheek
That burning spot which shames a god."

The keen winds send their voices up,
They whistle past each lonely star;
The gods pause ere they lift the cup,
As held back by some sudden bar.

"Keep to your halls," the rough winds say,
"Nor overstep your starry pale,
Ye could not for one moment play
With the wild engine on the rail;

"Nor even match, though keen and strong,
And all aglow with swiftest fire,
That silent speed which hurls along
The far word lightnings of the wire.

"For men have bound the giant brain
To use, and with swift hands they bring
Wild untaught things they slowly train,
That after into wonders spring.

"Which, leaping at one bound, the bar
Of use and wont, enclasp the earth,
That trembles at such sudden war,
And reels into its second birth.

"Then life in all its new-found glow
Wakes up, and with a certain hand
Seizes the wand of Prospero,
That magic may be in the land.

"So men dive, in their wild designs,
Far down, and, in the earth's deep night,
Battle until, like slaves, the mines
Pour forth their treasures to the light.

"And great wild engines black with smoke
Roar on along the rail, or urge
With clank, and pant, and sullen stroke,
A thousand riches through the surge.

"So keep your halls, nor fret, nor moan
That ye can never come again,
A second godship is not won
Among these nineteenth century men."

Thus the bold winds against the sky
Uplift their voices wild and strong,—
The gods, still moaning, make reply,
"We won our godship far too young."





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