Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VOLATUS TRIUMPHANS, by LUCIUS MORRIS BEEBE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

VOLATUS TRIUMPHANS, by            
First Line: High enterprise of dreams, swift coursing vision
Last Line: For man on the wings of the tempest is conquering time and fate.

High enterprise of dreams, swift coursing vision,
Damning disaster and impatient yet,
With fierce derision
Scorning the hillslopes:
Now are your immemorial hopes
Made manifest in flight.
And all the limits of the skies
Revealed in this invincible surmise
Transcending night.

Here on the roof of the earth -- here in the paths of the spheres,
Cleaned winged with imperious speed, the beathless compeer of time,
Bringing reverberate life to the dolorous sameness of years,
Flight is the music of motors, the cadenced perfecion of rhyme.

With dominate power and whispered prayer,
And impulse and promise of things to be,
With woven hope and disproved despair
And joy in freedom as winds are free --
So flight has traversed the boundless deep
Where worlds are severed and planets sleep,
The thin far ways of unchanging air,
The perilous waste of celestial sea.

There comes the electric word
Of the destiny of kings
And the clamor of nations is heard
As the Bessemer furnace flings
Its vomit of light through the murk
Where the master forgers work;
The mother of murder is brought to bed
Delivering lethal things.
There is born the new dominion
Of the steel of wheel and pinion
And the racing engines of doom
Thunder on lurching wings.

For the old dogs sleep and are passing and Chronos has tasted death,
And a whisper of change is heard and a tale of dissolving hours;
There is romance and a high fulfillment in the firing of perfumed breath;
The wings of the dawn are a highway for man and his martial powers.

O Brothers, envious of death and fame,
Swept down in desperate Icarean flight:
The blinding darkness and the shattered frame,
The crimson embers blown across the night,
Are symbols in a pageant of despair
In desolated lands, deflowered and bare.

The red disaster of the horizon,
The dun blown smoke upon the lingering dawn,
The guns that thundered of oblivion,
And all machinery of strife are gone.
Only the cycles of the marching years
Tread down the graves of sleeping pioneers.

Wake now anew, strut, wheel and gear,
Confounding doubt, to haunt the sky.
Trace the source of the year
In passionless haste, without fear
See the worlds roll by.
Power of grace and motion,
High droning over fields,
Over ocean
And spray-lashed promontory:
Yours is the course of bold odyssic story.

Far from the clamor of toil, from vapor and smoke and weather,
Mounting the cloven heaven to mock at the scornful gods,
Cut off from the populous earth and earthly things altogether,
Rises the dream of the ages, wrought with co-ordinate rods.

O fugitive sweep of wings,
O variant dial and gage:
Yours is the impulse that brings
The fire of a new romance,
The joy of aerial chance,
To quicken a pulseless age.

All guardian gods that be, consecrate, throned on high;
Thrill now to immutable song, to triumph articulate,
Fling back the oblivious portals that cloister the ways of the sky,
For man on the wings of the tempest is conquering time and fate.

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