Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ASPIRATION, by RHYS CARPENTER

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THE ASPIRATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Two days he rode: the sun at morn
Last Line: From sky to sky the same
Subject(s): Ambition; Crusades; Death; War; Dead, The

TWO days he rode: the sun at morn
Beheld his struggling steed
Toil onward, weary, sense-forlorn,
In empty strife of speed.
It was ambition's eager thorn
That made his spirit bleed;
'The world,' he said, 'hath me in scorn;
But soon the world shall read
My name on every banner borne
Where high adventures lead.
Yet am I weary now to death,
For sleep mine eyelids plead,
My horse strives woefully for breath,
And still no combat furnisheth
Fulfilment of the deed!'

Two days he rode, and on the third
Beheld the tents afar
Of them that mock the holy Word
And flame in ceaseless war,
Who smote with battle-axe and sword
And curvèd scimitar,
With clamour of onrushing horde
And glowing chariot-car.
He said, 'I render thanks, O Lord,
For smitten wound and scar
Whereby my spirit may attest
Incarnate Avatar
And Thine immutable Behest
And Thee, the splendour in the West,
The shining of a star.'

He rode against them, and his cry
Was like a sudden flame
Across the threshold of the sky,
And like a fire he came;
Yet when the Pagans saw him nigh,
They thought not of their shame
That one so young, so bold should die,
But lusted for his fame.
They rode, they smote, they let him lie
Stark without grave or name.—
Within that night, across the land
Which no man's hand shall tame,
Came whirling clouds of drifting sand
And morning saw the deserts stand
From sky to sky the same

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