Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CONTRADICTORY, by ALICE CARY



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CONTRADICTORY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We contradictory creatures
Last Line: Naked and cold, and desolate enough.
Subject(s): Human Behavior


WE contradictory creatures
Have something in us alien to our birth,
That doth suffuse us with the infinite,
While downward through our natures
Run adverse thoughts, that only find delight
In the poor perishable things of earth.

Blindly we feel about
Our little circle, -- ever on the quest
Of knowledge, which is only, at the best,
Pushing the boundaries of our ignorance out.

But while we know all things are miracles,
And that we cannot set
An ear of corn, nor tell a blade of grass
The way to grow, our vanity o'erswells
The limit of our wisdom, and we yet
Audaciously o'erpass
This narrow promontory
Of low, dark land, into the unseen glory,
And with unhallowed zeal
Unto our fellow-men God's judgments deal.

Sometimes along the gloom
We meet a traveler, striking hands with whom,
Maketh a little sweet and tender light
To bless our sight,
And change the clouds around us and above
Into celestial shapes, -- and this is love.

Morn cometh, trailing storms,
Even while she wakes a thousand grateful psalms
And with her golden calms
All the wide valley fills;
Darkly they lie below
The purple fire, -- the glow,
Where, on the high tops of the eastern hills,
She rests her cloudy arms.

And we are like the morning, -- heavenly light
Blowing about our heads, and th' dumb night
Before us and behind us; ceaseless ills
Make up our years; and as from off the hills
The white mists melt, and leave them bare and rough,
So melt from us the fancies of our youth
Until we stand against the last black truth
Naked and cold, and desolate enough.





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