Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BEYOND, by PHOEBE CARY



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BEYOND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When you would have sweet flowers to smell
Last Line: Where songs are always heard!
Subject(s): Seeking


WHEN you would have sweet flowers to smell and hold,
You do not seek them underneath the cold
Close-knitted sod, that hides away the mould;
Where in the spring-time past
The precious seed was cast.

Not down, but up, you turn your eager eyes;
You find in summer the fair flowery prize
On the green stalk, that reaches to-wards the skies,
And, bending down its top,
Gather the fragrant crop.

If you would find the goal of some pure rill,
That, following her unrestrained will,
Runs laughing down the bright slope of the hill,
Or, with a serious mien,
Walks through the valley green,

You do not seek the spot where she was born,
The cavernous mountain chamber, dim, forlorn,
That never saw the fair face of the morn,
Where she, with wailing sound,
First started from the ground;

But rather will you track her windings free,
To where at last she rushes eagerly
Into the white arms of her love, the sea,
And hides in his embrace
The rapture on her face!

If, from the branches of a neighboring tree,
A bird some morn were missing suddenly,
That all the summer sang for ecstasy,
And made your season seem
Like a melodious dream,

You would not search about the leafless dell,
In places where the nestling used to dwell,
To find the white walls of her broken shell,
Thinking your child of air,
Your winged joy, was there!

But rather, hurrying from the autumn gale,
Your feet would follow summer's flowery trail
To find her spicy grove, and odorous vale;
Knowing that birds and song
To pleasant climes belong.

Then wherefore, when you see a soul set free
From this poor seed of its mortality,
And know you sow not that which is to be,
Watch you about the tomb,
For the immortal bloom?

Search for your flowers in the celestial grove,
Look for your precious stream of human love
In the unfathomable sea above;
Follow your missing bird,
Where songs are always heard!





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