Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A NIGHT ON THE SAINT LAWRENCE (RIMOUSKI), by GEORGE HERBERT CLARKE



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A NIGHT ON THE SAINT LAWRENCE (RIMOUSKI), by            
First Line: If the world were itself alone, - mere mountains and seas and cities
Last Line: Thou brooding, loving artist, whose holiest name is beauty.
Subject(s): Art & Artists; Beauty; Creative Ability; God; Nature - Religious Aspects; Night; Rivers; Inspiration; Creativity; Bedtime


IF the world were itself alone,—mere mountains and seas and cities,
Performing each its function, yielding no further service,
There might not be God.

But there is Beauty also, and Beauty is very God.

Sky-glory, sea-glory, glory of rocky headland,—
The vivid tinge of the orange-tawn outspreading from the sunset,
Vivid yet soft, a velvet dream-fire, glowing with opal magic,
Pulsing with silent passion ... imperceptibly paling ...
For fifty golden minutes creating a saffron sea,
A ship of emprise romantic, a shore of haloed harbours!

In the shoulder of the sky a single star is shining,
While from the foreground answers the tiny beam of a lighthouse.

Too tremulous the scene: soon it has faded, vanished,
And steel-blue darkness comes, and a shudder as of coldness.

After a long moment, a quiet waiting,—
To the north a great warm sleepy light arises:
The full moon swimming up from the wet and wan horizon,
With worshipful wave-satellites weaving her path before her!

Alas! such pictures stay not,—pass, yet can perish never;
For them supremely exist the sky and the sea and the mountains,
As parts in a master-drama.

O God, how Thy glory makes the human spirit drunken
With awful joy and wonder!
Thy word, unwritten, so may we read, behold Thy face effulgent,
Thou brooding, loving Artist, whose holiest name is Beauty.





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