Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RETROSPECT, by GEORGE CABOT LODGE



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RETROSPECT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Beyond the earth is sea
Last Line: Beyond the parts the whole!


Beyond the earth is sea,
Beyond the sense is soul,
Beyond this life a little sleep,
Beyond the race the goal.

I know the earth is young,
And time a little thing;
When first the stars harmonious sung
Thro' heaven, I heard them sing.

Full well I know that I
Was there when chaos hurled
Formless and fervent on the void
The huge and pregnant world.

Sheer down the endless skies
We took our furious flight,
Our wings of flame flapped, vast and dumb,
Against the ageless night.

Helmless and wild we crossed
The eternal seas of space,
And moored beside the sun and swung
In our predestined place.

Pure as a distant song,
Echoed from south to north,
The strange first dawn came grave and strong,
Gigantically forth.

The sheer black pinnacle
Of sky grew vaguely blue,
As down the cold, thin, empty airs
The red light glistered thro'.

And when the last stars died
About the noonday sun,
And on the enormous distance fell
Daylight's oblivion,

I saw green tendrils blur
The acrid plains, the sea
Suck down between the naked hills,
Roaring immeasurably.

Then day retired, night fell,
Frail breezes shook the air;
The moon showed large between the stars
Her void unfaltering stare.

Thro' all the perfect night
Ringing with silver, I
Stood in my human solitude,
Wondering ineffably.

Then, in response, I heard
A voice within me sing:
"I know the stars are very young,
"And Time a little thing!

"Always Truth waits beyond
"Larger and more divine:
"The immeasurable Past
And light and life are mine.

"Father, O Soul of Me!
"Thy scope is never whole;
"Always a new infinity
"Lies waiting for the Soul!"

Beyond the earth is sea,
Beyond the sense is soul,
Beyond this life, a little sleep,
Beyond the parts the whole!








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