Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DESCENDE CAELO, by GEORGE SANTAYANA

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

DESCENDE CAELO, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: All the world gives little scope
Last Line: When you strew them on my bier!
Subject(s): Doubt; Life

All the world gives little scope
To the promise of one dream,
And long anguish must redeem
From the ignorance of hope.

I will not persist to think
Of another world than this:
I see nothing in the abyss
And I play upon the brink.

Yet I too have felt the charm
Of the wonder of the deep,
And have seen its phantoms sweep
'Boding good and 'boding harm.

And the fever of that doubt
Doubled joy and doubled pain:
Seeing love and grief are vain
I have turned my face about.

When the thought of them is o'er,
What are failure or success?
Now the might of things is less
And my spirit's might is more.

In the sunlight I will bask,
In the woodland I will stray;
If this life is but a play
I am but a player's mask.

And my soul, that loves the fray,
Deems it not a waste of power
When the being of an hour
Builds the fabric of a day.

What vast good should I require,
For what fancied heaven hope,
When this world exceeds my scope
And this life outlasts desire?

Pluck the roses budding here,
Cast their coolness on my brow.
May they be as fair as now
When you strew them on my bier!

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