Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CREST JEWEL, by JAMES STEPHENS

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THE CREST JEWEL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The leaf will wrinkle to decay
Last Line: In him who dreams in me and you.
Subject(s): God


The leaf will wrinkle to decay,
And crumble into dust away!

The rose, the lily, grow to eld,
And are, and are no more, beheld!

Nothing will stay! For, as the eye
Rests upon an object nigh,

It is not there to look upon!
It is mysteriously gone!

And, in its place, another thing
Apes its shape and fashioning!


All that the sun will breath to-day
The moon will lip and wear away

To-night! And all will re-begin
To-morrow as the dawn comes in!

Is no beginning, middle-trend,
Or argument to that, or end!

No cause and no effect, and no
Reason why it should be so!

Or why it might be otherwise
To other minds, or other eyes!


The soul can dream itself to be
Adrift upon an endless sea

Of day and night! The soul can seem
To be all things that it can dream!

Yet needs but look within to find
That which is steady in the wind!

That which the fire does not appal!
Which good and ill move not at all!

Which does not seek, or lack, or try!
And was not born, and cannot die!


It has been writ in wisdom old --
This is the last word to be told:

-- There is no dissolution! No
Creation! There are none in woe!

There is no teacher, teaching, taught!
Are none who long for, lack for aught!

Are none who pine for freedom! None
Are liberated under sun!

-- And this is absolutely true
In Him who dreams in me and you.

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