Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PALINGENESIS, by EDITH MATILDA THOMAS

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PALINGENESIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I dwelt with the god ere he fashioned the worlds with their heart of fire
Last Line: If onward I go, or again in a fold of his garment I sleep!

I DWELT with the God ere He fashioned the worlds with their heart of fire,
Ere the vales sank down at His voice or He spake to the mountains, "Aspire!"
Or ever the sea to dark heaven made moan in its hunger for light,
Or the four winds were born of the morning and missioned on various flight.

In a fold of His garment I slept, without motion, or knowledge, or skill,
While age upon age the thought of creation took shape at His will;
Sleeping I lay by the right hand that framed it -- this wonderful earth --
Nor heard I the stars of the morning, chanting its anthem of birth.

Part had I not in the scheme till He sent me to work on the reef,
Nude, in the seafoam, to clothe it with coralline blossom and leaf.
Patient I wrought -- as a weaver that blindly plyeth the loom,
Nor knew that the God dwelt with me, there as I wrought in the gloom.

Strength had I not till chiefdom supreme of the waters He gave;
Joyous I went -- tumultuous; the billows before me I drave --
Myself as a surge of the sea when impelled by the driving storm;
Nor knew that the God dwelt with me, there in leviathan's form.

Lightness I had not, till, decked with light plumes, He endued me with speed --
Buoyant the hollow quill as the hollow stem of the reed!
And I gathered my food from the ooze, and builded my home at His word;
Nor knew that the God dwelt with me clothed in the garb of a bird.

I trod not the earth till on plains unmeasured He sent me to rove,
To taste of the sweetness of grass and the leaves of the summer grove.
For shelter He hollowed the cave; fresh springs in the rock He unsealed;
But I knew not the God dwelt with me that ranged as a beast of the field.

Foresight I had not, nor memory, nor vision that sweeps in the skies,
Till He made me man, and bade me uplift my marvelling eyes!
My hands I uplifted -- my cries grew a prayer -- on the green turf I knelt.
And knew that the God had dwelt with me wherever of old I had dwelt!

Wild is the life of the wave, and free is the life of the air,
And sweet is the life of the measureless pastures, unburdened of care;
They all have been mine, I upgather them all in the being of man,
Who knoweth, at last, that the God hath dwelt with him since all life began!

My heritage draw I from these -- I love though I leave them behind;
But shall I not speak for the dumb, and lift up my sight for the blind?
I am kin to the least that inhabits the air, the waters, the clod;
They wist not what bond is between us, they know not the Indwelling God!

For under my hands alone the charactered Past hath He laid,
One moment to scan ere it fall like a scroll into ashes and fade!
Enough have I read to know and declare -- my ways He will keep,
If onward I go, or again in a fold of His garment I sleep!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net