Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CHANGE, by JOHN CHARLES VAN DYKE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CHANGE, by            
First Line: Through the warm rain
Last Line: And then -- to dust again.
Subject(s): Nature

Through the warm rain,
Dipping and darting as they go,
The swallows wheel and turn again
Ceaselessly to and fro.

What life so gay!
What splendid strength and rhythmic rune
Are flung from whirring wings away
The livelong afternoon!

Year after year,
Sunlight and shadow dashing through,
The blue-backs glitter far and near
And wheel and turn anew.

What does it count
That one drops out or falls away?
New wings the summer breezes mount,
New life springs up each day.

What care! what care!
The blue-backs flash, the long lines sway --
What matter how the older fare!
Have they not had their day?

No more! no more!
What cares the mother goddess when
The old break down, the new before,
With swallows as with men?

She is all things,
Both sun and rain, both life and death;
She spreads and folds the pointed wings,
She gives and stops the breath.

She still holds fast
Through ceaseless years to one great plan,
That all shall struggle to the last
And those shall live who can.

Why should she pause
To sorrow over come and go?
They are mere workings of her laws,
And she -- she does not know.

All things shall pass,
That in the end all things shall stay;
The shifting part but keeps the mass
From ultimate decay.

What matter when
A swallow or a planet dies?
The scattered dust re-forms again --
New wings, new worlds arise.

Greet nature's way!
She planned the life, she planned the death;
All are but swallows in her day,
But creatures of her breath.

A moment's flight,
A something whirring through the rain,
A hollow cry upon the night,
And then -- to dust again.

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