November 12, 2006

"But light are the feet on the hills of the morning..."

....Ah, who had known who had not seen
How soft and sudden on the fame
Of my most noble English ships
The sunset light of Carthage came
And the thing I never had dreamed could be
In the house of my fathers came to me
Through the sea-wall cloven, the cloud and dark,
A voice divided, a doubtful sea.
      (The light is bright on the Tower of David,
      The evening glows with the morning star
      In the skies turned back and the days returning
      She walks so near who had wandered far
      And in the heart of the swords, the seven times wounded,
      Was never wearied as our hearts are.)

How swift as with a fall of snow
New things grow hoary with the light.
We watch the wrinkles crawl like snakes
On the new image in our sight.
The lines that sprang up taut and bold
Sag like primordial monsters old,
Sink in the bas-reliefs of fossil
And the slow earth swallows them, fold on fold,
But light are the feet on the hills of the morning
Of the lambs that leap up to the Bride of the Sun,
And swift are the birds as the butterflies flashing
And sudden as laughter the rivulets run
And sudden for ever as summer lightning
The light is bright on the world begun.

Thou wilt not break as we have broken
The towers we reared to rival Thee.
More true to England than the English
More just to freedom than the free.
O trumpet of the intolerant truth
Thou art more full of grace and ruth
For the hopes of the world than the world that made them,
The world that murdered the loves of our youth....

    --GK Chesterton

(A selection from the poem The Towers of Time. You can read the whole poem here.)

Posted by John Weidner at November 12, 2006 6:27 AM
Weblog by John Weidner