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Alfred Noyes (Альфред Нойес)

The Road Through Chaos


There is one road, one only, to the Light:
A narrow way, but Freedom walks therein;
A straight, firm road through Chaos and old Night,
And all these wandering Jack-o-Lents of Sin.

It is the road of Law, where Pilate stays
To hear, at last, the answer to his cry;
And mighty sages, groping through their maze
Of eager questions, hear a child reply.

Truth? What is Truth? Come, look upon my tables.
Begin at your beginnings once again.
Twice one is two! Though all the rest be fables,
Here's one poor glimpse of Truth to keep you sane.

For Truth, at first, is clean accord with fact,
Whether in line or thought, or word, or act.


Then, by those first, those clean, precise, accords,
Build to the Lord your temples and your song;
The curves of beauty, music's wedded chords
Resolving into heaven all hate and wrong.

Let harmonies of colour marry and follow
And breaking waves in a rhythmic dance ensue;
And all your thought fly free as the wings of the swallow,
Whose arrowy curves obey their measure, too.

Then shall the marching stars and tides befriend you,
And your own heart, and the world's heart, pulse in rhyme;
Then shall the mob of the passions that would rend you
Crown you their Captain and march on in time.

So shall you repossess your struggling soul,
Conquer your world, and find the eternal goal. 

Alfred Noyes's other poems:
  1. Triolet
  2. The Mystic
  3. The Symbolist
  4. In the Heart of the Woods
  5. Haunted in Old Japan

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