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Poem by Bliss Carman
At the Making of Man
First all the host of Raphael In liveries of gold, Lifted the chorus on whose rhythm The spinning spheres are rolled,Ц The Seraphs of the morning calm Whose hearts are never cold. He shall be born a spirit, Part of the soul that yearns, The core of vital gladness That suffers and discerns, The stir that breaks the budding sheath When the green spring returns,Ц The gist of power and patience Hid in the plasmic clay, The calm behind the senses, The passionate essay To make his wise and lovely dream Immortal on a day. The soft Aprilian ardours That warm the waiting loam Shall whisper in his pulses To bid him overcome, And he shall learn the wonder-cry Beneath the azure dome. And though all-dying nature Should teach him to deplore, The ruddy fires of autumn Shall lure him but the more To pass from joy to stronger joy, As through an open door. He shall have hope and honour, Proud trust and courage stark, To hold him to his purpose Through the unlighted dark, And love that sees the moon's full orb In the first silver arc. And he shall live by kindness And the heart's certitude, Which moves without misgiving In ways not understood, Sure only of the vast event,Ц The large and simple good. Then Gabriel's host in silver gear And vesture twilight blue, The spirits of immortal mind, The warders of the true, Took up the theme that gives the world Significance anew. He shall be born to reason, And have the primal need To understand and follow Wherever truth may lead,Ц To grow in wisdom like a tree Unfolding from a seed. A watcher by the sheepfolds, With wonder in his eyes, He shall behold the seasons, And mark the planets rise, Till all the marching firmament Shall rouse his vast surmise. Beyond the sweep of vision, Or utmost reach of sound, This cunning fire-maker, This tiller of the ground, Shall learn the secrets of the suns And fathom the profound. For he must prove all being, Sane, beauteous, benign, And at the heart of nature Discover the divine,Ц Himself the type and symbol Of the eternal trine. He shall perceive the kindling Of knowledge, far and dim, As of the fire that brightens Below the dark sea-rim, When ray by ray the splendid sun Floats to the world's wide brim. And out of primal instinct, The lore of lair and den, He shall emerge to question How, wherefore, whence, and when, Till the last frontier of the truth Shall lie within his ken. Then Michael's scarlet-suited host Took up the word and sang; As though a trumpet had been loosed In heaven, the arches rang; For these were they who feel the thrill Of beauty like a pang. He shall be framed and balanced For loveliness and power, Lithe as the supple creatures, And coloured as a flower, Sustained by the all-feeding earth, Nurtured by wind and shower, To stand within the vortex Where surging forces play, A poised and pliant figure Immutable as they, Till time and space and energy Surrender to his sway. He shall be free to journey Over the teeming earth, An insatiable seeker, A wanderer from his birth, Clothed in the fragile veil of sense, With fortitude for girth. His hands shall have dominion Of all created things, To fashion in the likeness Of his imaginings, To make his will and thought survive Unto a thousand springs. The world shall be his province, The princedom of his skill; The tides shall wear his harness, The winds obey his will; Till neither flood, nor fire, nor frost, Shall work to do him ill. A creature fit to carry The pure creative fire, Whatever truth inform him, Whatever good inspire, He shall make lovely in all things To the end of his desire.
Bliss Carman's other poems:
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