Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Song of the Watcher & The Star

Song of the Watcher

On a hilltop against the star
Are columns of granite, rudely hewn;
Set in a lofty ring,
Upholding architraves:
Stones of unequal size
Between which blaze the stars;
Orange, steel blue, and vivid green,
As beads of dew on sunlit grass.

On a hilltop against the stars
Alone on the altar stone,
I shake out my nets of song
To catch the stars therein.
The stars of midnight joyously
Blaze like the flame of midday
That kindled in my heart;
They leap and trail out wide arcs down the sky.

On a hilltop against the stars,
In the roofless sanctuary,
Wakens the sacrificial fire
From the blazing stars drawn down.
The stars that were caught and fallen
In my flung net of song,
Kindle upon the altar-stone
The sacred blaze, apart.

On a hilltop against the stars
I dreamless sleep on the smooth grey altar-stone;
And the songs in my heart are as winds that go through the world,
The fires of my life are as stars that sing round the walls;
Bright centuries keeping watch, they grow
drowsy, the stones of the temple look dim,
And the world will soon foret the song of the
watcher of the stars.
But I shall sleep, still shrouded, on the broad
grey altar-stone.
Till tow eternities meet together, the shadows
of life and of death.

***

The Star

There was a star which watched upon my
birth.
The great blue peaks were shrouded,
The sea was merged in haze, but, far apart,
There shone a single star.
And it burned steadily,
Watching through the night in silence;
It hung above the dusk
Whence I secretly came forth.

The peaks in the morning
Had thundered for creation;
The green sea had risen,
And swept clean the strand.
Now the wide earth was silent,
And silent the horizen;
When, between the ninth wave and the land,
I was brought forth.

There was a star which watched upon my coming,
I put forth my hand to seize it;
And, instantly the sky
Broke, and was ribbed with light;
Lightening ran down the peaks and smote the narrow valleys,
Wandering blue flames flickered about the
coastline,
The mountains danced in scarlet,
The earth roared with deep joy.

There is single star that burns to-night far in
the longely heavens;
The sea is hidden beneath it;
The mountains draw their capes of grey wool
closely about their shoulders;
There is no breath of wind.
Only the thought of one coming
Over the oceans in silence,
Wandering under a darker star
Than that which saw my birth.

***

John Gould Fletcher ~ The Black Rock ~ 1928

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