Lundy's Lane and Other Poems

by Duncan Campbell Scott


 

IMPROVISATION ON AN OLD SONG

(The refrain is quoted by Edward Fitzgerald in one of his letters)


I

 

GROWING, growing, all the glory going;
  Flashing out of fire and light, burning to a husk,
All the world's a-dying and failing in the dusk—
  Growing, growing, all the glory going.
 
Rust is on the door-latch, ashes at the root,
5
 Dry rot in the ridge-pole, canker in the fruit;
  Growing, growing, all the glory going.
 
Plot, ye subtle statesmen,—a trace of melted wax;
Bind, ye haughty prelates,—a thread of ravelled flax;
  Growing, growing, all the glory going.
10
 
March, ye mighty captains,—an eddy in the dust;
Rave, ye furious lovers,—a stain of crimson rust;
  Growing, growing, all the glory going.
 
Pictures, poems, music—their essential soul,
Idle as dry roses in a silver bowl;
15
  Growing, growing, all the glory going.  

London is a hearsay, Paris but a myth,
Rome a wand of sweet-flag withered to the pith;
 
  Growing, growing, all the glory going.  

Palsy shakes the planets, frost has chilled the sun,
20
In a crushing silence the All is dead and done.  
  Growing, growing, all the glory going.

II

 

 GOING, going, all the glory growing,
  See it stir and flutter; that is singing, hark!
Singing in the caverns of the primal dark.
25
  Going, going, all the glory growing.
 
What is in the making, what immortal plan
Draws to its unfolding? 'Tis the Soul of man.
  Going, going, all the glory growing.
 
See it mount and hover, singing as it goes,
30
Battling with the darkness, nourished by its woes;
  Going, going, all the glory growing.
 
The bale-fires of midnight glaring in its eyes,
Past the phantom shadows see it rush and rise;
  Going, going, all the glory growing.
35
 
The supernatural morning of its dewy wings,
Soaring and scorning the lust of earthy things;
  Going, going, all the glory growing.
 
The beatific noontide of its eager breast
Springing and singing to its halcyon rest;
40
  Going, going, all the glory growing.


In its starry vesture not a vestige of the sod,
Winging still and singing to the heart of God.

  Going, going, all the glory growing.