Frederick George Scott

COLLECTED POEMS


 

A Song of Triumph


Ye tempests that sweep o’er the deep, heavy-browed with the         cloud of the rain,
Assemble in wonder with thunder and bellowing voice of the         main,
With the roar that comes forth from the North when the ice-peaks         roll down to the sea,
And the dream of the gleaming white silence is hoarse with         waves’ laughter and glee;—
Yea, gather, ye tempests, on wings, with the strings of God’s harp
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        in your hands,

And your voices upraise in the praise of the Lord of the seas and         the lands.

Sing the triumph of Man, who began in the caves where the                  waves lay asleep,
In a cradle made green by the sheen of the sunlight that smote on         the deep,
When the ages were young and the tongue of the universe         sounded its praise,
Over the dismal, abysmal, dark voids where God went on His

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        ways

To crown His creations with nations of flowering and animate         life,—
Implanting a germ in the worm that would grow to His image         through strife.

The jungles that spread on the bed of the plain, where the rain          and the snow
Came down from the mountains a river, to shiver in torrents         below,
Were alight with the bright-coloured snakes and the tigers that

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        lurked for their prey,

While the bird that was heard in the boughs had a plumage more         splendid than day,
But the lord at whose word all were humbled was Man who in         majesty came;—
Immortal as God and who trod with his body erect as a flame. [Page 148]

Let the praise of Man’s form by the storm be outrolled to the gold          of the West,
To the edge of the ledge of the clouds where the sun marches

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        down to his rest.

For out of the rout of fierce famine, of warfare and hunger and         strain,
Man’s body was fashioned and passioned in frenzy of fury and         pain.
He goes with his face upon space, like a god he is girded with         might,
His desire is the fire of a star that illumines a limitless night.

His love is above and beneath him, a mountain and fountain of

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         fire;
In his blood is the flood of the tiger and claws of its hate and                   desire;
In his thought is the speed of the steed as it courses                            untrammelled and free,
With its sinews astrain on the plain where the winds are as wide          as the sea;
But his soul is the roll of the ocean that murmurs in darkness and          day,
A part of the heart of creation that lives while the ages decay.
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It mounts upon wings through the rings of the night that is bright          with the stars,
Till at length in its strength it has broken the chains of the flesh          and its bars,
And waits for the hush and the flush of the dawn of which God is          the sun;—
The dawn that will rise in the skies when the night of our warfare is          done;
When Man shall behold, in the gold of the firmament passing in
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         heat,

The face of the Proved and Beloved who descends with the stars          at His feet. [Page 149]

Then the past shall be cast like the sand that a hand may throw          out to the sea,
Shall be cast out of sight into night, and our manhood,                            resplendent and free,
Shall wander in dreams by the streams where the waters are          silent as sleep,
Or winged on God’s errands shall soar through the roar of the

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         fathomless deep,

When the lightning is brightening our course and the thunder-                  clouds roll in our face,—
For the soul that is pure shall endure when the planets have                   crumbled in space.

Ye tempests that sweep from the deep which the night and the          light overspan,
Assemble in splendour and render the praise of magnificent Man;
In his hands are the sands of the ages, and gold of unperishing

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         youth,
On his brow, even now, is the shining of wisdom and justice and          truth;
His dower was the power to prevail, on the lion and dragon he          trod,
His birth was of earth but he mounts to a throne in the bosom of          God. [Page 150]