Frederick George Scott

COLLECTED POEMS


 

The Temple of the Ages


 

These mountains sleep, white winter's mantle round them,
    The thunder's voice no longer breaks their rest;
From bluest heights the sun beholds with rapture
    The noble poise of each gigantic crest.

The generations of the clouds have vanished

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    Which lingered idly here through autumn days;
The leaves have gone, the voices of the tempest
    No longer roll to heaven their hymn of praise.

Deep hid in snow, the streams with muffled murmurs
    Pour down dark caverns to the infinite sea;

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This awful peace has vexed their restless childhood;
    They hurry from its dread solemnity.

Even the climbing woods are mute and spellbound,
    And, halting midway on the steep ascent,
The patient spruces hold their breath for wonder,

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    Nor shake the snow with which their boughs are bent.

Now as the sun goes down with all his shining,
    Huge shadows creep among these mighty walls,
And on the haunting ghosts of by-gone ages
    The dreamy splendour of the starlight falls. [Page 2]

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Not Nineveh, not Babylon nor Egypt,
    In all their treasures 'neath the hungry sand,
Can show a sight so awful and majestic
    As this waste temple in this newer land.

The king that reared these mighty courts was Chaos,

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    His servants, fire and elemental war;
The Titan hands of Earthquake and of Ocean
    These granite slabs and pillars laid in store.

And, lauding here the vast and living Father,
    The ages one by one have knelt and prayed,

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Until the ghostly echoes of their worship
    Come back and make man's puny heart afraid. [Page 3]