The Unnamed Lake and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

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  
  in your hands,
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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  
  ways
10
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  
  lurked for their prey,
15
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 come;—  
Immortal as God and who trod with his body erect as a flame.  

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  
  down to his rest.
20
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

 
  fire,
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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 untrammeled  
  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.
30

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 it 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  
  heat,
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The face of the Proved and Beloved who descends with the stars  
  at His feet.  

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 the 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  
  fathomless deep,
40
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
 
  youth,
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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 the earth but he mounts to a throne in the bosom of  
  God.