The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

Origins


 

Out of the dreams that heap
The hollow hand of sleep,—
Out of the dark sublime,
The echoing deeps of time,—
From the averted Face
5
Beyond the bournes of space
Into the sudden sun
We journey, one by one.
Out of the hidden shade
Wherein desire is made,—
10
Out of the pregnant stir
Where death and life confer,—
The dark and mystic heat
Where soul and matter meet,—
The enigmatic Will,—
15
We start, and then are still.

    Inexorably decreed
By the ancestral deed,
The puppets of our sires,
We work out blind desires,

20
And for our sons ordain,
The blessing or the bane.
In ignorance we stand
With fate on either hand,
And question stars and earth
25
Of life, and death, and birth.
With wonder in our eyes
We scan the kindred skies,
While through the common grass
Our atoms mix and pass.
30
We feel the sap go free
When spring comes to the tree;
And in our blood is stirred
What warms the brooding bird.
The vital fire we breathe
35
That bud and blade bequeathe,
And strength of native clay
In our full veins hath sway.

    But in the urge intense
And fellowship of sense,

40
Suddenly comes a word
In other ages heard.
On a great wind our souls
Are borne to unknown goals,
And past the bournes of space
45
To the unaverted Face.