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Poem by Edward Rowland Sill


Roland


A FOOLISH creature full of fears,
He trembled for his fate,
And stood aghast to feel the earth
Swing round her dizzy freight.

With timid foot he touched each plan,
Sure that each plan would fail;
Behemoth's tread was his, it seemed,
And every bridge too frail.

No glory of the night or day
Lit any crown for him,
The tranquil past but breathed a mist
To make the future dim.

The world, his birthright, seemed a cell,
An iron heritage;
Man, a trapped creature, left to die
Forgotten in his cage.

In every dark he held his breath,
And warded off a blow;
While at his shoulder still he sought
Some tagging ghost of woe.

Spying the thorns but not the flowers,
Through all the blossoming land
He hugged his careful heart and shunned
The path on either hand.

The buds that broke their hearts to give
New odors to the air
He saw not; but he caught the scent
Of dead leaves everywhere.

Till on a day he came to know
He had not made the world;
That if he slept, as when he ran,
Each onward planet whirled.

He knew not where the vision fell,
Only all things grew plainЧ
As if some thatch broke through and let
A sunbeam cross his brain.

In beauty flushed the morning light,
With blessing dropped the rain,
All creatures were to him most fair,
Nor anything in vain.

He breathed the space that links the stars,
He rested on God's armЧ
A man unmoved by accident,
Untouched by any harm.

The weary doubt if all is good,
The doubt if all is ill,
He left to Him who leaves to us
To know that all is well.



Edward Rowland Sill


Edward Rowland Sill's other poems:
  1. Force
  2. A Resting-Place
  3. Hermione
  4. Fertility
  5. Even There


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