Thomas Aird

To A Young Poet

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In reverence an eternal boy,
Hope sustain thee, love, and joy;
Duty, large of work and plan,
Crown thee a consummate man!

Soft and slow, soft and slow,
Ages come, and ages go.
Dark curdlings! Crash! Convulsive climb
Earth's Periods up to Eden's prime.
Mark and tell the Type that springs
Persistent through the wreck of things,—
The Type of Form, to Reason's eye
Test of Design in unity.
The Boundless One, not to be missed
Of man, became a mannerist.

Deserts of fear; the hills of wonder,
Peaks of snow, and scalps of thunder;
The murk air strung with slanting rain,
The creatures huddled on the plain;
And oh the smile that Summer smiles
On dimpling seas and sunny isles;

And Beauty, in the dewy dells,
Moulding of light her flowery bells;
Songs of wheat, and purple glee,—
The Seasons minister to thee!
Night serve thee with her mystic gleams,
Sleep, and the swooning world of dreams!

Powers of darkness, powers of day,
All in this bit of kneaded clay!
Heart of man, O heart of man,
Centre of the sovereign plan,
Infinite of joy and wo,
Thee must the Bard profoundly know;—
Thee in life; and thee in death,
When sighs to Heaven the saintly breath,
And ghosts unlaid, to haggard crime,
Start on the Hell-ward edge of time.

Poet, be this thy widening theme,—
Patriarch order; civic scheme;
Right; Custom the great magistrate;
Art, patient keen; Learning sedate;
Work, on his brows the burning sleet,
But Plenty's Horn poured at his feet;
Thrift, with her fringe of gladsome beauty
To the sober robe of duty;
Social loves, and corporate hates;
The curse of war; the curse of States
Unschooled, unknowing—beasts are they
Of burden, where not beasts of prey;
And, growing still in moral worth,
The lords of knowledge lords of earth;
He chief who makes, creative sage,
His day a great ancestral age,
O'er loins of kings, and ancient seeds,
The world-throned heir of his own deeds.

Far-visioned in ecstatic wonder,
Sweep the worlds above and under;
Zion so glad and beautiful,
And Tophet's fierce emblazoned pool.
Burst in larger song sublime,
Persuasive to the end of time.

Plant of Renown, of bleeding leaf,
Blossoming in the House of Grief,
Be thou our Poet's crown of bay,
And keep from him all death away!

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Thomas Aird