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Short poem

Richard Garnett (1835-1906)


              1First-born and final relic of the night,
              2I dwell aloof in dim immensity;
              3The grey sky sparkles with my fairy light;
              4I mix among the dancers of the sea;
              5Yet stoop not from the throne I must retain
              6High o'er the silver sources of the rain.
              7Vicissitude I know not, nor can know,
              8Yet much discern strewed everywhere around;
              9The ever-stirring race of men below
            10Much do I watch, and wish I were not bound
            11The chainless captive of this lonely spot,
            12Where light-winged Mutability is not.
            13I see great cities rise, which being hoar
            14Are slowly rendered unto dust again;
            15And roaring billows preying on the shore;
            16And virgin isles ascending from the main;
            17The passing wave of the perpetual river;
            18And men depart, and man remaining ever.
            19The upturned eyes of many a mortal maid
            20Glass me in gathering tears, soon kissed away;
            21Then walks she for a space, and then is laid
            22Swelling the bosom of the quiet clay.
            23I muse what this all-kindling Love may be,
            24And what this Death that never comes to me.


1] Even-Star: Venus, the evening and morning star, so-called because it accompanies the sun.

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text:
Publication date note: Richard Garnett, Poems (London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane; Boston: Copeland and Day, 1895): 18-19. PR 4708 G5P6
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition:
Recent editing: 1:2004/6/16

Other poems by Richard Garnett