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Death Will Make Clear Post by :tenglish Category :Poems Author :William Rose Benet Date :October 2011 Read :2666

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Death Will Make Clear

What in the night says the clock that ticks time to eternity,
Swimmer of waves of your thought that are dark waves and deep?
What in the night says the moon, from her patient infinity,
Laying pale hands on your heart, hands of peace and of sleep?
What say the stars to her eyes, who has loosed by the window
The billow of her hair, as the dark of the trees feels her fear?
And over the cradle what whisper is breathing, is breathing.
As over the bed of the bride or the catafalqued bier,
Or over the flung and clawed earth where a soldier is dying?
"Death will make clear!"

Furious and fleet is man's soul, like a hound through the woodland,
On through the tangle of trees and the green and the gold.
Yes, for the senses are goads, but the lineage noble,
Not for the warren or hutch to be cornered and sold,
Then there is freedom and ease, and a dream that persuades one
On, till the track quakes on black whence the death-lilies peer.
So the bronzed shoulder, that sets to the crust of the boulder
Heaving it up--as the mill-wheel that turns at the weir--
Bring--? They bring silence and candles and creaking and whispers.
Death will make clear.

Why that white work from the crag and the hands of the sculptor
Smitten in a moment to rubble as earth heaves her breast?
Why that intangible glory, remote but God-in-us,
Golden and crumbling to pathos of dusk in the west?
Why the pure curve of the arm and the breast of a mother,
Yes, and the proud head of man held erect on the mere
Void of blue heaven,--the seas and the ships and the trumpets,
Towers and horizons, all shouting? The answer is here,
Here in thy breast, son of man, sorry son of the ages.
Death will make clear.

Lord of the mighty, as Lord of the weak and the lowly,
Lord of the sage and the madman, of clean and unclean;
Breeder of suns and of excrement, loathly and holy,
Graving the skull with the pity of all that had been,--
Death, oh thou graver of countenance knighted austerely,
Yea, on the pitiful clay, such poor flesh in its fear
Of God and the soul and the singing of stars that may teach us
Wisdom at last,--oh thou ultimate searcher and seer,
Beckon--I follow. At last on my lips set thy finger;
Thou wilt make clear!

(The end)
William Rose Benet's poem: Death Will Make Clear

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Sunlight Sunlight

Sunlight is full of age.Ah, so old!Older than any sageHas ever told!The draught our Lord quaffed upTo the bloody lees;The aching hemlock cupOf Socrates.It is a golden sword;The veil of the Grail;The unfathomable WordThat will not fail.Along a summer streetIt often liesShimmering to repeatImmortal paradise.As a mountain lake can mirrorThe exalted with the near,Heaven's wonder and terror--Both shine here.It says all things in nought;And, saying them, passesTo gild like gentle thoughtTrees and grasses.It sways upon the oceanLike a god asleepWhere the waves' wandering motionHides the deep.It shafts through forest aislesLike miracle;It trembles and smilesOn the lip of Hell.It has touched Greece

Miniature Miniature

For all your gestures, for your gray-blue eyesAnd Irish mouth, and hair that makes you child,When shaken out at evening; for your mirthAnd your quick pity, and your mother's breast;For the great tenderness that you have givenAnd the rich dreams through purple-flowing night,The holy lull of effort and the peaceOf a deep love; because of all these things,Wherever I should be,--beyond what seasOf an enchanted music, on what isles,I know not, of a strange irradiance,In dream or life or death,--dissatisfiedWith splendor or white mystery, my heartWould break--my heart would break--never to hearYour tones again or feel your hair againBeneath my lips,