Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Design


Said Seeker of the skies to me:
"Behold yon starry host ashine!
When Heaven's harmony you see
How can you doubt control divine,
Law, order and design?"

"Nay, Sire," said I, "I do not doubt
The spheres in cosmic pattern spin;
But what I try to puzzle out
Is that--if Law and Order win
Where does mere man come in?

"If to the millionth of a hair
Cause and Effect are welded true,
Then there's no leeway anywhere,
And all we do we have to do,
And sun and atom too."

O Stars, sing in your harmony!
O Constellations raptly shine!
Flout me because I am not free,
Mock me because no choice is mine!
O Beauty, it so hurts to see!
--O damnable Design!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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