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Duncan Campbell Scott

(2 August 1862 – 19 December 1947 / Ottawa, Ontario)

Improvisation On An Old Song

(The refrain is quoted by Edward Fitzgerald in
one of his letters)


Growing, growing, all the glory going;
Flashing out of fire and light, burning to a husk,
All the world's a-dying and failing in the dusk--
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Rust is on the door-latch, ashes at the root,
Dry rot in the ridge-pole, canker in the fruit;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Plot, ye subtle statesmen,--a trace of melted wax;
Bind, ye haughty prelates,--a thread of ravelled flax;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

March, ye mighty captains,--an eddy in the dust;
Rave, ye furious lovers,--a stain of crimson rust;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Pictures, poems, music--their essential soul,
Idle as dry roses in a silver bowl;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

London is a hearsay, Paris but a myth,
Rome a wand of sweet-flag withered to the pith;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Palsy shakes the planets, frost has chilled the sun,
In a crushing silence the All is dead and done.
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._


Going, going, all the glory growing,
See it stir and flutter; that is singing, hark!
Singing in the caverns of the primal dark.
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

What is in the making, what immortal plan
Draws to its unfolding? 'Tis the Soul of man.
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

See it mount and hover, singing as it goes,
Battling with the darkness, nourished by its woes;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

The bale-fires of midnight glaring in its eyes,
Past the phantom shadows see it rush and rise;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

The supernal morning on its dewy wings,
Soaring and scorning the lust of earthy things;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

The beatific noontide on its eager breast
Springing and singing to its halcyon rest;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

In its starry vesture not a vestige of the sod,
Winging still and singing to the heart of God.
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010
Edited: Monday, December 19, 2011

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