Beauty Of The Embers - Poem by gershon hepner
The beauty of the embers, not the fire,
lasts only while they burn, and when they die
lose those warm colors that all men admire.
With dying embers we identify,
so gather to the fire that we stoke
with words, and laughter that is hard to feign,
although the beauty that we still evoke
lacks lightness of the heart. Legerdemain
can’t conjure from the cooling embers heat,
but may deceive the hopeful eyes and heart
of those whom still remain and care to eat
the apples from our fallen applecart.
Inspired by “Of Growing Old” by John Masefield, a recording of the first verse of which was broadcast on KUSC this morning, read with an extremely sonorous voice by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
On Growing Old
Be with me, Beauty, for the fire is dying;
My dog and I are old, too old for roving.
Man, whose young passion sets the spindrift flying,
Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving.
I take the book and gather to the fire,
Turning old yellow leaves; minute by minute
The clock ticks to my heart. A withered wire,
Moves a thin ghost of music in the spinet.
I cannot sail your seas, I cannot wander
Your cornland, nor your hill-land, nor your valleys
Ever again, nor share the battle yonder
Where the young knight the broken squadron rallies.
Only stay quiet while my mind remembers
The beauty of fire from the beauty of embers.
Beauty, have pity! for the strong have power,
The rich their wealth, the beautiful their grace,
Summer of man its sunlight and its flower.
Spring-time of man, all April in a face.
Only, as in the jostling in the Strand,
Where the mob thrusts, or loiters, or is loud,
The beggar with the saucer in his hand
Asks only a penny from the passing crowd,
So, from this glittering world with all its fashion,
Its fire, and play of men, its stir, its march,
Let me have wisdom, Beauty, wisdom and passion,
Bread to the soul, rain when the summers parch.
Give me but these, and though the darkness close
Even the night will blossom as the rose.
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