George Sterling

(1869-1926 / United States)

Caeli Enarrant - Poem by George Sterling

Oh I marvellous the skies
Ere sunset close
Its rich, enormous rose,
Or dawn, too late,
Seem a supernal gate
That opens into midmost Paradise !

And yet more fair and strange
The silent dome
Of midnight's vigilled home,
Where star and star
The silent sentries arc
Of ramparts built beyond the reach of change.

A thousand years from hence
Could I again
Within the House of Pain
Stand forth and see,
Their solemn legionry
Were stationed in the Vast's circumference.

In governed ranks unstirred
Shall they abide,
In panoply and pride
Of guarding flame—
The watchword still the same
And changeless still their battle-song unheard.

But man flow changed, I dream!
At last, at last,
Made wiser by the past,
Shall not he cease
From deeds that mar his peace,
And human Brotherhood be found supreme?

Shall not the nations laugh,
And in their joy
War's crimson fane destroy,
And love assoil
The darker stains of toil-
Burning dead laws and sophistries like chaff ?

Oh! by the years made wise,
Joy man forego
Joy from his brother's woe,
Till o'er the mirth
Of our transfigured earth
The stars shall beam as once o'er Paradise !

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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