John Eliot

'Narcissus '

The seasons came and passed away,
The woods were green, then golden, then bare:
The weeds grew and then swiftly decayed-
As of his presence unaware.

But there he was in the quiet glade
Beside the stream that cleaved apart
The earth: - resting upon a mossy crag
That stood in the dark green thicket's heart.

He leaned over the clear water below-
Which flowed on -the eternal follower of time:
Not a moment did it wait to glance
At his face so handsome and sublime.

For the beauty will not reside for long,
In the depths of that youthful, sweet visage;
With time it will be disfigured and old,
And marked with wrinkles bestowed by age.

Yet he stooped upon the waters below
And stared at the image of his own face;
The wind laughed at him as it flowed on,
To trace its unknown arduous ways.

The rill, mocked him as the torrents swept
Past the crag and disturbed the view-
Which he could get of his face so fair,
Upon the waters so clear as dew.


At night his fairness he compared
With the darkness of the open sky;
The stars, he felt, lacked the beauty he had-
While they were lit at night and in the morning died.

The moon with its soft radiance,
He regarded as a worthless jewel because,
Its fair face was blotted with dark marks
But his was in dearth of all such flaws.

The moon, the stars, the night all laughed,
At his futile thoughts and while he tossed
His fair head with loathed mockery and pride,
The breeze whispered that all will once be lost.

But he paid no heed and on he gazed
At the glassy rill that before him lay:
Loving the image of his flawless face,
Unaware that it will one day be torn away.

Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 3, 2009

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Comments about 'Narcissus ' by John Eliot

  • Yashaswi Chauhan (4/8/2016 3:59:00 AM)

    Nice

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  • Ernestine NorthoverErnestine Northover (11/6/2009 1:38:00 PM)

    I think this is a beautiful poem, ethereal, dreamy, spiritual. I really enjoyed reading it. Excellent.
    Love Ernestine XXX

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