Robert Laurence Binyon

(1869-1943 / England)

The Crucible - Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon

Because thou camest, Love, to break
The strong mould of this world in two,
And of the senseless fragments take
And in thy mighty music make
A world more wondrous and more true,
Now my soul hath taken wings,
Newly bathed in light intense,
And purging off the film of sense,
Of its native glory sings.
And that inward vision, turning
Pomps of earth to vapour brief,
Sees as in a furnace burning
Time, a swiftly shrivelled leaf:
Sees the fortressed city fall
To a mound of nameless wall,
Shrining temple, columned porch,
Life--bought gems, and royal gold,
Shake like ashes from a torch;
Palaces, world--envied thrones,
Crumble down to dust as old
And idle as Behemoth's bones
On a frozen mountain--top.
I see the very mountains drop,
Wasting with their weight of stones
Swifter than a torrent slides,
Melted like the crimson cloud
Vanishing about their sides
When the morn has burst his shroud.

Love, Love, because thou didst destroy
So much, and madest so much vain,
I know what lives and shall remain,
I see amid Time's gorgeous wane
The dawn and promise of my joy.
O lift me thither, lift me higher!
I am not save in this desire,
Lost and living, fire in fire.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010



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