George Edward Woodberry

(1855-1930 / United States)

The Flight - Poem by George Edward Woodberry

O WILD heart, track the land’s perfume,
Beach-roses and moor-heather!
All fragrances of herb and bloom
Fail, out at sea, together.
O follow where aloft find room
Lark-song and eagle-feather!
All ecstasies of throat and plume
Melt, high on yon blue weather.

O leave on sky and ocean lost
The flight creation dareth;
Take wings of love, that mounts the most:
Find fame, that furthest fareth!
Thy flight, albeit amid her host
Thee, too, night star-like beareth,
Flying, thy breast on heaven’s coast,
The infinite outweareth.


“Dead o’er us roll celestial fires;
Mute stand Earth’s ancient beaches;
Old thoughts, old instincts, old desires,
The passing hour outreaches;
The soul creative never tires—
Evokes, adores, beseeches;
And that heart most the god inspires
Whom most its wildness teaches.

“For I will course through falling years
And stars and cities burning;
And I will march through dying cheers
Past empires unreturning;
Ever the world flame reappears
Where mankind power is earning,
The nations’ hopes, the people’s tears,
One with the wild heart yearning.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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