George Santayana

(16 December 1863 - 26 September 1952 / Madrid)

The Poet's Testament

Poem by George Santayana

I give back to the earth what the earth gave,
All to the furrow, none to the grave,
The candle's out, the spirit's vigil spent;
Sight may not follow where the vision went.

I leave you but the sound of many a word
In mocking echoes haply overheard,
I sang to heaven. My exile made me free,
from world to world, from all worlds carried me.

Spared by the furies, for the Fates were kind,
I paced the pillared cloisters of the mind;
All times my present, everywhere my place,
Nor fear, nor hope, nor envy saw my face.

Blow what winds would, the ancient truth was mine,
And friendship mellowed in the flush of wine,
And heavenly laughter, shaking from its wings
Atoms of light and tears for mortal things.

To trembling harmonies of field and cloud,
Of flesh and spirit was my worship vowed.
Let form, let music, let all quickening air
Fulfil in beauty my imperfect prayer.

Comments about The Poet's Testament by George Santayana

  • * Sunprincess * (9/16/2015 8:00:00 PM)

    .............nicely the theme ★(Report)Reply

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  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (9/16/2015 3:23:00 PM)

    Lovely poem. I give back all till no more left to give is the sentiment that one can feel most satisfied about.(Report)Reply

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  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (9/16/2015 2:29:00 PM)

    P.S. Who translated it and why weren't they given credit?(Report)Reply

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  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (9/16/2015 2:28:00 PM)

    Very nice in English, but I would bet it's even better in the original Spanish. Does anyone know where I can find a copy of it in Spanish? Thanks.(Report)Reply

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  • Seema JayaramanSeema Jayaraman (9/16/2015 6:36:00 AM)

    the mellow flight of time...the ultimate truth that we can only give back to earth anyways it was never ours take..beautiful poem(Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (9/16/2015 2:35:00 AM)

    The poet's testament is the testament of life! Nice work.(Report)Reply

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  • David WoodDavid Wood (9/16/2015 2:08:00 AM)

    A delighrful poem on a sad theme.(Report)Reply

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  • Bernard SnyderBernard Snyder (9/16/2015 12:35:00 AM)

    Such a lovely poem. Wow!(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: laughter, music, truth, beauty, fear, heaven, hope, world, light, wind

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003