Robert Laurence Binyon

(1869-1943 / England)

The Two Desires - Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon

What is the spirit's desire,
Sprung, springing, singing,
Fountain--fresh, rainbowed over with lights that awaken
The inner dishevelled crystal, starrily shaken
To sevenfold changes of fire?
Youth in its wonder aflower,
Up to the sun swinging,
A March daffodil, braves the bright wind's cold--
Sensitive silken softness, yet how bold
Against the cold snow--flurry and sleet shower!
Because it seeks--what mark
Beyond the tower of the lark
Who sees the dawn from the dark?
Only itself to unfold,
Expand, outpour, be told,
All, all to utter,--
Delicate thought's moth--flutter,
And hope's proud--sweeping voyage of wings sky--reaping;
To soar and to explore
In the midst of this mind--soiling
Earth--medley, and flesh--toiling
Cares, betrayal, and pain's returning sting;
Still to spring, still to sing,
Flame and flower of the mind,
Seeking bliss in this,--
Itself, itself to find.

What is the spirit's desire?
--Comes Experience after,
Experience and Comparison, mockers old.
Trail of a tarnishing cloud is heavily rolled,
And, harsher than shadow or cold,
Pitiless light searches the shallows of laughter
For terrible truth in the world rock--seated.
Yet not because shadow--fearing or world--defeated
But natively in its own unprompted sort,
Because of desire profounder than desire,
O now where aims the spirit? Higher, higher
Than ever flight up--carried it! Now that aim
Is a greatness greater than hero's name and fame,
A beauty passionate more than flesh can support,
Divine greatness, divine beauty, a pain
Appeasing all pains; flying not blight or bruise,
But seeking its own afar--conceived resort,
The spirit is only fain
Itself to lose,
Lose, lose.


Comments about The Two Desires by Robert Laurence Binyon

There is no comment submitted by members..



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010



[Report Error]