National Poetry Month

Catching up!  OOPS…  I left announcements for the week, and posted the first two days but got so busy in Vancouver I never had a thought for posting here.  So, here is Thursday’s post:

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: The Burden of Time by Canadian poet George Frederick Scott.

Before the seas and mountains were brought forth

I reigned. I hung the universe in space,

I capped earth’s poles with ice to South and North,

And set the moving tides their bounds and place.

I smoothed the granite mountains with my hand,

   My fingers gave the continents their form;

I rent the heavens and loosed upon the land

The fury of the whirlwind and the storm.

I stretched the dark sea like a nether sky

Fronting the stars between the ice-clad zones;

I gave the deep his thunder; the Most High

Knows well the voice that shakes His mountain thrones.

I trod the ocean caverns black as night,

And silent as the bounds of outer space,

And where great peaks rose darkly towards the light

   I planted life to root and grow apace.

Then through a stillness deeper than the grave’s,

The coral spires rose slowly one by one,

Until the white shafts pierced the upper waves

And shone like silver in the tropic sun.

I ploughed with glaciers down the mountain glen,And graved the iron shore with stream and tide;

I gave the bird her nest, the lion his den,

The snake long jungle-grass wherein to hide.

In lonely gorge and over hill and plain,

   I sowed the giant forests of the world;

The great earth like a human heart in pain

Has quivered with the meteors I have hurled.

I plunged whole continents beneath the deep,

And left them sepulchred a million years;

I called, and lo, the drowned lands rose from sleep,

Sundering the waters of the hemispheres.

I am the lord and arbiter of man—

I hold and crush between my finger-tips

Wild hordes that drive the desert caravan,

   Great nations that go down to sea in ships.

In sovereign scorn I tread the races down,

As each its puny destiny fulfils,

On plain and island, or where huge cliffs frown,

Wrapt in the deep thought of the ancient hills.

The wild sea searches vainly round the landFor those proud fleets my arm has swept away;

Vainly the wind along the desert sand

Calls the great names of kings who once held sway.

Yea, Nineveh and Babylon the great

   Are fallen—like ripe ears at harvest-tide;

I set my heel upon their pomp and state,

The people’s serfdom and the monarch’s pride.

One doom waits all—art, speech, law, gods, and men,

Forests and mountains, stars and shining sun,

The hand that made them shall unmake again,

I curse them and they wither one by one.

Waste altars, tombs, dead cities where men trod,

Shall roll through space upon the darkened globe,

Till I myself be overthrown, and God

   Cast off creation like an outworn robe.

Frederick George Scott  was known as the Poet of the Laurentians. Scott published 13 books of Christian and patriotic poetry. Scott was a British imperialist who wrote many hymns to the British Empire—eulogizing his country’s roles in the Boer Wars and World War I. Many of his poems use the natural world symbolically to convey deeper spiritual meaning.

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