Friday, April 10, 2015

Awing the World with Age or Beauty

To the Sibyls
by John Hanmer


Where are ye, Sibyls, ye who on far shores,
Persic, or Libyan, or Cumaean cave,
Awing the world with age or beauty, gave
Response that Time e'en yet fears and adores,
Still questioning; for each stroke of Charon's oars,
As ghosts of years go by his icy wave,
Sends upwards through the portals of the grave
A vague dread voice, that like an earthquake roars;
And, "when above the dust and unclean bones
Of this vile generation shall be cast
A little earth," some listening seer exclaims,
"Thus shall it be, and thus,"—meanwhile the blast
Of strife goes on; and battling codes, or thrones,
From the blue sky the quiet rainbow shames.

Baron Hanmer -- it was Baronet when he wrote this sonnet -- was better known as a politician and Member of Parliament.

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