Friday, February 22, 2019

Poem Retrospective XXII

This began as an adaptation of part of a poem attributed to Seneca; I then detached it from the larger context and gave it a slightly more Norse twist.


Swiftly spring to winter tends,
all things hurry to their place,
but swifter far than to this end
our human hearts to nothing race.
With nothing left, no more than death,
the final goal, so swiftly found,
let craving flee with fleeing breath,
resign to fate with reason sound,
and, if you fear the heart's last beat,
then bury fear within the grave.
Time and night do not retreat.
Death will not in mercy save.
The road before is yet unknown;
who of our spirit's fate is sure?
Ask those now laid beneath the stone,
ask those who never lived nor were!
But still the battle-lines are drawn,
and still I stand, though but a husk,
and though there may not be a dawn,
I yet may have a hero's dusk.

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