Saturday, 8 October 2011

From Men Who Died Deluded

This is the time to speak to those who will come after,
To those who will climb the mountain-tops although
The continual clouds have crept down upon us
And we cannot tell any more how far there is to go.

This is the time to set our lips on great horns and blow
Far down the years a note to reach them when
They are failing on the crest before the end,
To fall on their ears like a sweet hail from men.

Who did not reach so far but blessed their march,
From men who died deluded, far below the peak,
The self-destroyed, unwilling, blinded, caught,
Yet who believed, yet who desired to speak‑

Dying, to blow a horn for those who come after,
despairing, to send up one clear note from the edge of death
And as the victors falter to salute them proudly
With the hope we cherished with our final breath.

This is the time, this dark time, this bewildered
To give our mortal lives that the great peaceful places
May surely be attained by those who, when they falter,
Must be confronted by the living vision on our dead faces.
May Sarton (1912 - 1995)

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