Thursday, November 08, 2007


Gaze upon me, young man! Gaze upon my might;
And through me test the sinew of your limbs;
My stony pate you aim to reach, your glory to attain,
Before the light within your eyes bedims;

It seems the world is at your feet, but still there is my crown,
Which goads you on to measure out your will
But sun-bleached bones adorn my flanks, the host has come before
Though eons pass, there's no man's topped me still;

In the morning the light is white and bright
And the hard crust of old snow resists our boots
And tries to hold us up, but then breaks, like vanquished enemies;

We are so strong, so strong, not wrong
And every face smiles an appeal for something we give easily
And feel silly for being asked;

And now I find, I am refined, and not purblind
Every door falls down at the merest touch
Just as all fell before Alexander's open visage

There is none can stand before the truth of virtue

Come then, young man, come up and climb, the sun is riding high;
And truly it has not beheld your like;
As mighty Zeus who came before, a new age you have wrought
True virtue's flames shall all the world ignite!

In the day, heavy arms, spent charms, some harms
We measure our progress and allow a moment of incomplete triumph
All our works spread before us, as the nymphs before Narcissus;

But those at our feet we've had, so sad, not bad;
The apex is still above us, but a moment to rest
Just a moment to enjoy this harvest only partially reaped

There are powers in this world, we are but one

Alas, alas, you once-young man, my flanks are hard and steep
And climbing, you have come upon the truth
There is no crown above the clouds, no vista on the world
Alas the faded sanctity of youth!

In the evening the light is gray, this day's endplay,
Our feet are leaden in the snow, soggy with the thaw,
And complain as if our noble cause were a betrayal;

We see it now, I'll allow, somehow;
But blame us not for succumbing to the siren's song
Sung so sweetly, so sweetly, to the tune of strength and innocence and love

There is none can stand before the virtue of truth

Come then, old man, come rest your bones, the sun is sinking low;
And truly it has not beheld your like;
Though every man has come before, and every man will yet
True virtue's flames shall still the world ignite!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful poem.

Ah, the high ideals of youth, and the youthful vigor with which to try to attain them.....