Shall pour red wrath upon us over a world deform.

Thrice happy, O Despoina, were the men who were alive

In the great age and the golden age when still the cycle ran

On upward curve and easily, for them both maid and man

And beast and tree and spirit in the green earth could thrive.

But now one age is ending, and God calls home the stars

And looses the wheel of the ages and sends it spinning back

Amid the death of nations, and points a downward track,

And madness is come over us and great and little wars.

He has not left one valley, one isle of fresh and green

Where old friends could forgather amid the howling wreck.

It's vainly we are praying. We cannot, cannot check

The Power who slays and puts aside the beauty that has been.

It's truth they tell, Despoina, none hears the heart's complaining

For Nature will not pity, nor the red God lend an ear,

Yet I too have been mad in the hour of bitter paining

And lifted up my voice to God, thinking that he could hear

The curse wherewith I cursed Him because the Good was dead.

But lo! I am grown wiser, knowing that our own hearts

Have made a phantom called the Good, while a few years have sped

Over a little planet. And what should the great Lord know of it

Who tosses the dust of chaos and gives the suns their parts?

Hither and thither he moves them; for an hour we see the show of it:

Only a little hour, and the life of the race is done.

And here he builds a nebula, and there he slays a sun

And works his own fierce pleasure. All things he shall fulfill,

And O, my poor Despoina, do you think he ever hears

The wail of hearts he has broken, the sound of human ill?

He cares not for our virtues, our little hopes and fears,

And how could it all go on, love, if he knew of laughter and tears?

Ah, sweet, if a man could cheat him! If you could flee away

Into some other country beyond the rosy West,

To hide in the deep forests and be for ever at rest

From the rankling hate of God and the outworn world's decay!

IX. Night

After the fret and failure of this day,

And weariness of thought, O Mother Night,

Come with soft kiss to soothe our care away

And all our little tumults set to right;

Most pitiful of all death's kindred fair,

Riding above us through the curtained air

On thy dusk car, thou scatterest to the earth

Sweet dreams and drowsy charms of tender might

And lovers' dear delight before to-morrow's birth.

Thus art thou wont thy quiet lands to leave

And pillared courts beyond the Milky Way,

Wherein thou tarriest all our solar day

While unsubstantial dreams before thee weave

A foamy dance, and fluttering fancies play

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