In Darkness

Original Text: 

The Conquerors and Other Poems (London: Macmillan, 1935): 23-24

1Lying awake in the dark
2I have suddenly thought
3(At the clasp of unseen fingers under my head),
4"God is no more
5Than any apple-bough, then,
6Where the birds of the air have nest --
7Than the little, hardly-sought
8Home of the field-mouse, high in the tawny grain,
9Where the spoiler looks in vain;
10Than the lowly earthen door
11Where the vixen runs to hide, as the bold hunt passes
12In flurry of blood-red music and blood-crazed men;
13Than the bending meadow grasses
14Under the breast of the lark."
15Lying awake in the night
16I have watched with dread
17The wheel of white stars, turning against the sky;
18For the lack of one would mean that Beauty is dead
19And her lovers' lips shall parch at a well run dry.
20Yet one by one, Saturn, Orion, Mars,
22Slowly took wing from their purple nest on high,
23A flock of wild swans straining in silver flight,
24And the flare of their way to the shrouded dayspring streams.
25Never a diamond plume from their wings shall fall,
26For these are deathless, as all
27Great or little, who yield them to loveliness.
28God is no less
29Than any galaxy, then --
30Than the farthest palace of dreams
31Built for the longing of men.

Notes

21] Betelgeuse: a bright, reddish star in the constellation Orion, usually considered the eighth or tenth brightest star in the night sky. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1933
Publication Notes: 

Auckland Star, Dec. 2, 1933, Supplement: 1.

RPO poem Editors: 
Camerson La Follette
Data Entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
Rhyme: 
Form: