Still the Darkling Skies are Red
From Ashtaroth




Still the darkling skies are red,
Though the day-god’s course is run;
Heavenly night-lamps overhead
Flash and twinkle one by one.
Idle dreamer-earth-born elf!
Vainly grasping heavenly things,
Wherefore weariest thou thyself
With thy vain imaginings?

From the tree of knowledge first,
Since his parents pluck’d the fruit,
Man, with partial knowledge curs’d
Of the tree still seeks the root;
Musty volumes crowd thy shelf-
Which of these true knowledge brings?
Wherefore weariest thou thyself
With thy vain imaginings?

Will the stars from heaven descend?
Can the earth-worm soar and rise?
Can the mortal comprehend
Heaven’s own hallow’d mysteries?
Greed and glory, power and pelf-
These are won by clowns and kings;
Wherefore weariest thou thyself
With thy vain imaginings?    

Sow and reap, and toil and spin;
Eat and drink, and dream and die;
Man may strive, yet never win,
And I laugh the while and cry-
Idle dreamer- earth-born elf!
Vainly grasping heavenly things,
Wherefore weariest thou thyself
With thy vain imaginings?
                 Adam Lindsay Gordon


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