Poems

One Score and Ten and One

One score and ten and one, burning, a yet set sun
Broke its shadow o'er the peak behind me,
Casting dark to my eyes like a star only lies.
What unhappy surprise, earth turned shaded sea
To grope upon, haunted by my greatest deed-
Sacrifice unseen.

That fell mountain I climbed, in pursuit of a sign,
As though 'twere Olympus I glimpsed in a dream.
But when I ascended, my purpose there ended
While the gods pretended to overlook me,
Mistake me for some rake of humanity!
I could scarce but breathe.

Aghast, then I stumbled, nearly headlong crumbled,
Down the stark far face of that desolate peak.
Returning unbroken with my hollow token
Of vows I had spoken so eloquently.
'Have I cindered myself or an effigy?'
Asked a memory.

To myself I replied, ''Tis merely Youth here died
And Wisdom (though kin) will but mourn him briefly.'
Striding where I would run toward battles yet won,
One score and ten and one, still on, still burning
The lightless fire, for man oft needs dark to see
True divinity.