The Great War

from War: an Ode And Other Poems, an electronic edition

To Sir William Watson

(On the Occasion of his Receiving an LL.D. from Aberdeen University)

NOT by such music as Amphion played;

Not by the subtile silt of ancient seas

Building an oozy rock by slow degrees,

Terrace on terrace in the ocean shade,

Not so the granite corner-stones were laid.

But forged by Nature's procreant decrees,

In roaring subterranean furnaces,

Most painfully, most passionately made.

They came forth molten. And each granite street,

Each hoary pinnacle, and frosty spire,

Remembering the fierce parturient heat,

Hail the marmorean music of thy lyre,

Forged by thy poet heart's impassioned heat

In a crater's crimson crucible of fire.