The Great War

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


"Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect. In thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them."

By what unseen and subtile bands

Were you two lovers bound and wed?

By tiny unborn baby-hands

Your spirits were together led.

Your meeting passions, seeming-blind

Were in Life's prescient control;

You looked--there was conceived a mind;

You smiled--there was conceived a soul;

You kissed--and in the country dim

That lies beyond the bounds of space,

Foreshadowed was a baby's limb,

Prefigured was a baby's face.

This was your love's supernal source,

And this its mystic mundane goal,--

The grip of the creative Force

That needs a body for a soul.

O wondrous is the eugeny,

That finds a soul its avatar;

God's baby-dream you could not see

Drew you together from afar;

And if perchance you lovers twain

Had been by Fate asunder torn,

Then had God's baby-dream been vain,

A baby soul had died unborn.