The Great War

from Retrogression and Other Poems: Electronic Edition


OUT of the east wind, making gray

The face of the dejected day,

I stept into a minster, where

Aisles of praise and towers of prayer.

Fencing me from all the strife

Of this illegible, blurred life.

Took and folded up and furled

The undecipherable world.

And there it seemed that I forgot

All I would fain remember not;

Folly's works by fools adored;

The senseless gun, the soulless sword.

And through the flushed and jewelled gloom

That rubied some Crusader's tomb,

There rose and rolled a golden wave,

That, thundering down the cloudy nave,

Ravishingly with violence sweet

Stormed the earth from 'neath my feet,

Swept me as a leaf abroad

In great tides of billowing laud,

Leaving me at last afar,

Derelict on an island star,

Ruthlessly and blissfully

Cast up as jetsam of the sea

That visits with all-linking flow

Each heavenly archipelago.