Wednesday, August 17, 2011

some final innocence to save from dust

What I Expected
- Stephen Spender



What I expected was

Thunder, fighting,

Long struggles with men

And climbing.

After continual straining

I should grow strong:

Then the rocks would shake

And I should rest long.



What I had not foreseen

Was the gradual day

Weakening the will

Leaking the brightness away,

The lack of good to touch

The fading of body and soul

Like smoke before wind

Corrupt, unsubstantial.



The wearing of Time,

And the watching of cripples pass

With limbs shaped like questions

In their odd twist.

The pulverous grief

Melting the bones with pity.

The sick falling from earth

These, I could not foresee.



For I had expected always

Some brightness to hold in trust,

Some final innocence

To save from dust;

That, hanging solid,

Would dangle through all

Like the created poem

Or the dazzling crystal.

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