Wednesday, December 23, 2009

As I Bent Beneath The Rod

Rather than introducing this poem, today I will let Robert Service introduce it. Here is his poem The Quest along with his own preface to it.

"Calvert tries to paint more than the thing he sees; he tries to paint behind it, to express its spirit. He believes the Beauty is God made manifest, and that when we discover Him in Nature we discover Him in ourselves.

But Calvert did not always see thus. At one time he was a Pagan, content to paint the outward aspect of things. It was after his little chld died he gained in vision. Maybe the thought that the dead are lost to us was too unbearable. He had to believe in a coming together again."


I sought Him on the purple seas,
I sought Him on the peaks aflame;
Amid the gloom of giant trees
And canyons lone I called His name;
The wasted ways of earth I trod:
In vain! In vain! I found not God.

I sought Him in the hives of men
The cities grand, the hamlets grey,
The temples old beyond my ken,
The tabernacles of to-day;
All life that is, from cloud to clod
I sought . . . Alas! I found not God.

Then after roamings far and wide,
In streets and seas and deserts wild,
I came to stand at last beside
the death-bed of my little child.
Lo! as I bent beneath the rod
I raised my eyes . . . and there was God.

1 comment:

John W. May said...

Great read ... I could almost sense the poem peaking from the very first line, and sure enough BAM! Awesome read.

I love his rhyme scheme here.