Within the Void

Some there are who must endeavour
                         night by night in dreams forever
Ceaselessly to count each separate
                         leaf upon the forest trees.
Others dream that on the traces
                         of a form with many faces
They are borne through desert places,
                          over cities, mountains, seas.
Oh, how often have I followed
                          after shadow such as these--
Shadow changing as it flees.

With what ardour have I followed,
                           with what sorrow seen it swallowed
By the cloudy red horizon,
                          or have watched it fade and blend
With the mist, and wept till, seeing
                           far away a spectral being
Rising once again and fleeing--
                           and I never comprehend
Whether shape of fiend or angel
                           floats before me on the wind--
Still I follow without end.

Shielded by the power that bears me
                            in the whirlwind's heart and spares me,
I have passed through life's enchantments,
                            reefs and pitfalls undestroyed.
So have I watched tempests blowing,
                            oceans surging, sunsets glowing,
World on world beneath me flowing--
                            all things seen and none enjoyed.
So have all the flaming ardours
                            of my spirit been employed
Fruitlessly within the void.

Ann Keith

If you have any comments on this poem, Ann Keith  would be pleased to hear from you.