A Hymn (Marquis)

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A Hymn  (1915) 
by Don Marquis
From Dreams and Dust published in 1915

CLOTHED on with thunder and with steel
And black against the dawn
The whirling armies clash and reel. . . .
A wind, and they are gone
Like mists withdrawn,
Like mists withdrawn!

Like clouds withdrawn, like driven sands,
Earth's body vanisheth:
One solid thing unconquered stands,
The ghost that humbles death.
All else is breath,
All else is breath!

Man rose from out the stinging slime,
Half brute, and sought a soul,
And up the starrier ways of time,
Half god, unto his goal,

He still must climb,
He still must climb!

What though worlds stagger, and the suns
Seem shaken in their place,
Trust thou the leaping love that runs
Creative over space:
Take heart of grace,
Take heart of grace!

What though great kingdoms fall on death
Before the stabbing blade,
Their brazen might was only breath,
Their substance but a shade--
Be not dismayed,
Be not dismayed!

Man's dream which conquered brute and clod
Shall fail not, but endure,
Shall rise, though beaten to the sod,
Shall hold its vantage sure--
As sure as God,
As sure as God!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1937, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.