Mandragora/A Face

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A Face
by John Cowper Powys
Published in Mandragora (1917)

IF I could only pass
  Into that ultimate later time
Where the solemn planets cease to climb,
And one unruffled sea of glass
    Breaks on the sand with monotonous fall,
    Calls to the land with continuous call,
Breaks and ebbs and flows and drifts,
While its endless motion lifts
    The grey-cold tops of unearthly reeds
And marge to desolate marge succeeds.
    With never the trunk of a single tree;
If I could only see
    The face of the wind in that ultimate place,
I think it would be less heavy with dreams,
    Less heavy with dreams of sea-weeds drifting.
    Less heavy with dreams of reed-tops lifting,
    Than the human face of one I know!
If I could only go
    Into that passionless later time
Where long sea-memories rock like rhyme.
    And the sun and moon forever set.
    Tinge all with eternal violet.
The face of the wind in that ultimate spot
    Where all is equal and nothing forgot,
Would have the look of a face I know
Or dreamed long ago that I know —
    Heavy with joy — heavy with woe!


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

The author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 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.