The Talking Fish (An Occult Poem)

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The Talking Fish (An Occult Poem)
by William James Roe

I swam in the deep, unimpeded and free;
My home was the ancient Devonian sea.
I followed the course of the currents that flow,
Or I waited in eddies long ages ago.

Unknowing, unthinking, I sported and bred;
In my sensuous greed on my fellows I fed.
The light of your world was a meaningless glare,
And "death" was my name for your life-giving air.

Yet deep in my soul there was something amiss—
Some vitality greater and better than this;
For I felt the pure touch of the air on my gills—
Of a race higher up that its potency thrills.

Like a bird from its nest on a wind-bended bough,
From the Past, vague and silent, has fluttered the Now.
Proud man, looking up at your dazzling sky,
Are you better or braver or wiser than I?

When you scan the vast void of the measureless blue
And the points of the stars of the night pricking through?
When across your racked senses the spirit is swirled
Coming down to the gloom of an ignorant world?


Let the truth far above you come up from below—
Immortality's hope from long ages ago;
The grace that impelled when I dripped from the seas,
In my simian home; in the neoliths' trees;

That speaks in the spirit and breathes in the air;
Through eons of rising that counseled us there,
And balked our low self that it dared to impede—
The growth of the rose from the wilderness weed.

That was writ in a book or revealed by a man,
Either found or invented and wrought to his plan;
With his glow in the gloom and his warmth in the chill,
Who comes all the laws to destroy—and fulfil.

He proffers the promise of old made anew—
All the power of Truth to the heart that is true;
All the might of the light in the darkness that hides,
And your hand to the helm that the universe guides.

How happy of old I had been had I known
I should live in the flower whose bud was unblown!
I should know as I dreamed, understand as I guessed,
And leave to All-Power—as you may—the rest.


Slow move the wise ways that the Wonderful keeps,
And rich the ripe harvest Eternity reaps;
Life, rising forever from crown unto crown—
For the soul may look up as the intellect down.