The Survival Of The Gods

1 Twilight
The gods of Nature abdicate
When man intrudes too far:
The Dryad leaves her woodland state,
And Jove his thunder-car:

No more Apollo reins the sun
Or Neptune rides the sea,
The race of Oread is run,
And Pan has ceased to be:

The formless Winds are roaming through
Druidic grove and vale:
Deserted Asgard and Meru
For Thor and Indra wail:

Majestic Forms oblivion 'scape
As kelpie, sylph, and gnome,
Astarte hides in gentler shape,
And Vestals hearthless roam:

Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers,
Fall from Their Mystic Tree,
And sacrilegious Time devours
Each Principality.

2 Sceptic:
Whatever dramas of the Vast
About our drama play,
Or necromancies from the past

Project their gloom to-day,
We seem to hear the Uncreate
Slowly let this be known-
That man has fashioned all his fate
And stands, on earth, alone:

That all he needs was in him stored,
Material and plan;
That ne'er was deity adored
But first was made by man.

3 The Abiding Gods:
But tho' we mumble sceptic saw,
Or sweet old prayers forget;
And tho' we dream of Higher Law,
The gods are living yet:

For they who will no Monitor,
Save One Unnamed, allow,
Allegiance deep to Love or War,
Or Chance or Wind avow:

Avow by no mere cult of names,
No pattering of creeds,
But by the sacrificial flames
Of lifelong thoughts and deeds.

When mediaeval hurricane
The gods in exile drove,
'Thrice-greatest' Hermes and his train
Usurped the seats of Jove:

Where still their Wisdom rules the spheres
Of yet uncharted Law,
By building in our nerves the fears
Our sires in Nature saw:

In other garments everywhere,
Behold, the prophetess,
Clairaudient interpreter,
Clairvoyant Pythoness!

Suburban Delphis for the rich,
The Gnosis for the staid!
Perennial by the road, the witch
Of Endor plies her trade!

4 Mystic:
All is not daylight in the day,
Or knowledge in the known;
The life we are, the prayer we pray,
From deep, to deep, is blown.

Though Reason claim omniscient worth
And lush her dogmas thrive:
Our present home is more than earth,
Our senses more than five.

And the mystic who sees the star-folk throng,
Where we but the noonday blue,
Knows no religion yet was wrong
And never a myth untrue.

The wrong road now was the old high way
Of young Truth's caravan;
To-morrow is not to-day, to-day,
Or the baby yet a man.

Though mountain watchmen daily see
Horizons widen far,
Dominions of the Boundary
Have ever ruled, and are.

5 Heracleitic:
The lines of godhood all converge
At last to unity:
And the images of all emerge
From every god we see.

So Hermes here and Venus there
Are Memory, are Fate;
And all are Winds; and the Sirens fair
Mute in the Wisdoms wait.

All life is a stream and mortals stand
On a heaving and passing earth:
And the land of gods is a changing land
As the land that gave it birth.

Life is a stream: through a gorge we go
'Tween a deep and a living deep:
Form is the gorge, and change is the flow,
And the source and the mouth are sleep.

6 Historic:
Torrential barbarisms need
Charioteers of Pain:
And wise gods sleep when men recede
To callow youth again.

But in that age-long sleep have waned
A myriad gods, or fled:
Olympic altars are disdained
And Gnostic Wisdom dead.

For what to Vandals or to Huns,
When Rome's red lips were ripe,
Were calm Hellenic Shining Ones,
Or Gnostic Archetype?

Yet Time matured to mellow wine
The Roman-Gothic must,
For Mercy and a Maid Divine
Subdued the hate and lust:

Till Hedonist and Stoic hold
Antique debates anew:
And hither return the virtues old
(Alas! and old vice too!).

Marooned no more, we sail the sea,
Ere sad gods were, we knew:
And from Platonic prows decree-
'The gods are Me, are You!'

7 Omni-Benevolence:
Yet, shaping slowly through the storm
And bidding darkness fade,
Evolving eyes discern a Form
No clay-creator made:

A Symbol Form that mirrors ours,
That is, yet is not, we,
That seems to hint of Higher Powers
Than Fate or Memory:

That takes the image as we gaze
Of the Holiest Ones that were:
For here It looks from Jesus' face,
And from Mohammed's, there:

'Tis Moses, yea, 'tis Krishna's form;
'Tis fire, 'tis star, 'tis sun:
A myriad now Its faces swarm,
Now, All and It are One:

The Chinese 'Way' one watcher sees,
And one a Brooding Dove,
One Baldur, Buddh or Socrates-
But always It is Love.