The Towers Of Time Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Under what withering leprous lightA
The very grass as hair is greyB
Grass in the cracks of the paven courtsC
Of gods we graved but yesterdayB
Senate republic empire allD
We leaned our backs on like a wallD
And blessed as stron as strong and blamed as stolidE
Can it be these that waver and fallD
And what is this like a ghost returningF
A dream grown strong in the strong daylightA
The all forsaken the unforgottenG
The ever behind and out of sightA
We turned our backs and our blind flesh felt itH
Growing and growing a tower in heightA
Ah not alone the evil splendourB
And not the insolent arms aloneG
Break with the ramrod stiff and brittleI
The sceptre of the nordic throneG
But things of manlier renownG
Reel in the wreck of throne and crownG
With tyrannous tyranny tyrannous loyaltyJ
Tyrannous liberty all gone downG
There is never a crack in the ivory towerB
Or a hinge to groan in the house of goldK
Or a leaf of the rose in the wind to witherB
And she grows young as the world grows oldK
A Woman clothed with the sun returningF
to clothe the sun when the sun is coldK
Ah who had guessed that in a momentL
Great Liberty that loosed the tribesM
the Republic of the young men's battlesN
Grew stale and stank of old men's bribesM
And where we watched her smile in powerB
A statue like a starry towerB
the stone face sneers as in a nightmareB
Down on a world that worms devourB
Archaic incredible dead dawns breakingF
Deep in the deserts and waste and wealdsM
Where the dead cry aloud on Our Lady of VictoriesM
Queen of the Eagles aloft on the shieldsM
And the sun is gone up on the Thundering LegionG
On the roads of Rome to the BattlefieldsM
Ah who had known who had not seenG
How soft and sudden on the fameO
Of my most noble English shipsM
The sunset light of Carthage cameO
And the thing I never had dreamed could beJ
In the house of my fathers came to meJ
Through the sea wall cloven the cloud and darkP
A voice divided a doubtful seaJ
The light is bright on the Tower of DavidQ
The evening glows with the morning starB
In the skies turned back and the days returningF
She walks so near who had wandered farB
And in the heart of the swords the seven times woundedE
Was never wearied as our hearts areB
How swift as with a fall of snowG
New things grow hoary with the lightA
We watch the wrinkles crawl like snakesM
On the new image in our sightA
The lines that sprang up taut and boldK
Sag like primordial monsters oldK
Sink in the bas reliers of fossilI
And the slow earth swallows them fold on foldK
But light are the feet on the hills of the morningF
Of the lambs that leap up to the Bride of the SunG
And swift are the birds as the butterflies flashingF
And sudden as laughter the rivulets runG
And sudden for ever as summer lightningF
the light is bright on the world begunG
Thou wilt not break as we have brokenG
The towers we reared to rival TheeJ
More true to England than the EnglishR
More just to freedom than the freeJ
O trumpet of the intolerant truthS
Thou art more full of grace and ruthS
For the hopes of th world than the world that made themT
The world that murdered the loves of our youthS
Thou art more kind to our dreams Our MotherB
Than the wise that wove us the dreams for shadeU
God if more good to the gods that mocked HimV
Than men are good to the gods they madeU
Tenderer with toys than a boy grown brutalI
Breaking the puppets with which he playedU
What are the flowers the garden guards notW
And how but here should dreams returnG
And how on hearths made cold with ruinG
the wide wind scattered ashes burnG
What is the home of the heart set freeJ
And where is the nesting of libertyJ
And where from the world shall the world take shelterB
And man be matter and not with TheeJ
Wisdom is set in her throne of thunderB
The Mirror of Justice blinds the dayB
Where are the towers that are not of the CityJ
Trophies and trumpetings where are theyB
Where over the maze of the world returningF
The bye ways bend to the King's highwayB

Gilbert Keith Chesterton


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