The Song of the Worlds

Clark Ashton Smith

Along our sun-appointed ways
Gulf into gulf expires;
We know the length of peaceless gyres,
The urge that never stays.

Flung in the bonds of solar force,
We measure sky on sky,
Where marginless immensity
Protracts our labored course.

Across the hyaline profund
Our bridging circles run;
Within far-sunk abysses spun
We consummate their round.

We mark our gleaming sisters whirl,
Gulf-alienated far,
Where puny world and giant star
Seem but as atom-swirl.

Fonts of incalculable fire,
The further suns outblaze;
Rushing adown torrential ways,
Their gleams advance, retire.

Planet and star, in one unrest,
The ceaseless systems flame.
O universe, unto what aim
Thine orbit-streaming quest?

Oh! culminate fore'er witheld!
Oh! purpose dark alway!
Through desert night and futile day
Our cosmic search impelled

Finds no conclusive boundaries,
Nor comprehending mark;
No limitations of the dark,
Nor shore of spacial seas.

Along the segment vasts of Time
Whose chasmal ├Žons fall,
Age upon age eventual,
Our gyres unswerving climb.

Borne by the years' unebbing tide,
We find immensitude,
Were dreamt horizon-lines elude,
And no confines abide.

Prisoned in Time's infinity,
Twin with eternal space,
How shall our gulf-engirdling race
Avail to set us free?

In vain through gyral years we think
To reach beyond the abyss
Some void-ulterior precipice,
Some space-restraining brink.

Cursed with immutable unrest,
The sun-impulse that goads
Along reiterated roads,
Upon a circled quest,

Whereto is found no binding bourne,
We shall not still to rest,
Until, to lasting night addressed,
The master suns, outworn,

From shadowed, darkling sovereignty -
Their time-rescinded reigns -
Relax and loose our olden chains,
And cast us gulfward, free.

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