Growth of Man -- like Growth of Nature --
Gravitates within --
Atmosphere, and Sun endorse it --
Bit it stir -- alone --
Each -- its difficult Ideal
Must achieve -- Itself --
Through the solitary prowess
Of a Silent Life --
Effort -- is the sole condition --
Patience of Itself --
Patience of opposing forces --
And intact Belief --
Looking on -- is the Department
Of its Audience --
But Transaction -- is assisted
By no Countenance --
Since, Lord, to thee
A narrow way and little gate
Is all the passage, on my infancy
Thou didst lay hold, and antedate
My faith in me.
O let me still
Write thee great God, and me a child:
Let me be soft and supple to thy will,
Small to my self, to others mild,
Although by stealth
My flesh get on, yet let her sister
My soul bid nothing, but preserve her wealth:
The growth of flesh is but a blister;
Childhood is health.
He gave away his Life --
To Us -- Gigantic Sum --
A trifle -- in his own esteem --
But magnified -- by Fame --
Until it burst the Hearts
That fancied they could hold --
When swift it slipped its limit --
And on the Heavens -- unrolled --
'Tis Ours -- to wince -- and weep --
And wonder -- and decay
By Blossoms gradual process --
He chose -- Maturity --
And quickening -- as we sowed --
Just obviated Bud --
And when We turned to note the Growth --
Broke -- perfect -- from the Pod --
All things decay with time: The forest sees
The growth and down-fall of her aged trees;
That timber tall, which three-score lustres stood
The proud dictator of the state-like wood,
I mean the sovereign of all plants, the oak,
Droops, dies, and falls without the cleaver's stroke.
I watched the glory of her childhood change,
Half-sorrowful to find the child I knew,
(Loved long ago in lily-time),
Become a maid, mysterious and strange,
With fair, pure eyes - dear eyes, but not the eyes I knew
Of old, in the olden time!
Till on my doubting soul the ancient good
Of her dear childhood in the new disguise
Dawned, and I hastened to adore
The glory of her waking maidenhead,
And found the old tenderness within her deepening eyes,
But kinder than before.
Long after you have swung back
away from me
I think you are still with me:
you come in close to the shore
on the tide
and nudge me awake the way
a boat adrift nudges the pier:
am I a pier
half-in half-out of the water?
and in the pleasure of that communion
I lose track,
the moon I watch goes down, the
tide swings you away before
I know I'm
alone again long since,
mud sucking at gray and black
timbers of me,
a light growth of green dreams drying.
Power is a familiar growth --
Not foreign -- not to be --
Beside us like a bland Abyss
In every company --
Escape it -- there is but a chance --
When consciousness and clay
Lean forward for a final glance --
Disprove that and you may --
Anne Kingsmill Finch
The Tree of Knowledge we in Eden prov'd;
The Tree of Life was thence to Heav'n remov'd:
Hope is the growth of Earth, the only Plant,
Which either Heav'n, or Paradise cou'd want.
Hell knows it not, to Us alone confin'd,
And Cordial only to the Human Mind.
Receive it then, t'expel these mortal Cares,
Nor wave a Med'cine, which thy God prepares.
Edgar Lee Masters
Not "a youth with hoary head and haggard eye,"
But an old man with a smooth skin
And black hair!
I had the face of a boy as long as I lived,
And for years a soul that was stiff and bent,
In a world which saw me just as a jest,
To be hailed familiarly when it chose,
And loaded up as a man when it chose,
Being neither man nor boy.
In truth it was soul as well as body
Which never matured, and I say to you
That the much-sought prize of eternal youth
Is just arrested growth.
W S Merwin
When you go away the wind clicks around to the north
The painters work all day but at sundown the paint falls
Showing the black walls
The clock goes back to striking the same hour
That has no place in the years
And at night wrapped in the bed of ashes
In one breath I wake
It is the time when the beards of the dead get their growth
I remember that I am falling
That I am the reason
And that my words are the garment of what I shall never be
Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy
Fair Daffadils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Until the hasting day
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you;
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or any thing.
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
Yon turf, fringing the margent of the stream,
As down upon a cherub's lip might seem,
Or growth from dust of buried tulip cheeks;
Tread not that turf with scorn, or light esteem!