Monday, February 21, 2005

Selection from "Dymer"

There followed such a time as is forgotten
With morning light, but in the passing seems
Unending. Where he grasped the branch was rotten,
Where he trod forth in haste the forest streams
Laid wait for him. Like men in fever dreams
Climbing an endless rope, he laboured much
And gained no ground. He reached and could not touch.

And often out of darkness like a swell
That grows up from no wind upon blue sea,
He heard the music, unendurable
In stealing sweetness wind from tree to tree.
Battered and bruised in body and soul was he
When first he saw a little lightness growing
Ahead: and from that light the sound was flowing.

The trees were fewer now: and gladly nearing
That light, he saw the stars. For sky was there,
And smoother grass, white-flowered--a forest clearing,
Set in seven miles of forest, secreter
Than valleys in the tops of clouds, more fair
Than greenery under snow or desert water,
Or the white peace descending after slaughter.

So Dymer in the wood-lawn blessed the light,
A still light, rosy, clear, and filled with sound.
Here was some pile of building which the night
Made larger. Spiry shadows rose all round,
But through the open door appeared profound
Recesses of pure light--fire with no flame--
And out of that deep light the music came.

~C.S. Lewis, Narrative Poems (1969), "Dymer" (Stanzas 26 - 30)

1 Comment(s):

At Mon Feb 21, 07:47:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

I suppose I should tell you that I left out a stanza. I left it out because there is a reference in it that I haven't had a chance to research, and I don't think it affects the flow of the poem that much. But anyway, here it is, it goes before "So Dymer..."

As some who have been wounded beyond healing
Wake, or half wake, once only and so bless,
Far off the lamplight travelling on the ceiling,
A disk of pale light filled with peacefulness,
And wonder if this is the C.C.S.,
Or home, or heaven, or dreams--then sighing win
Wise, ignorant death before the pains begin:


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