cave seer

10

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE, MC (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967)

“Microcosmos”

I am that fantasy which race has wrought
Of mundane chance-material. I am time
Paeaned by the senses five like bells that chime.

I am that cramped and crumbling house of clay
Where mansoul weaves the secret webs of thought.
Venturer–automaton–I cannot tell
What powers and instincts animate and betray
And do their dreamwork in me. Seed and star,
Sown by the wind, in spirit I am far
From self, the dull control with whom I dwell.

Also I am ancestral. Aeons ahead
And ages back, both son and sire I live
Mote-like between the unquickened and the dead–
From whom I take, and unto whom I give.

*

“In Me, Past, Present, Future Meet”

In me, past, present, future meet
To hold long chiding conference.
My lusts usurp the present tense
And strangle Reason in his seat.
My loves leap through the future’s fence
To dance with dream-enfranchised feet.

In me the cave-man clasps the seer,
And garlanded Apollo goes
Chanting to Abraham’s deaf ear.
In me the tiger sniffs the rose.
Look in my heart, kind friends, and tremble,
Since there your elements assemble.

In me, past, present, future meet
To hold long chiding conference.
My lusts usurp the present tense
And strangle Reason in his seat.
My loves leap through the future’s fence
To dance with dream-enfranchised feet.

In me the cave-man clasps the seer
And garlanded Apollo goes
Chanting to Abraham’s deaf ear.
In me the tiger sniffs the rose.
Look in my heart, kind friends, and tremble,
Since there your elements assemble.
—  Siegfried Loraine Sassoon (b. 8 Sept 1886), “ In Me, Past, Present, Future Meet”