The Conquest of Matter by Emily Coungeau

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Lapis lazuli, blue with mystery,
Lay ocean, chiming its low symphony,
Waking pale thought of the eternities,
Of 'tranced dawns, and stellar silences
Of night, when planets in their courses ran
Ere the metonic law of life began,
As slowly rose the mitred sovran steeps,
To form the barriers of the Protean deeps.

The centuries pursue the endless quest,
And, 'mid the tumult of the world's unrest,
Potential units, aching with desire,
Look to the great centrifugal white fire,
Till, marvelling and lost in the immense,
They reason: "Whence came the Omnipotence,
Creator, yet Himself the Uncreate,
Who ever was?" The problem, intricate,
Remains unsolved, for none may fathom Him.
The mind is finite -- theories wax dim;
But genesis of matter is not vain,
For microcosms die to flame again.

The seals are broken; science probes the sod,
Tracing God's footprints where no mortal trod;
Scaling the apex of eternal snows,
Poised on gigantic silver wings, and knows
No languor the supernal heights to climb,
Inspired with aerial visionings sublime:
And mind o'er matter in the strenuous race
Flings wide the gateways of cerulean space.
And man applauds, as, with deep, bated breath
It winnows germs of life from husks of death.
Rich voices that had once divinely stirred
The inmost being, now long mute, are heard
In thrilling numbers of mellifluous sound
The while the singer lies in sleep profound.

Thus is unwound the hieroglyphic scroll,
And clear-eyed sapience with eager soul
Peers into dark abysms unrevealed,
Which in earth's withered matrix lie concealed.
Boccaccio's close ne'er heard a stranger tale
From beauty, carmine-lipped and olive pale --
Than queenly charm, now turned to dust and mould,
Which the vast theatres of age unfold,
When opulence and loveliness clasped hands,
Stealing along the desert's burning sands,
Who seeks may find that essence whence we came,
Whose mystery sets pulsing thought aflame;
But, to the lilting of this antique rhyme,
Emerging from dim galleries of time
In blue magnificence, remotely far,
There, on night's forehead, gleams a splendid star.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 21 August 1926

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 21, 2011 12:31 PM.

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