George Sterling (3)

By Ina Coolbrith

(Suggested by a strange communication received from a total stranger, purporting to come from George Sterling a few days after the latter's death.)

Break you the silence that enfolds,
        O Comrade mine? Ah, what the spell
Upon the close-shut lips that holds
        The mystery that none may tell!

What visions open to your eyes?
        What pathways strange unto your tread?
What suns illume diviner skies?
        What life requickening the dead?

What Loved and Lost are ours once more,
        And each forgiven is, —forgives?
Upon what perfect, heavenly shore
        Is known, at last, the Father lives!

Aye, speak, O Soul, divine of Song!
        Lift from the earth its wrong and ruth;
Ring out the message clear and strong,
The mighty Anthem of the Truth.

A message dearer, mightier far
        Than that which rang through boundless space
When star called silverly to star,
        And God unveiled Creation's face.

Break the long silences, while through
        The Universe the music runs,
And Light and Life are born anew,—
        Speak, you, O Singer of the Suns!


The Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine (1868-1935); Nov 1927; Volume LXXXV, Number 11; pg 328. California Poet-Laureate