Here and Now

By George Sterling

Our brotherhood is stranger than we dream,
The ties more sad. Of all the wandering worlds,
This is the only refuge we may know,
A last and only home. In endless time,
This is our humble span of chartered years,—
In dreadful and interminable space,
Our solitary foothold. Here and now,
Let us take thought. Let us appraise this dust,
And know that here and now for us are all,
And know ourselves the shadows that we are—
Shadows, but ah! so swift to hate and harm!
Life's drama is so terrible and long
To those who suffer! Man ignores its end,
Nor ponders on the pathos of his fate
Amid the infinities. We will not gaze.
Our breath of time is given to little things.
Our joy is builded of another's pain.
Blinded we go, nor ever stand to watch
Those vastitudes whose awe should urge us in
On human things as to a lighted hearth
Where all should sit as brothers. Would you love?
Then there the dear one waits. Another world
Shall not be given: it is here and now.
Above, below, beyond, the eternal gulfs
Conserve the death that shall await all life.
The candle glimmers but an hour. The night
Looms in its ancient hunger. Would you know
The tragedy of human love and need?
Gaze on the stars, then on a brother's face!

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