Meditations | Ralph Cheever Dunning

Now in the wintry garden 
A harsh birds calls
As once in dreams
I heard a soul cry pardon 
Down empty halls.
Oh more than ever it seems 
Judgement is hard to give:
Eternity is wide
Each way and every side
And yet a man must live.

The rhyming waves over-reach 
The dissolving shore.
Around the lyric bay
The tortured trees beseech
The winds for evermore— 
Winds that blow out the day 
Winds that will not forgive 
And still the sea’s a drop 
Upon a spinning top
And yet a man must live.

Sweet appearances deceive: 
There is no truth
In his or hers.
Old men cannot believe
In their own youth.
Solemn philosophers
Draw water in a sieve. 
All flows: the veil
Hides an old tale
And yet a man must live.

Old banners wave no more: 
There is no good.
Evil is but a name
These words were said before 
Even as fate would
Within his circling flame 
Whose wheel will not forgive. 
Berated, slapped
Debased and rapt
Surely a man must live.