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RR: Poems

What fatal force?

 

Swift sets the sun, fast forms the mist,

The way to hide. Be strong, my soul;

No easy path may reach the peaks,

No mortal man may dodge the storms.

 

Thick swirls the mist, deep lie the bogs,

And faint the path. Where now, oh soul?

Oh, weak my faith and great my fear.

Who knows what storms may lie ahead?

 

Why wast I born? What fatal force

Clothed my soul in trembling flesh,

Set my feet on a stony path,

All my life a race with time?

 

Oft forks the path, each branch well worn,

Each with its sign "This is your way".

Can all be right, will any do,

Or one alone, or none at all?

On every side the Prophets cry

"This leads to God; all else to Hell!"

How can I tell the way to choose?

Of many guides, which one is true?

 

Fain would I rest my spinning head.

Perhaps tomorrow the mist will lift,

But time moves on -- Ere the new day dawn,

The mire would drown my weary soul.

 

Be strong my soul, and falter not.

No God nor man can guide your steps;

You only know which way is yours.

If black your dawn, all yours the blame.

Roger Riordan, Leicester 1956

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2017