Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
886. My Birth
 
By Minot Judson Savage
 
 
I HAD my birth where stars were born,
  In the dim æons of the past:
My cradle cosmic forces rocked,
  And to my first was linked my last.
 
Through boundless space the shuttle flew,        5
  To weave the warp and woof of fate:
In my begetting were conjoined
  The infinitely small and great.
 
The outmost star on being’s rim,
  The tiniest sand-grain of the earth,        10
The farthest thrill and nearest stir
  Were not indifferent to my birth.
 
And when at last the earth swung free,
  A little planet by the moon,
For me the continent arose,        15
  For me the ocean roared its tune;
 
For me the forests grew; for me
  The electric force ran to and fro;
For me tribes wandered o’er the earth,
  Kingdoms arose, and cities grew;        20
 
For me religions waxed and waned;
  For me the ages garnered store;
For me ships traversed every sea;
  For me the wise ones learned their lore;
 
For me, through fire and blood and tears,        25
  Man struggled onward up the height,
On which, at last, from heaven falls
  An ever clearer, broader light.
 
The child of all the ages, I,
  Nursed on the exhaustless breasts of time;        30
By heroes thrilled, by sages taught,
  Sung to by bards of every clime.
 
Quintessence of the universe,
  Distilled at last from God’s own heart,
In me concentred now abides        35
  Of all that is the subtlest part.
 
The product of the ages past,
  Heir of the future, then, am I:
So much am I divine that God
  Cannot afford to let me die.        40
 
If I should ever cease to be,
  The farthest star its mate would miss,
And, looking after me, would fall
  Down headlong darkening to the abyss.
 
For, if aught real that is could cease,        45
  If the All-Father ever nods,
That day across the heavens would fall
  Ragnarok, twilight of the gods.
 

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