Often, in the slow ages’ wide retreat
On Life’s long bridge through Time’s enormous sea,
I have accepted death and borne defeat
If by my fall some gain were clutched for Thee.
To this world’s inconscient Power Thou hast given the right
To oppose the shining passage of my soul:
She levies on each step the tax of Night.
Doom, her unjust accountant, keeps the roll.
Around my way the Titan forces press;
This earth is theirs, they hold the days in fee,
I am full of wounds and the fight merciless:
Is it not yet Thy hour of victory?
Even as Thou wilt! What still to Fate Thou owest,
O Ancient of the worlds, Thou knowest, Thou knowest.
Notes on Text
25 September 1939. Two handwritten manuscripts.