Not to have known the hard-bitten,
tight-lipped Caesar
clamped down on savage Britain;
or, moving closer,
not to have watched Cook
drawing thin lines across
the last sea's uncut book
is my certain loss;

as too is having come late,
the other side of the dark
from that bearded, sedate
Hargrave of Stanwell Park
and so to have missed, some bright
morning in the salty, stiff
north-easter, a crank with a kite-
steadied above a cliff.

Beginnings once known
are lost. Perpetual day,
wheeling, has grown
each year further away
from the original strength
of any action or mind
used, and at length
fallen behind.

One might give much
to bring to the hand
for sight and touch
cities under the sand
and to talk and trade
with the plain folk met
could we walk with the first who made
an alphabet.

But more than to look back
we choose this day's concern
with everything in the track,
and would give most to learn
outcomes of all we found
and what next builds to the stars.
I regret I shall not be around
to stand on Mars.

RD FitzGerald

the Revivalist . autumn
R D FitzGerald
the rathouse
Michelangelo Buonarroti's fresco: Creation of Eve