The Vastness of the Universe

I am the speeding spark of light
flung by God from the forge of Chaos.
I soar on wings swifter than wind
Above the paths of the pulsing stars.

Faster! Faster! to find the place
Where cosmic waves crash ashore:
To cast anchor off that empty coast,
That far frontier and final reach
Of created things: – the edge of heaven.

I watched the stars in the womb of youth
Rise from the still streams of heaven,
Eager to make their million year
Race through the thin ethereal blue.

Later they flickered faintly behind me
As I rushed on to the rim of worlds.
I peered with anxious eyes about me:
Now I was steering through starless voids.

Faster! Faster! to find the place
Where Nothingness reigns and inane Chaos,
Wending my way on wings of light,
Steering toward port with steady courage.

As I dart on through dim greeness,
I encounter clouds of cosmic dust.
Behind me I hear, hushed in distance,
Dark cataracts of dying suns.

Suddenly, something comes swiftly towardme
Through empty night – an image that speaks:
“Stay, oh traveller tiered with flight!
Tell me, wanderer, what are you seeking?”

“My way leads on to the worlds where you come from!
My flight is destined to those distant shores,
That far frontier and final reach
Of created things: – the edge of heaven.”

“Cease your search, sojourner! and
your futile wandering through wastes of ether!
Know that ahead of you lies nothing
But infinite tracts of endlessness.”

“Cease your search, sojourner! and
your futile wandering through wastes of ether!
Behind me, too, lie torrents of stars
And infinite, empty endlessness.”

Oh eagle-mounting imagination!
Cease your soaring, descend to earth!
Oh swift voyager, venturesome poet:
Tired of creating, cast your anchor here!

by Jónas Hallgrímsson

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