Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.
 
Full-Circle
 
Maxwell Anderson (1888–1959)
 
 
NOW that the gods are gone,
  And the kings, the gods’ shadows, are gone,
Man is alone on the earth,
  Thrust out with the suns, alone.
 
Silent he walks among        5
  The unanswering stars of his night,
Knowing his hands are weak, that his eyes
  Deceive in the light.
 
Knowing there is no guerdon to win
  But the dark and his measure of mould,        10
Foreseeing the end of dream, foreseeing
  Youth grow old.
 
Yet, knowing despair he is free,
  Free of bonds, of faith, of pain.
What should frighten him now        15
  Who has nothing to gain,
 
When he takes the place of the gods,
  And chaos is his and the years,
And the thunderous histories of worlds
  Throb loud for his ears?        20
 
Now that the gods are gone
  The skies are dust in his hands;
Through his fingers they slip like dust
  Blown across waste lands;
 
And his glance takes in beauty and grief        25
  And the centuries coming or flown:
He is god of all ways and things—
  And a fool—and alone.

  The New Republic
 

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