Ina Coolbrith

1841 – 1928 / Nauvoo, Illinois

Atom

An Atom, formless, in the void of space,
Wherein but the One presence, All in All,
That drew me, drew me, until like a cry,
Was felt at last the pulse of my desire-
‘Life! Life! O Thou that Art, give to me to be! '
Eon on eon, change evolving change,
Time, time almost that seemed eternity,
And then the Being I! the answered prayer!

The happier, wiser, greater, now than then-
Sensate to stand upon one grain of sand
Of this small sparkle of the Universe-
Keen to its measureless immensity,
With all the questionings unsatisfied?
Of what avail? An Atom, still, in space,
Wherein the Light obscurer grows, recedes-
That may not see, nor reach, nor understand.
Ah! did the Source, all-merciful, foresee,
And add to Life the greater boon Return,
And end of all?
Or is it end of all?
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