Tuesday Poem: The End of the World, by Victor J. Daley

IN deeps of space alone,
   Beyond the starry sea,
God sate upon His throne;
   The Earth was on His knee.
Musingly He said,
   Turning the small globe o’er,
“I tire of Men I made;
   They please me now no more.
“I gave them this green earth,
   With all its streams and seas,
Whereon to dwell in mirth,
   And pleasantness and ease.
“I made the sun arise
   Each morning in the East;
I lit with stars the skies
   At night, as for a feast.
“And, when to Heav’n above
   For more gifts they did call,
I sent my Angel Love
   With my best gift of all.
“They are consumed with greed,
   And eaten up with pride;
Each little, paltry creed
   Counts Me upon its side.
“And, when they go to fight,
   Each party calls on ME
To aid the Right—its Right—
   And give it victory.”
Then God the Earth surveyed
   Once more, and thus spake He:
“I tire of Man I made”—
   And brushed it off his knee.
With all its glories ripe
   The Earth passed, like a spark
Blown from a sailor’s pipe
   Into the hollow dark.

Credit note
: “The End of the World” was published in Victor J. Daley’s collection Wine and Roses (Angus and Robertson, 1911) and was included in The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, which I co-edited with P. S. Cottier (IP, 2014). The Stars Like Sand is available from the publisher and from amazon.com.au. If you’re on Facebook, please Like its Facebook page for launch photos and special offers!

If you’re ordering through a bookshop that doesn’t stock it, let them know the ISBN: 978-1-922120-78-6

Tim says: We included a number of poems from the 19th and early 20th centuries in The Stars Like Sand. Of those, this is my personal favourite – for its succinctly expressed moral, and for the wonderfully dismissive image on which it closes.

The Tuesday Poem: is edited this week by P.S. Cottier – and the poem Two Lips Went Shopping by Lizz Murphy (another Stars Like Sand contributor!) and the editor’s notes do a brilliant job of representing for the shorter poem!