(S 1)
A wide unquiet mist of seeking Space,
A rayless region swallowed in vague swathes,
That seemed, unnamed, unbodied and unhoused,
A swaddled visionless and formless mind,
155 Asked for a body to translate its soul.
(S 2)
Its prayer denied, it fumbled after thought.
(S 3)
As yet not powered to think, hardly to live,
It opened into a weird and pigmy world
Where this unhappy magic had its source.
(S 4)
160 On dim confines where Life and Matter meet
He wandered among things half-seen, half-guessed,
Pursued by ungrasped beginnings and lost ends.
(S 5)
There life was born but died before it could live.
(S 6)
There was no solid ground, no constant drift;
165 Only some flame of mindless Will had power.
(S 7)
Himself was dim to himself, half-felt, obscure,
As if in a struggle of the Void to be.
(S 8)
In strange domains where all was living sense
But mastering thought was not nor cause nor rule,
170 Only a crude child-heart cried for toys of bliss,
Mind flickered, a disordered infant glow,
And random shapeless energies drove towards form
And took each wisp-fire for a guiding sun.
(S 9)
This blindfold force could place no thinking step;
175 Asking for light she followed darkness’ clue.
(S 10)
An inconscient Power groped towards consciousness,
Matter smitten by Matter glimmered to sense,
Blind contacts, slow reactions beat out sparks
Of instinct from a cloaked subliminal bed,
180 Sensations crowded, dumb substitutes for thought,
Perception answered Nature’s wakening blows
But still was a mechanical response,
A jerk, a leap, a start in Nature’s dream,
And rude unchastened impulses jostling ran
185 Heedless of every motion but their own
And, darkling, clashed with darker than themselves,
Free in a world of settled anarchy.
(S 11)
The need to exist, the instinct to survive
Engrossed the tense precarious moment’s will
190 And an unseeing desire felt out for food.
(S 12)
The gusts of Nature were the only law,
Force wrestled with force, but no result remained:
Only were achieved a nescient grasp and drive
And feelings and instincts knowing not their source,
195 Sense-pleasures and sense-pangs soon caught, soon lost,
And the brute motion of unthinking lives.
(S 13)
It was a vain unnecessary world
Whose will to be brought poor and sad results
And meaningless suffering and a grey unease.
(S 14)
200 Nothing seemed worth the labour to become.