What is Time that man should be so mindful:
The earth is aged 500 thousand millions of years,
Allowing some hundred thousand millions of margin for error
And man evolving a mere half-million years of consciousness,
twilight and terror
Only a flicker of eternity divides us from unknowing beast
And how far are we from the fern, the rose, essential yeast?
Indeed in these light aeons how far
From animal to evening star?
Skip time for now and fix the eye upon eternity
Eye gazing backward or forward it is the same
Whether Mozart or short-order cook with an infirmity
Except the illuminations alter their shafts
Except we would rather be Mozart, we want to last as long as
Possible, to radiate, to sing
Although in eternity it may be the same thing.
In God's cosmos according to report
Nothing lapses, no gene is lost
After centuries may bustle in the sport
Which will in time command the line.
Those who find it a little harder to live
And therefore live a little harder,
As struggling gene in oceanic plant
Predestine voluntary cells that give
The evolutionary turn to fish, then beast
With multiplying brain that dominates earth's feasts.
From weed to dinosaur through the peripheries of stars
From furtherest star imperiled on the rind of time,
How long to core of love in human mind?