This week’s choice is The Loom of Years, by Alfred Noyes.
We come from the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web of Years.Alfred Noyes (1880—1958)
Poem 197. The Loom of Years
In the light of the silent stars that shine on the struggling sea,
In the weary cry of the wind and the whisper of flower and tree,
Under the breath of laughter, deep in the tide of tears,
I hear the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web of Years.
The leaves of the winter wither and sink in the forest mould
To colour the flowers of April with purple and white and gold:
Light and scent and music die and are born again
In the heart of a grey-haired woman who wakes in a world of pain.
The hound, the fawn, and the hawk, and the doves that croon and coo,
We are all one woof of the weaving and the one warp threads us through,
One flying cloud on the shuttle that carries our hopes and fears
As it goes thro’ the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web of Years.
The green uncrumpling fern and the rustling dew-drenched rose
Pass with our hearts to the Silence where the wings of music close,
Pass and pass to the Timeless that never a moment mars,
Pass and pass to the Darkness that made the suns and stars.
Has the soul gone out in the Darkness? Is the dust sealed from sight?
Ah, hush, for the woof of the ages returns thro’ the warp of the night!
Never that shuttle loses one thread of our hopes and fears,
As it comes thro’ the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web of Years.
O, woven in one wide Loom thro’ the throbbing weft of the whole,
One in spirit and flesh, one in body and soul,
Tho’ the leaf were alone in its falling, the bird in its hour to die,
The heart in its muffled anguish, the sea in its mournful cry,
One with the flower of a day, one with the withered moon
One with the granite mountains that melt into the noon
One with the dream that triumphs beyond the light of the spheres,
We come from the Loom of the Weaver that weaves the Web of Years.
This poem imagines all life as the threads woven together by a loom, some forming the warp (the vertical threads) and some the woof or weft (the horizontal threads). Noyes pictures each pass of the shuttle through the loom as another phase of our lives, every event and every object being part of the pattern being woven by the great Weaver who operates the machine.
I like this poem because of its imagination which reminds me of the stories of Lord Dunsany, and the suggestion that the past, present and future are interlinked and the stories of everything, living, unliving, and dead are interlinked like the pattern of a tapestry which we cannot view but can imagine.