(01/??/1946) Space Tides: A Prophecy

Space Tides: A Prophecy
The roar of space winds pouring o’er
The star hung cataracts of night
Has thundered on the sapphire shore
Of Orion. And in the light
Of clustered suns the men of Earth
Have heard this song celestial
Have stopped their labors, and their mirth,
Looking back to where, terrestrial,
Our mother planet swings in peace
Around her parent sun of old
And in those gyres that never cease
The story of our life is told.
From here the race of Man has sprung
To conquer space and claim the stars,
With fire atomic as the rung
He leaped the chasmed isobars
Between the worlds! From Him there came
The Cosmic Engineers who spanned
The stellar deep with ships of flame
Who saw galactic empires planned
For all of time. And so they dreamed
To throw the outposts of the Race
Beyond the farthest stars that gleamed
Upon the outer rim of space.

Hull down the ranging cruisers ride
The star wind o’er the Pleiades,
The space tanned mariners may stride
Their quarter-decks, or stand at ease
Along the bridge. While on patrol
Space borne torpedoes of the deep
Trans-stellar spaces gently roll
And feel the space tides as they leap
The curving parsects. Through the roar
Of stellar seas their orbits run
And close hauled clippers drive before
The blast of an exploding sun
That ripples space. And in the holds
Of merchant argosies are gems
From Centaurus; strange fungoid molds,
Monstrosities with many limbs
From Aldebaran; by the tons
Uranium and all its ores;
The priceless commerce of the suns
Consigned to Earth from foreign shores!

The cold, dry wind of outer space
That sweeps a way between the stars
Has fanned Capella’s flaming face
And stirred the sanguine sands of Mars
And I would ride that dark simoon
With the Corsair avatars of old
In racing shells that plunge the flume
Of interstellar space. Behold
The orange flame of Foamlhaut’s
From far below the Median Deep,
And stand the watch with astronauts
Who time the light years as they sweep
Across the universe. Who know
How wheeling galaxies will strain
The spatial curve. What storm may grow
A million years before they gain
The strength of cosmic hurricanes.

Such cyclone vortices as these,
Light years across, have fanned the vanes
Of stations anchored in the seas
That wash Polaris. And the spawn
Of this space warping typhoon wind
Are fiery molecules whole drawn
From some sub-ether. So they send
Another nebula to swirl
Across the strained and troubled void.
A cloud of new born stars to whirl
And lure the questing anthropoid.

The power of atomic might
Stripped from the ore uranium,
Where neucleons are whipped in white
Heat from bedrock neutronium,
Has fueled the navies of high space,
And out in that sidereal sleet
A mighty dreadnought seeks to trace
The orbit of a spindrift fleet
Lost on the deep. Whose men marooned
On racing meteorites have gazed
With fevered eyes, their thoughts attuned
To dusky phantoms on the glazed
Backdrop of suns. In dream they see
The sleeting comets crash and burn
And gaunt ribbed worlds flap hopelessly
About a gutted sun whose urn
Of ashes cold spills in the gloom.
Such drifting clouds of dust set free
May sail the dead, high seas of doom
Forever, yet may never see
Nor spume in breakers on the shore
Of worlds that spin in hyperspace:
Beyond the ken of terrene lore
Are planets out of time and space.

Beyond the islands of a sun
In Andromeda’s stellar swarms
These cosmic pioneeres have won
A beach-head. And against the storms
Of toxic gases they have wrought
Weird cities’ domes with crystal shell,
And to these alien worlds have brought
Some touch of Earth. Here they may dwell
Until once more the call of space
Has echoed in their hearts, and then
The snub-nosed mining fleets will pace
The comet trails, and treading men
Seek merchandise among the strange
Inhabitants of Narccrokelts,
With jewel dyes and sweet orange
To barter for their shaggy pelts
Symbiotic. Such men have seen
The massive glyptodons make war
On monsters trapped in the marine
Of worlds ruled by the dinosaur
Near Procyon. While from the locks
Of guardian keeps on Mercury
To where the slag of cinder rocks
Speed out beyond the star-lit sea . . . .

— Grady L. McMurtry
January 1946

Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, December 1992.