Bear you children to the world, for the wonder that is life.
Let your worship be made in flesh, that God and world alike
shall know the nature of your love.
What is a husband without an heir, a wife without a heritor,
a people without a bairn, but a tree like to wither?
Where thy treasure, there thy trove.
Deny the naysayers and blackened mouths that cry
that these are dark days to bear the young;
bear you children, and these days shall rise
already to a different sun.
Deny the doomsayers and apocalyptors,
who fret the end of days and wonders and signs,
assigning the world its limits and hours:
show them wonders in your scion.
Deny the squanderers and the profligates,
who venerate matter in pleasure and pain,
frittering their days in gild and dress
to die usured spent alone and vain.
Deny the misanthropes who slobber venom,
burdening man with derivative sin,
slandering the human and calumning carbon,
calling many the enemy of man.
Deny the psychopaths who weigh the soul
with two weights and measures and legerdemain:
deny them the way and deny them the goal,
their tinsel idols of might and main.
Deny each and all in act before word:
bear you children to the world.
For what is a garden with no children at play
soldiering and seeking midst the bushes?
What is a feast with no chatter of girl and boy
nor the infant’s chortle to mock the stern regard
of adultish stilted discourses?
And what is today, if not tomorrow o’ersoon,
with no children to vintage new season?
Each man shall die upon his death
if he has not wrought some second breath
in which to plant his reason.
Then bear your children to the upper berth;
bear you children to the earth.
How hoary old Europe is in need of children
at fantasy in her ancient streets,
her fallow fields, her churches and rubbled shrines,
weaving therefrom the stuff of myths
and futures unkenned and adventures’ brace!
How like a grandmother she would spring alive
and turn once more into a child,
suckling these infants in renewed embrace,
if only the future she could still perceive
in the upturned faces of her heart’s best pride!
All things are made anew in flesh,
spirit rejoined hope and charity.
That is the law unto mortality.
But death, that wizened crafter, would wish
to bury the law in the corpse’s skin.
Hic funus, o man, save as ye leap by faith:
and faith made flesh was once called the Child.
Then bear you children to the world,
and bear your children to this world.