The Watchers

The world of old in its orbit moving
Chanced to pass (if there's chance at all)
Near to the path of two Spirits' roving,
Who stood and looked at the large green ball.

Morning flashed upon tusk and pinion,
Tooth and talon, of tribes at war.
"Who, we wonder, will win dominion?
Which will rule in the little star?"

Little scope there appeared for wonder:
The mammoth strode from the forest's dusk.
Who but he, with his hooves of thunder?
Who but he, with his lightning tusk?

Yet there seemed in his monstrous striding,
Heaving weight and enormous ears,
Something gross. So, before deciding,
"Come again in a million years."

Through the vault where the stars are sprinkled
Ages passed from the world away.
All of that time Orion twinkled:
Nothing changed in the Milky Way.

Again they stood where the world was rolling,
Again they watched, and saw, this time, Man,
Heard the roar of his engines coaling,
Scanned his cities to guess his plan,

Peered through clouds that his smoke turned sour,
Even spied on his hopes and fears.
"Yes," they said, "he has surely power.
But come again in a million years."