I Came With My Cup

by Nigel Holt

I came with my cup to empty the sea,
but stealing its strength, I angered the sky
for daring to challenge infinity.

With tears in my eyes, I begged the wind be
and grant me reprieve for the folly to cry—
“I came with my cup to empty the sea!”

I held back the sun so I would not see
the last of my days; I watched my world die
for daring to challenge infinity.

My warmth drained and faded away by degree;
my cup turned to ashes, my days became dry.
I came with my cup to empty the sea,

yet all I had risked — my soul within me —
was a handful of dust, another sad lie.
For daring to challenge infinity,

this harvest of time and bleak salary
had counted for nothing — but now I knew why
I had come with my cup to empty the sea:
for daring; to challenge infinity.


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