Tuesday 10 December 2019

A Sapphire at Sunrise

by Nick Gisburne

In the twilight of our history, the end of life on Earth
We together, we, the last of us, made plans for our re-birth
Midst the poisoned seas, the burning lands, the ruins and the dust
Shone our vision for an exodus, and follow it we must

It was not a dream, the science said, our measurements were true
In a perfect orbit of its sun, a world of perfect blue
Virgin seas and sprawling continents, an Eden to our eyes
Those who travelled there would live to see a sapphire at sunrise

Call it courage or stupidity, we built our silver ship
And a billion souls were crammed aboard and frozen, tip to tip
On a voyage of ten thousand years we journeyed into space
To that other star, that other world, we took the human race

What is time? One hundred centuries, unnoticed as we slept
Yet if each of us had known the truth, whose eyes would not have wept?
Did we think that humans stood alone, imperfect but unique?
No, the cultures on that perfect world were climbing to their peak

On the sapphire, kings and empires ruled, while others rose and fell
As its peoples spread and multiplied, discord began to swell
Angry citizens were offered less, but always wanted more
And in haste, on every continent they mobilised for war

Some escaped before the end of days, and knew what they must do
In their vessels, sharp and sleek, they sailed towards a world of blue
For it seemed that in this universe there was another place
Round a perfect star, a perfect world, a sapphire deep in space

They had travelled only fifty years, ten thousand still to spend
When the ship from Earth arrived at last, its voyage at an end
But a billion people woke to find not sapphire-blue but black
Now we have no hope, we have no home, and we have no way back

So our instruments we point towards the planet we once knew
With no human curse, the scourge all gone, the Earth shines pure and blue
In ten thousand years the last of those who fled their dark world’s doom
Will rejoice to find such paradise, while we have found our tomb

We have lived to see the Earth re-born, but mankind now must fall
And the authors of our destiny will surely take it all
We are doomed to die, but they will live to claim the final prize
And awake to see the light upon a sapphire at sunrise