childlike faith in childhood’s end lyrics – van der graaf generator

existence is a stage on which we p*ss, a
sleep-walk trick for mind and heart:
it’s hopeless, i know,
but onward i must go
and try to make a start
at seeing something more than day-to-day
survival chased by final death.
if i believed this the sum
of the life to which we’ve come
i wouldn’t waste my breath.
somehow, there must be more.
there was a time when more was felt than
known,
but now, entrenched inside my sett,
in light more mundane, thought rattles
round my brain;
we live, we die… and yet?

in the beginning there was order and
destiny but now that path has reached the
border and on our knees is no way to face
the future, whatever it be.
though the forces which hold us in place
last through eons in unruffled grace
we, too, wear the face of creation

as anti-matter sucks and pulses
periodically the bud unfolds, the bloom
is dead, all sp*ce is living history.
it seems as though time must betray us,
yet we’re alive
and though i see no god to save us still we
survive
through the centuries of progress
which don’t get us very far.
all illusion! all is bogus – we don’t yet
know what we are… laughing, hoping
praying, joking, son of man!
with lowered eyes but lifting hearts,
we’re grains of sand
and though, in time, the sea may claim us
for its own
we are the rocks which root the future –
on us it grows!

we might not be there to share it if
eternity’s a jest
but i think that i can hear it
if the next life is the best.
even if there is a heaven when we die
endless bliss would be as meaningless
as the lie that always comes as answer to
the question ‘why do we see through the
eyes of creation?’
adrift without a course, it’s very lonely
here, our only conjecture what lies
behind the dark.
still, i find i can cling to a lifeline,
think of a lifetime which means more than
my own one – dreams of a grander thing
than we are,
time and space hand heavy on my
shoulders;
when all life is over who can say
no mutated force shall remain?
though the towers of the city are denied
to we men of clay
still we know we shall scale the heights
some day.
frightened in the silence –
frightened, but thinking very hard,
let us make computation of the stars.

older, wiser, sadder, blinder, watch us
run; faster, longer, harder, stronger, now
it comes: colour blisters, image splinters
gravitate towards the centre, in final
splendour disintegrate.
the universe now beckons
and man, too, must take his place…
just a few last fleeting seconds
to wander in the waste
and the children who were ourselves
move on
reincarnation stills its now perfected song
and at last we are freed of the bonds
of creation.

all the jokers and gaolers, all the junkies
and slavers too,
all the throng who have danced a merry
tune – human we can all be,
but humanity we must rise above
in the name of all faith and hope and love.
there’s a time for all pilgrims, and a time
for the fakers too,
there’s a time when we all will stand alone
and nude;
naked to the galaxies –
naked, but clothed in the overview… as
we reach childhood’s end we start anew.

and though dark is the highway
and the peak’s distance breaks my heart,
for i never shall see it, still i play my part,
believing that what waits for us is the
cosmos compared to the dust of the
past…
in the death of mere humans life shall
start!

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/ van der graaf generator lyrics