Toiling at the stroke and feather through the wet and weary weather,
Even they forgot their burden in the measure of a song,
And the merchants and the masters and the bondsmen all together,
Dreaming of the wondrous islands, brought the gallant ship along;
So in mighty deeps alone on the chainless breezes blown
In my coracle of verses I will sing of lands unknown,
Flying from the scarlet city where a Lord that knows no pity,
Mocks the broken people praying round his iron throne,
Sing about the Hidden Country fresh and full of quiet green.
Sailing over seas uncharted to a port that none has seen.
Part I The Prison House
I. Satan Speaks
I am Nature, the Mighty Mother,
I am the law: ye have none other.
I am the flower and the dewdrop fresh,
I am the lust in your itching flesh.
I am the battle's filth and strain,
I am the widow's empty pain.
I am the sea to smother your breath,
I am the bomb, the falling death.
I am the fact and the crushing reason
To thwart your fantasy's new-born treason.
I am the spider making her net,
I am the beast with jaws blood-wet.
I am a wolf that follows the sun
And I will catch him ere day be done.
II. French Nocturne (Monchy-Le-Preux)
Long leagues on either hand the trenches spread
And all is still; now even this gross line
Drinks in the frosty silences divine
The pale, green moon is riding overhead.
The jaws of a sacked village, stark and grim;
Out on the ridge have swallowed up the sun,
And in one angry streak his blood has run
To left and right along the horizon dim.
There comes a buzzing plane: and now, it seems
Flies straight into the moon. Lo! where he steers
Across the pallid globe and surely nears
In that white land some harbour of dear dreams!
False mocking fancy! Once I too could dream,
Who now can only see with vulgar eye
That he's no nearer to the moon than I
And she's a stone that catches the sun's beam.
What call have I to dream of anything?
I am a wolf. Back to the world again,
And speech of fellow-brutes that once were men
Our throats can bark for slaughter: cannot sing.
III. The Satyr
When the flowery hands of spring
Forth their woodland riches fling,
Through the meadows, through the valleys
Goes the satyr carolling.
From the mountain and the moor,
Forest green and ocean shore
All the faerie kin he rallies
Making music evermore.
See! the shaggy pelt doth grow
On his twisted shanks below,
And his dreadful feet are clovenDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>