Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Liz Apr 2014
The guilt is so great
it's gilt in gold.
It shouldn't be.
But my gilded guilt 
was gilt in gold by me.
I

In that November off Tehuantepec,
The slopping of the sea grew still one night
And in the morning summer hued the deck

And made one think of rosy chocolate
And gilt umbrellas. Paradisal green
Gave suavity to the perplexed machine

Of ocean, which like limpid water lay.
Who, then, in that ambrosial latitude
Out of the light evolved the morning blooms,

Who, then, evolved the sea-blooms from the clouds
Diffusing balm in that Pacific calm?
C'etait mon enfant, mon bijou, mon ame.

The sea-clouds whitened far below the calm
And moved, as blooms move, in the swimming green
And in its watery radiance, while the hue

Of heaven in an antique reflection rolled
Round those flotillas. And sometimes the sea
Poured brilliant iris on the glistening blue.

                        II

In that November off Tehuantepec
The slopping of the sea grew still one night.
At breakfast jelly yellow streaked the deck

And made one think of chop-house chocolate
And sham umbrellas. And a sham-like green
Capped summer-seeming on the tense machine

Of ocean, which in sinister flatness lay.
Who, then, beheld the rising of the clouds
That strode submerged in that malevolent sheen,

Who saw the mortal massives of the blooms
Of water moving on the water-floor?
C'etait mon frere du ciel, ma vie, mon or.

The gongs rang loudly as the windy booms
Hoo-hooed it in the darkened ocean-blooms.
The gongs grew still. And then blue heaven spread

Its crystalline pendentives on the sea
And the macabre of the water-glooms
In an enormous undulation fled.

                        III

In that November off Tehuantepec,
The slopping of the sea grew still one night
And a pale silver patterned on the deck

And made one think of porcelain chocolate
And pied umbrellas. An uncertain green,
Piano-polished, held the tranced machine

Of ocean, as a prelude holds and holds,
Who, seeing silver petals of white blooms
Unfolding in the water, feeling sure

Of the milk within the saltiest spurge, heard, then,
The sea unfolding in the sunken clouds?
Oh! C'etait mon extase et mon amour.

So deeply sunken were they that the shrouds,
The shrouding shadows, made the petals black
Until the rolling heaven made them blue,

A blue beyond the rainy hyacinth,
And smiting the crevasses of the leaves
Deluged the ocean with a sapphire blue.

                        IV

In that November off Tehuantepec
The night-long slopping of the sea grew still.
A mallow morning dozed upon the deck

And made one think of musky chocolate
And frail umbrellas. A too-fluent green
Suggested malice in the dry machine

Of ocean, pondering dank stratagem.
Who then beheld the figures of the clouds
Like blooms secluded in the thick marine?

Like blooms? Like damasks that were shaken off
From the loosed girdles in the spangling must.
C'etait ma foi, la nonchalance divine.

The nakedness would rise and suddenly turn
Salt masks of beard and mouths of bellowing,
Would--But more suddenly the heaven rolled

Its bluest sea-clouds in the thinking green,
And the nakedness became the broadest blooms,
Mile-mallows that a mallow sun cajoled.

                        V

In that November off Tehuantepec
Night stilled the slopping of the sea.
The day came, bowing and voluble, upon the deck,

Good clown... One thought of Chinese chocolate
And large umbrellas. And a motley green
Followed the drift of the obese machine

Of ocean, perfected in indolence.
What pistache one, ingenious and droll,
Beheld the sovereign clouds as jugglery

And the sea as turquoise-turbaned *****, neat
At tossing saucers--cloudy-conjuring sea?
C'etait mon esprit batard, l'ignominie.

The sovereign clouds came clustering. The conch
Of loyal conjuration *******. The wind
Of green blooms turning crisped the motley hue

To clearing opalescence. Then the sea
And heaven rolled as one and from the two
Came fresh transfigurings of freshest blue.
On Hellespont, guilty of true love’s blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoin’d by Neptune’s might;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And offer’d as a dower his burning throne,
Where she could sit for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawn,
The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;
Her wide sleeves green, and border’d with a grove,
Where Venus in her naked glory strove
To please the careless and disdainful eyes
Of proud Adonis, that before her lies;
Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,
Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.
Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her veil reach’d to the ground beneath;
Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves,
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives;
Many would praise the sweet smell as she past,
When ’twas the odour which her breath forth cast;
And there for honey bees have sought in vain,
And beat from thence, have lighted there again.
About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone,
Which lighten’d by her neck, like diamonds shone.
She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind
Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind,
Or warm or cool them, for they took delight
To play upon those hands, they were so white.
Buskins of shells, all silver’d, used she,
And branch’d with blushing coral to the knee;
Where sparrows perch’d, of hollow pearl and gold,
Such as the world would wonder to behold:
Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills,
Which as she went, would chirrup through the bills.
Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin’d,
And looking in her face, was strooken blind.
But this is true; so like was one the other,
As he imagin’d Hero was his mother;
And oftentimes into her ***** flew,
About her naked neck his bare arms threw,
And laid his childish head upon her breast,
And with still panting rock’d there took his rest.
So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus’ nun,
As Nature wept, thinking she was undone,
Because she took more from her than she left,
And of such wondrous beauty her bereft:
Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer’d wrack,
Since Hero’s time hath half the world been black.

Amorous Leander, beautiful and young
(Whose tragedy divine MusÆus sung),
Dwelt at Abydos; since him dwelt there none
For whom succeeding times make greater moan.
His dangling tresses, that were never shorn,
Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne,
Would have allur’d the vent’rous youth of Greece
To hazard more than for the golden fleece.
Fair Cynthia wish’d his arms might be her sphere;
Grief makes her pale, because she moves not there.
His body was as straight as Circe’s wand;
Jove might have sipt out nectar from his hand.
Even as delicious meat is to the taste,
So was his neck in touching, and surpast
The white of Pelops’ shoulder: I could tell ye,
How smooth his breast was, and how white his belly;
And whose immortal fingers did imprint
That heavenly path with many a curious dint
That runs along his back; but my rude pen
Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men,
Much less of powerful gods: let it suffice
That my slack Muse sings of Leander’s eyes;
Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his
That leapt into the water for a kiss
Of his own shadow, and, despising many,
Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,
Enamour’d of his beauty had he been.
His presence made the rudest peasant melt,
That in the vast uplandish country dwelt;
The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov’d with nought,
Was mov’d with him, and for his favour sought.
Some swore he was a maid in man’s attire,
For in his looks were all that men desire,—
A pleasant smiling cheek, a speaking eye,
A brow for love to banquet royally;
And such as knew he was a man, would say,
“Leander, thou art made for amorous play;
Why art thou not in love, and lov’d of all?
Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall.”

The men of wealthy Sestos every year,
For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,
Rose-cheek’d Adonis, kept a solemn feast.
Thither resorted many a wandering guest
To meet their loves; such as had none at all
Came lovers home from this great festival;
For every street, like to a firmament,
Glister’d with breathing stars, who, where they went,
Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem’d
Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seem’d
As if another Pha{”e}ton had got
The guidance of the sun’s rich chariot.
But far above the loveliest, Hero shin’d,
And stole away th’ enchanted gazer’s mind;
For like sea-nymphs’ inveigling harmony,
So was her beauty to the standers-by;
Nor that night-wandering, pale, and watery star
(When yawning dragons draw her thirling car
From Latmus’ mount up to the gloomy sky,
Where, crown’d with blazing light and majesty,
She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood
Than she the hearts of those that near her stood.
Even as when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase,
Wretched Ixion’s shaggy-footed race,
Incens’d with savage heat, gallop amain
From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain,
So ran the people forth to gaze upon her,
And all that view’d her were enamour’d on her.
And as in fury of a dreadful fight,
Their fellows being slain or put to flight,
Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead-strooken,
So at her presence all surpris’d and tooken,
Await the sentence of her scornful eyes;
He whom she favours lives; the other dies.
There might you see one sigh, another rage,
And some, their violent passions to assuage,
Compile sharp satires; but, alas, too late,
For faithful love will never turn to hate.
And many, seeing great princes were denied,
Pin’d as they went, and thinking on her, died.
On this feast-day—O cursed day and hour!—
Went Hero thorough Sestos, from her tower
To Venus’ temple, where unhappily,
As after chanc’d, they did each other spy.

So fair a church as this had Venus none:
The walls were of discolour’d jasper-stone,
Wherein was Proteus carved; and over-head
A lively vine of green sea-agate spread,
Where by one hand light-headed Bacchus hung,
And with the other wine from grapes out-wrung.
Of crystal shining fair the pavement was;
The town of Sestos call’d it Venus’ glass:
There might you see the gods in sundry shapes,
Committing heady riots, ******, rapes:
For know, that underneath this radiant flower
Was Danae’s statue in a brazen tower,
Jove slyly stealing from his sister’s bed,
To dally with Idalian Ganimed,
And for his love Europa bellowing loud,
And tumbling with the rainbow in a cloud;
Blood-quaffing Mars heaving the iron net,
Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set;
Love kindling fire, to burn such towns as Troy,
Sylvanus weeping for the lovely boy
That now is turn’d into a cypress tree,
Under whose shade the wood-gods love to be.
And in the midst a silver altar stood:
There Hero, sacrificing turtles’ blood,
Vail’d to the ground, veiling her eyelids close;
And modestly they opened as she rose.
Thence flew Love’s arrow with the golden head;
And thus Leander was enamoured.
Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gazed,
Till with the fire that from his count’nance blazed
Relenting Hero’s gentle heart was strook:
Such force and virtue hath an amorous look.

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is over-rul’d by fate.
When two are stript, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should lose, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows, let it suffice,
What we behold is censur’d by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever lov’d, that lov’d not at first sight?

He kneeled, but unto her devoutly prayed.
Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said,
“Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him;”
And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near him.
He started up, she blushed as one ashamed,
Wherewith Leander much more was inflamed.
He touched her hand; in touching it she trembled.
Love deeply grounded, hardly is dissembled.
These lovers parleyed by the touch of hands;
True love is mute, and oft amazed stands.
Thus while dumb signs their yielding hearts entangled,
The air with sparks of living fire was spangled,
And night, deep drenched in misty Acheron,
Heaved up her head, and half the world upon
Breathed darkness forth (dark night is Cupid’s day).
And now begins Leander to display
Love’s holy fire, with words, with sighs, and tears,
Which like sweet music entered Hero’s ears,
And yet at every word she turned aside,
And always cut him off as he replied.
At last, like to a bold sharp sophister,
With cheerful hope thus he accosted her.

“Fair creature, let me speak without offence.
I would my rude words had the influence
To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine,
Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine.
Be not unkind and fair; misshapen stuff
Are of behaviour boisterous and rough.
O shun me not, but hear me ere you go.
God knows I cannot force love as you do.
My words shall be as spotless as my youth,
Full of simplicity and naked truth.
This sacrifice, (whose sweet perfume descending
From Venus’ altar, to your footsteps bending)
Doth testify that you exceed her far,
To whom you offer, and whose nun you are.
Why should you worship her? Her you surpass
As much as sparkling diamonds flaring glass.
A diamond set in lead his worth retains;
A heavenly nymph, beloved of human swains,
Receives no blemish, but ofttimes more grace;
Which makes me hope, although I am but base:
Base in respect of thee, divine and pure,
Dutiful service may thy love procure.
And I in duty will excel all other,
As thou in beauty dost exceed Love’s mother.
Nor heaven, nor thou, were made to gaze upon,
As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one.
A stately builded ship, well rigged and tall,
The ocean maketh more majestical.
Why vowest thou then to live in Sestos here
Who on Love’s seas more glorious wouldst appear?
Like untuned golden strings all women are,
Which long time lie untouched, will harshly jar.
Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine.
What difference betwixt the richest mine
And basest mould, but use? For both, not used,
Are of like worth. Then treasure is abused
When misers keep it; being put to loan,
In time it will return us two for one.
Rich robes themselves and others do adorn;
Neither themselves nor others, if not worn.
Who builds a palace and rams up the gate
Shall see it ruinous and desolate.
Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish.
Lone women like to empty houses perish.
Less sins the poor rich man that starves himself
In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf,
Than such as you. His golden earth remains
Which, after his decease, some other gains.
But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone,
When you fleet hence, can be bequeathed to none.
Or, if it could, down from th’enameled sky
All heaven would come to claim this legacy,
And with intestine broils the world destroy,
And quite confound nature’s sweet harmony.
Well therefore by the gods decreed it is
We human creatures should enjoy that bliss.
One is no number; maids are nothing then
Without the sweet society of men.
Wilt thou live single still? One shalt thou be,
Though never singling ***** couple thee.
Wild savages, that drink of running springs,
Think water far excels all earthly things,
But they that daily taste neat wine despise it.
Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,
Compared with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much as wine and water doth.
Base bullion for the stamp’s sake we allow;
Even so for men’s impression do we you,
By which alone, our reverend fathers say,
Women receive perfection every way.
This idol which you term virginity
Is neither essence subject to the eye
No, nor to any one exterior sense,
Nor hath it any place of residence,
Nor is’t of earth or mould celestial,
Or capable of any form at all.
Of that which hath no being do not boast;
Things that are not at all are never lost.
Men foolishly do call it virtuous;
What virtue is it that is born with us?
Much less can honour be ascribed thereto;
Honour is purchased by the deeds we do.
Believe me, Hero, honour is not won
Until some honourable deed be done.
Seek you for chastity, immortal fame,
And know that some have wronged Diana’s name?
Whose name is it, if she be false or not
So she be fair, but some vile tongues will blot?
But you are fair, (ay me) so wondrous fair,
So young, so gentle, and so debonair,
As Greece will think if thus you live alone
Some one or other keeps you as his own.
Then, Hero, hate me not nor from me fly
To follow swiftly blasting infamy.
Perhaps thy sacred priesthood makes thee loath.
Tell me, to whom mad’st thou that heedless oath?”

“To Venus,” answered she and, as she spake,
Forth from those two tralucent cisterns brake
A stream of liquid pearl, which down her face
Made milk-white paths, whereon the gods might trace
To Jove’s high court.
He thus replied: “The rites
In which love’s beauteous empress most delights
Are banquets, Doric music, midnight revel,
Plays, masks, and all that stern age counteth evil.
Thee as a holy idiot doth she scorn
For thou in vowing chastity hast sworn
To rob her name and honour, and thereby
Committ’st a sin far worse than perjury,
Even sacrilege against her deity,
Through regular and formal purity.
To expiate which sin, kiss and shake hands.
Such sacrifice as this Venus demands.”

Thereat she smiled and did deny him so,
As put thereby, yet might he hope for moe.
Which makes him quickly re-enforce his speech,
And her in humble manner thus beseech.
“Though neither gods nor men may thee deserve,
Yet for her sake, whom you have vowed to serve,
Abandon fruitless cold virginity,
The gentle queen of love’s sole enemy.
Then shall you most resemble Venus’ nun,
When Venus’ sweet rites are performed and done.
Flint-breasted Pallas joys in single life,
But Pallas and your mistress are at strife.
Love, Hero, then, and be not tyrannous,
But heal the heart that thou hast wounded thus,
Nor stain thy youthful years with avarice.
Fair fools delight to be accounted nice.
The richest corn dies, if it be not reaped;
Beauty alone is lost, too warily kept.”

These arguments he used, and many more,
Wherewith she yielded, that was won before.
Hero’s looks yielded but her words made war.
Women are won when they begin to jar.
Thus, having swallowed Cupid’s golden hook,
The more she strived, the deeper was she strook.
Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still
And would be thought to grant against her will.
So having paused a while at last she said,
“Who taught thee rhetoric to deceive a maid?
Ay me, such words as these should I abhor
And yet I like them for the orator.”

With that Leander stooped to have embraced her
But from his spreading arms away she cast her,
And thus bespake him: “Gentle youth, forbear
To touch the sacred garments which I wear.
Upon a rock and underneath a hill
Far from the town (where all is whist and still,
Save that the sea, playing on yellow sand,
Sends forth a rattling murmur to the land,
Whose sound allures the golden Morpheus
In silence of the night to visit us)
My turret stands and there, God knows, I play.
With Venus’ swans and sparrows all the day.
A dwarfish beldam bears me company,
That hops about the chamber where I lie,
And spends the night (that might be better spent)
In vain discourse and apish merriment.
Come thither.” As she spake this, her tongue tripped,
For unawares “come thither” from her slipped.
And suddenly her former colour changed,
And here and there her eyes through anger ranged.
And like a planet, moving several ways,
At one self instant she, poor soul, assays,
Loving, not to love at all, and every part
Strove to resist the motions of her heart.
And hands so pure, so innocent, nay, such
As might have made heaven stoop to have a touch,
Did she uphold to Venus, and again
Vowed spotless chastity, but all in vain.
Cupid beats down her prayers with his wings,
Her vows above the empty air he flings,
All deep enraged, his sinewy bow he bent,
And shot a shaft that burning from him went,
Wherewith she strooken, looked so dolefully,
As made love sigh to see his tyranny.
And as she wept her tears to pearl he turned,
And wound them on his arm and for her mourned.
Then towards the palace of the destinies
Laden with languishment and grief he flies,
And to those stern nymphs humbly made request
Both might enjoy each other, and be blest.
But with a ghastly dreadful
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
After days of long studies comes the
days of rest. My violet dreams were
slumber-soft filled with lucent lilies
of curling flames born of ever colour
known and unknown. And I stood
in awe of them as my fears fall back
and cower in the shades of my mind.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I muse at how quickly my body
relaxed. Due to my marjoram'd
pillows and sheets of pure silk
and eiderdown? Or due to the
sips of the lavender tea in my in
my teacup decorated with a
butterfly motif?

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I remember the sips in fours as
I blew the steam from my cup;
The first sip balmed my lips.
The second soothed my throat.
The third lulled my thoughts.
The fourth stilled my soul.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Though the tea, the pillow and
sheets were had a hand in my nightly
rest, the real answer is on my brow -
for it was when the night's cool air
blew, and where you placed your
sweet Morphean kiss.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
With a smile, I wake.
Sat on my golden summer throne
located in my marble gazebo; a
jewel in my private garden. With
thin caryatid pillars, draped in
fine doric chitons encircling me.
Their sculpted limbs hold up the
frieze carved with acanthus
that has a stained glass top of
peacocks and stargazers.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
The sheer curtains billow when
the eastern winds blow. By me, a
gold side table with a mirrored top
supported by three Greek key legs.
A pewter quill pen with a steel nib
and violet feather rests by its clay
inkpot; both beside a silver sinuous
nouveau vase and a small stack of
poetry books of black leather and
gilt.
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Part one of my Jasmine Pearls free verse!
(Been having issues with it so I decided to break it down
and make it a collection! ^-^)
A poem dedicated to 'Jasmine Pearl' tea. Inspired y Queen Kim's wonderful 'Golden Hour' and 'Dream Child' poems. I'm very particular about herbal teas, but Jasmine is one of the many few that never fails to relax me when needed. I'm glad I met a fellow Jasmine tea lover in Queen Kim! ^-^
It was rather challenging but I overcame it! Haven't written something
like this since my university days, but I did it!
I really hope you enjoy reading it as I enjoyed writing it!
Anyone else a tea enthusiast?
Do let me know what you think!
Queen Lyn ***
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
1405

Bees are Black, with Gilt Surcingles—
Buccaneers of Buzz.
Ride abroad in ostentation
And subsist on Fuzz.

Fuzz ordained—not Fuzz contingent—
Marrows of the Hill.
Jugs—a Universe’s fracture
Could not jar or spill.
Prohemium.

But al to litel, weylaway the whyle,
Lasteth swich Ioye, y-thonked be Fortune!
That semeth trewest, whan she wol bygyle,
And can to foles so hir song entune,
That she hem hent and blent, traytour comune;  
And whan a wight is from hir wheel y-throwe,
Than laugheth she, and maketh him the mowe.

From Troilus she gan hir brighte face
Awey to wrythe, and took of him non hede,
But caste him clene out of his lady grace,  
And on hir wheel she sette up Diomede;
For which right now myn herte ginneth blede,
And now my penne, allas! With which I wryte,
Quaketh for drede of that I moot endyte.

For how Criseyde Troilus forsook,  
Or at the leste, how that she was unkinde,
Mot hennes-forth ben matere of my book,
As wryten folk through which it is in minde.
Allas! That they sholde ever cause finde
To speke hir harm; and if they on hir lye,  
Y-wis, hem-self sholde han the vilanye.

O ye Herines, Nightes doughtren three,
That endelees compleynen ever in pyne,
Megera, Alete, and eek Thesiphone;
Thou cruel Mars eek, fader to Quiryne,  
This ilke ferthe book me helpeth fyne,
So that the los of lyf and love y-fere
Of Troilus be fully shewed here.

Explicit prohemium.

Incipit Quartus Liber.

Ligginge in ost, as I have seyd er this,
The Grekes stronge, aboute Troye toun,  
Bifel that, whan that Phebus shyning is
Up-on the brest of Hercules Lyoun,
That Ector, with ful many a bold baroun,
Caste on a day with Grekes for to fighte,
As he was wont to greve hem what he mighte.  

Not I how longe or short it was bitwene
This purpos and that day they fighte mente;
But on a day wel armed, bright and shene,
Ector, and many a worthy wight out wente,
With spere in hond and bigge bowes bente;  
And in the herd, with-oute lenger lette,
Hir fomen in the feld anoon hem mette.

The longe day, with speres sharpe y-grounde,
With arwes, dartes, swerdes, maces felle,
They fighte and bringen hors and man to grounde,  
And with hir axes out the braynes quelle.
But in the laste shour, sooth for to telle,
The folk of Troye hem-selven so misledden,
That with the worse at night homward they fledden.

At whiche day was taken Antenor,  
Maugre Polydamas or Monesteo,
Santippe, Sarpedon, Polynestor,
Polyte, or eek the Troian daun Ripheo,
And othere lasse folk, as Phebuseo.
So that, for harm, that day the folk of Troye  
Dredden to lese a greet part of hir Ioye.

Of Pryamus was yeve, at Greek requeste,
A tyme of trewe, and tho they gonnen trete,
Hir prisoneres to chaungen, moste and leste,
And for the surplus yeven sommes grete.  
This thing anoon was couth in every strete,
Bothe in thassege, in toune, and every-where,
And with the firste it cam to Calkas ere.

Whan Calkas knew this tretis sholde holde,
In consistorie, among the Grekes, sone  
He gan in thringe forth, with lordes olde,
And sette him there-as he was wont to done;
And with a chaunged face hem bad a bone,
For love of god, to don that reverence,
To stinte noyse, and yeve him audience.  

Thanne seyde he thus, 'Lo! Lordes myne, I was
Troian, as it is knowen out of drede;
And, if that yow remembre, I am Calkas,
That alderfirst yaf comfort to your nede,
And tolde wel how that ye sholden spede.  
For dredelees, thorugh yow, shal, in a stounde,
Ben Troye y-brend, and beten doun to grounde.

'And in what forme, or in what maner wyse
This town to shende, and al your lust to acheve,
Ye han er this wel herd it me devyse;  
This knowe ye, my lordes, as I leve.
And for the Grekes weren me so leve,
I com my-self in my propre persone,
To teche in this how yow was best to done;

'Havinge un-to my tresour ne my rente  
Right no resport, to respect of your ese.
Thus al my good I loste and to yow wente,
Wening in this you, lordes, for to plese.
But al that los ne doth me no disese.
I vouche-sauf, as wisly have I Ioye,  
For you to lese al that I have in Troye,

'Save of a doughter, that I lafte, allas!
Slepinge at hoom, whanne out of Troye I sterte.
O sterne, O cruel fader that I was!
How mighte I have in that so hard an herte?  
Allas! I ne hadde y-brought hir in hir sherte!
For sorwe of which I wol not live to morwe,
But-if ye lordes rewe up-on my sorwe.

'For, by that cause I say no tyme er now
Hir to delivere, I holden have my pees;  
But now or never, if that it lyke yow,
I may hir have right sone, doutelees.
O help and grace! Amonges al this prees,
Rewe on this olde caitif in destresse,
Sin I through yow have al this hevinesse!  

'Ye have now caught and fetered in prisoun
Troians y-nowe; and if your willes be,
My child with oon may have redempcioun.
Now for the love of god and of bountee,
Oon of so fele, allas! So yeve him me.  
What nede were it this preyere for to werne,
Sin ye shul bothe han folk and toun as yerne?

'On peril of my lyf, I shal nat lye,
Appollo hath me told it feithfully;
I have eek founde it be astronomye,  
By sort, and by augurie eek trewely,
And dar wel seye, the tyme is faste by,
That fyr and flaumbe on al the toun shal sprede;
And thus shal Troye turne to asshen dede.

'For certeyn, Phebus and Neptunus bothe,  
That makeden the walles of the toun,
Ben with the folk of Troye alwey so wrothe,
That thei wol bringe it to confusioun,
Right in despyt of king Lameadoun.
By-cause he nolde payen hem hir hyre,  
The toun of Troye shal ben set on-fyre.'

Telling his tale alwey, this olde greye,
Humble in speche, and in his lokinge eke,
The salte teres from his eyen tweye
Ful faste ronnen doun by eyther cheke.  
So longe he gan of socour hem by-seke
That, for to hele him of his sorwes sore,
They yave him Antenor, with-oute more.

But who was glad y-nough but Calkas tho?
And of this thing ful sone his nedes leyde  
On hem that sholden for the tretis go,
And hem for Antenor ful ofte preyde
To bringen hoom king Toas and Criseyde;
And whan Pryam his save-garde sente,
Thembassadours to Troye streyght they wente.  

The cause y-told of hir cominge, the olde
Pryam the king ful sone in general
Let here-upon his parlement to holde,
Of which the effect rehersen yow I shal.
Thembassadours ben answered for fynal,  
Theschaunge of prisoners and al this nede
Hem lyketh wel, and forth in they procede.

This Troilus was present in the place,
Whan axed was for Antenor Criseyde,
For which ful sone chaungen gan his face,  
As he that with tho wordes wel neigh deyde.
But nathelees, he no word to it seyde,
Lest men sholde his affeccioun espye;
With mannes herte he gan his sorwes drye.

And ful of anguissh and of grisly drede  
Abood what lordes wolde un-to it seye;
And if they wolde graunte, as god forbede,
Theschaunge of hir, than thoughte he thinges tweye,
First, how to save hir honour, and what weye
He mighte best theschaunge of hir withstonde;  
Ful faste he caste how al this mighte stonde.

Love him made al prest to doon hir byde,
And rather dye than she sholde go;
But resoun seyde him, on that other syde,
'With-oute assent of hir ne do not so,  
Lest for thy werk she wolde be thy fo,
And seyn, that thorugh thy medling is y-blowe
Your bother love, there it was erst unknowe.'

For which he gan deliberen, for the beste,
That though the lordes wolde that she wente,  
He wolde lat hem graunte what hem leste,
And telle his lady first what that they mente.
And whan that she had seyd him hir entente,
Ther-after wolde he werken also blyve,
Though al the world ayein it wolde stryve.  

Ector, which that wel the Grekes herde,
For Antenor how they wolde han Criseyde,
Gan it withstonde, and sobrely answerde: --
'Sires, she nis no prisoner,' he seyde;
'I noot on yow who that this charge leyde,  
But, on my part, ye may eft-sone hem telle,
We usen here no wommen for to selle.'

The noyse of peple up-stirte thanne at ones,
As breme as blase of straw y-set on fyre;
For infortune it wolde, for the nones,  
They sholden hir confusioun desyre.
'Ector,' quod they, 'what goost may yow enspyre
This womman thus to shilde and doon us lese
Daun Antenor? -- a wrong wey now ye chese --

'That is so wys, and eek so bold baroun,  
And we han nede to folk, as men may see;
He is eek oon, the grettest of this toun;
O Ector, lat tho fantasyes be!
O king Priam,' quod they, 'thus seggen we,
That al our voys is to for-gon Criseyde;'  
And to deliveren Antenor they preyde.

O Iuvenal, lord! Trewe is thy sentence,
That litel witen folk what is to yerne
That they ne finde in hir desyr offence;
For cloud of errour let hem not descerne  
What best is; and lo, here ensample as yerne.
This folk desiren now deliveraunce
Of Antenor, that broughte hem to mischaunce!

For he was after traytour to the toun
Of Troye; allas! They quitte him out to rathe;  
O nyce world, lo, thy discrecioun!
Criseyde, which that never dide hem skathe,
Shal now no lenger in hir blisse bathe;
But Antenor, he shal com hoom to toune,
And she shal out; thus seyden here and howne.  

For which delibered was by parlement
For Antenor to yelden out Criseyde,
And it pronounced by the president,
Al-theigh that Ector 'nay' ful ofte preyde.
And fynaly, what wight that it with-seyde,  
It was for nought, it moste been, and sholde;
For substaunce of the parlement it wolde.

Departed out of parlement echone,
This Troilus, with-oute wordes mo,
Un-to his chaumbre spedde him faste allone,  
But-if it were a man of his or two,
The whiche he bad out faste for to go,
By-cause he wolde slepen, as he seyde,
And hastely up-on his bed him leyde.

And as in winter leves been biraft,  
Eche after other, til the tree be bare,
So that ther nis but bark and braunche y-laft,
Lyth Troilus, biraft of ech wel-fare,
Y-bounden in the blake bark of care,
Disposed wood out of his wit to breyde,  
So sore him sat the chaunginge of Criseyde.

He rist him up, and every dore he shette
And windowe eek, and tho this sorweful man
Up-on his beddes syde a-doun him sette,
Ful lyk a deed image pale and wan;  
And in his brest the heped wo bigan
Out-breste, and he to werken in this wyse
In his woodnesse, as I shal yow devyse.

Right as the wilde bole biginneth springe
Now here, now there, y-darted to the herte,  
And of his deeth roreth in compleyninge,
Right so gan he aboute the chaumbre sterte,
Smyting his brest ay with his festes smerte;
His heed to the wal, his body to the grounde
Ful ofte he swapte, him-selven to confounde.  

His eyen two, for pitee of his herte,
Out stremeden as swifte welles tweye;
The heighe sobbes of his sorwes smerte
His speche him refte, unnethes mighte he seye,
'O deeth, allas! Why niltow do me deye?  
A-cursed be the day which that nature
Shoop me to ben a lyves creature!'

But after, whan the furie and the rage
Which that his herte twiste and faste threste,
By lengthe of tyme somwhat gan asswage,  
Up-on his bed he leyde him doun to reste;
But tho bigonne his teres more out-breste,
That wonder is, the body may suffyse
To half this wo, which that I yow devyse.

Than seyde he thus, 'Fortune! Allas the whyle!  
What have I doon, what have I thus a-gilt?
How mightestow for reuthe me bigyle?
Is ther no grace, and shal I thus be spilt?
Shal thus Criseyde awey, for that thou wilt?
Allas! How maystow in thyn herte finde  
To been to me thus cruel and unkinde?

'Have I thee nought honoured al my lyve,
As thou wel wost, above the goddes alle?
Why wiltow me fro Ioye thus depryve?
O Troilus, what may men now thee calle  
But wrecche of wrecches, out of honour falle
In-to miserie, in which I wol biwayle
Criseyde, allas! Til that the breeth me fayle?

'Allas, Fortune! If that my lyf in Ioye
Displesed hadde un-to thy foule envye,  
Why ne haddestow my fader, king of Troye,
By-raft the lyf, or doon my bretheren dye,
Or slayn my-self, that thus compleyne and crye,
I, combre-world, that may of no-thing serve,
But ever dye, and never fully sterve?  

'If that Criseyde allone were me laft,
Nought roughte I whider thou woldest me stere;
And hir, allas! Than hastow me biraft.
But ever-more, lo! This is thy manere,
To reve a wight that most is to him dere,  
To preve in that thy gerful violence.
Thus am I lost, ther helpeth no defence!

'O verray lord of love, O god, allas!
That knowest best myn herte and al my thought,
What shal my sorwful lyf don in this cas  
If I for-go that I so dere have bought?
Sin ye Cryseyde and me han fully brought
In-to your grace, and bothe our hertes seled,
How may ye suffre, allas! It be repeled?

'What I may doon, I shal, whyl I may dure  
On lyve in torment and in cruel peyne,
This infortune or this disaventure,
Allone as I was born, y-wis, compleyne;
Ne never wil I seen it shyne or reyne;
But ende I wil, as Edippe, in derknesse  
My sorwful lyf, and dyen in distresse.

'O wery goost, that errest to and fro,
Why niltow fleen out of the wofulleste
Body, that ever mighte on grounde go?
O soule, lurkinge in this wo, unneste,  
Flee forth out of myn herte, and lat it breste,
And folwe alwey Criseyde, thy lady dere;
Thy righte place is now no lenger here!

'O wofulle eyen two, sin your disport
Was al to seen Criseydes eyen brighte,  
What shal ye doon but, for my discomfort,
Stonden for nought, and wepen out your sighte?
Sin she is queynt, that wont was yow to lighte,
In veyn fro-this-forth have I eyen tweye
Y-formed, sin your vertue is a-weye.  

'O my Criseyde, O lady sovereyne
Of thilke woful soule that thus cryeth,
Who shal now yeven comfort to the peyne?
Allas, no wight; but when myn herte dyeth,
My spirit, which that so un-to yow hyeth,  
Receyve in gree, for that shal ay yow serve;
For-thy no fors is, though the body sterve.

'O ye loveres, that heighe upon the wheel
Ben set of Fortune, in good aventure,
God leve that ye finde ay love of steel,  
And longe mot your lyf in Ioye endure!
But whan ye comen by my sepulture,
Remembreth that your felawe resteth there;
For I lovede eek, though I unworthy were.

'O olde, unholsom, and mislyved man,  
Calkas I mene, allas! What eyleth thee
To been a Greek, sin thou art born Troian?
O Calkas, which that wilt my bane be,
In cursed tyme was thou born for me!
As wolde blisful Iove, for his Ioye,  
That I thee hadde, where I wolde, in Troye!'

A thousand sykes, hottere than the glede,
Out of his brest ech after other wente,
Medled with pleyntes newe, his wo to fede,
For which his woful teres never stente;  
And shortly, so his peynes him to-rente,
And wex so mat, that Ioye nor penaunce
He feleth noon, but lyth forth in a traunce.

Pandare, which that in the parlement
Hadde herd what every lord and burgeys seyde,  
And how ful graunted was, by oon assent,
For Antenor to yelden so Criseyde,
Gan wel neigh wood out of his wit to breyde,
So that, for wo, he niste what he mente;
But in a rees to Troilus he wente.  

A certeyn knight, that for the tyme kepte
The chaumbre-dore, un-dide it him anoon;
And Pandare, that ful tendreliche wepte,
In-to the derke chaumbre, as stille as stoon,
Toward the bed gan softely to goon,  
So confus, that he niste what to seye;
For verray wo his wit was neigh aweye.

And with his chere and loking al to-torn,
For sorwe of this, and with his armes folden,
He stood this woful Troilus biforn,  
And on his pitous face he gan biholden;
But lord, so often gan his herte colden,
Seing his freend in wo, whos hevinesse
His herte slow, as thoughte him, for distresse.

This woful wight, this Troilus, that felte  
His freend Pandare y-comen him to see,
Gan as the snow ayein the sonne melte,
For which this sorwful Pandare, of pitee,
Gan for to wepe as tendreliche as he;
And specheles thus been thise ilke tweye,  
That neyther mighte o word for sorwe seye.

But at the laste this woful Troilus,
Ney deed for smert, gan bresten out to rore,
And with a sorwful noyse he seyde thus,
Among his sobbes and his sykes sore,  
'Lo! Pandare, I am deed, with-oute
(To Marcel Schwob in friendship and in admiration)

In a dim corner of my room for longer than
my fancy thinks
A beautiful and silent Sphinx has watched me
through the shifting gloom.

Inviolate and immobile she does not rise she
does not stir
For silver moons are naught to her and naught
to her the suns that reel.

Red follows grey across the air, the waves of
moonlight ebb and flow
But with the Dawn she does not go and in the
night-time she is there.

Dawn follows Dawn and Nights grow old and
all the while this curious cat
Lies couching on the Chinese mat with eyes of
satin rimmed with gold.

Upon the mat she lies and leers and on the
tawny throat of her
Flutters the soft and silky fur or ripples to her
pointed ears.

Come forth, my lovely seneschal! so somnolent,
so statuesque!
Come forth you exquisite grotesque! half woman
and half animal!

Come forth my lovely languorous Sphinx! and
put your head upon my knee!
And let me stroke your throat and see your
body spotted like the Lynx!

And let me touch those curving claws of yellow
ivory and grasp
The tail that like a monstrous Asp coils round
your heavy velvet paws!

A thousand weary centuries are thine
while I have hardly seen
Some twenty summers cast their green for
Autumn’s gaudy liveries.

But you can read the Hieroglyphs on the
great sandstone obelisks,
And you have talked with Basilisks, and you
have looked on Hippogriffs.

O tell me, were you standing by when Isis to
Osiris knelt?
And did you watch the Egyptian melt her union
for Antony

And drink the jewel-drunken wine and bend
her head in mimic awe
To see the huge proconsul draw the salted tunny
from the brine?

And did you mark the Cyprian kiss white Adon
on his catafalque?
And did you follow Amenalk, the God of
Heliopolis?

And did you talk with Thoth, and did you hear
the moon-horned Io weep?
And know the painted kings who sleep beneath
the wedge-shaped Pyramid?

Lift up your large black satin eyes which are
like cushions where one sinks!
Fawn at my feet, fantastic Sphinx! and sing me
all your memories!

Sing to me of the Jewish maid who wandered
with the Holy Child,
And how you led them through the wild, and
how they slept beneath your shade.

Sing to me of that odorous green eve when
crouching by the marge
You heard from Adrian’s gilded barge the
laughter of Antinous

And lapped the stream and fed your drouth and
watched with hot and hungry stare
The ivory body of that rare young slave with
his pomegranate mouth!

Sing to me of the Labyrinth in which the twi-
formed bull was stalled!
Sing to me of the night you crawled across the
temple’s granite plinth

When through the purple corridors the screaming
scarlet Ibis flew
In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the
moaning Mandragores,

And the great torpid crocodile within the tank
shed slimy tears,
And tare the jewels from his ears and staggered
back into the Nile,

And the priests cursed you with shrill psalms as
in your claws you seized their snake
And crept away with it to slake your passion by
the shuddering palms.

Who were your lovers? who were they
who wrestled for you in the dust?
Which was the vessel of your Lust?  What
Leman had you, every day?

Did giant Lizards come and crouch before you
on the reedy banks?
Did Gryphons with great metal flanks leap on
you in your trampled couch?

Did monstrous hippopotami come sidling toward
you in the mist?
Did gilt-scaled dragons writhe and twist with
passion as you passed them by?

And from the brick-built Lycian tomb what
horrible Chimera came
With fearful heads and fearful flame to breed
new wonders from your womb?

Or had you shameful secret quests and did
you harry to your home
Some Nereid coiled in amber foam with curious
rock crystal *******?

Or did you treading through the froth call to
the brown Sidonian
For tidings of Leviathan, Leviathan or
Behemoth?

Or did you when the sun was set climb up the
cactus-covered *****
To meet your swarthy Ethiop whose body was
of polished jet?

Or did you while the earthen skiffs dropped
down the grey Nilotic flats
At twilight and the flickering bats flew round
the temple’s triple glyphs

Steal to the border of the bar and swim across
the silent lake
And slink into the vault and make the Pyramid
your lupanar

Till from each black sarcophagus rose up the
painted swathed dead?
Or did you lure unto your bed the ivory-horned
Tragelaphos?

Or did you love the god of flies who plagued
the Hebrews and was splashed
With wine unto the waist? or Pasht, who had
green beryls for her eyes?

Or that young god, the Tyrian, who was more
amorous than the dove
Of Ashtaroth? or did you love the god of the
Assyrian

Whose wings, like strange transparent talc, rose
high above his hawk-faced head,
Painted with silver and with red and ribbed with
rods of Oreichalch?

Or did huge Apis from his car leap down and
lay before your feet
Big blossoms of the honey-sweet and honey-
coloured nenuphar?

How subtle-secret is your smile!  Did you
love none then?  Nay, I know
Great Ammon was your bedfellow!  He lay with
you beside the Nile!

The river-horses in the slime trumpeted when
they saw him come
Odorous with Syrian galbanum and smeared with
spikenard and with thyme.

He came along the river bank like some tall
galley argent-sailed,
He strode across the waters, mailed in beauty,
and the waters sank.

He strode across the desert sand:  he reached
the valley where you lay:
He waited till the dawn of day:  then touched
your black ******* with his hand.

You kissed his mouth with mouths of flame:
you made the horned god your own:
You stood behind him on his throne:  you called
him by his secret name.

You whispered monstrous oracles into the
caverns of his ears:
With blood of goats and blood of steers you
taught him monstrous miracles.

White Ammon was your bedfellow!  Your
chamber was the steaming Nile!
And with your curved archaic smile you watched
his passion come and go.

With Syrian oils his brows were bright:
and wide-spread as a tent at noon
His marble limbs made pale the moon and lent
the day a larger light.

His long hair was nine cubits’ span and coloured
like that yellow gem
Which hidden in their garment’s hem the
merchants bring from Kurdistan.

His face was as the must that lies upon a vat of
new-made wine:
The seas could not insapphirine the perfect azure
of his eyes.

His thick soft throat was white as milk and
threaded with thin veins of blue:
And curious pearls like frozen dew were
broidered on his flowing silk.

On pearl and porphyry pedestalled he was
too bright to look upon:
For on his ivory breast there shone the wondrous
ocean-emerald,

That mystic moonlit jewel which some diver of
the Colchian caves
Had found beneath the blackening waves and
carried to the Colchian witch.

Before his gilded galiot ran naked vine-wreathed
corybants,
And lines of swaying elephants knelt down to
draw his chariot,

And lines of swarthy Nubians bare up his litter
as he rode
Down the great granite-paven road between the
nodding peacock-fans.

The merchants brought him steatite from Sidon
in their painted ships:
The meanest cup that touched his lips was
fashioned from a chrysolite.

The merchants brought him cedar chests of rich
apparel bound with cords:
His train was borne by Memphian lords:  young
kings were glad to be his guests.

Ten hundred shaven priests did bow to Ammon’s
altar day and night,
Ten hundred lamps did wave their light through
Ammon’s carven house—and now

Foul snake and speckled adder with their young
ones crawl from stone to stone
For ruined is the house and prone the great
rose-marble monolith!

Wild *** or trotting jackal comes and couches
in the mouldering gates:
Wild satyrs call unto their mates across the
fallen fluted drums.

And on the summit of the pile the blue-faced
ape of Horus sits
And gibbers while the fig-tree splits the pillars
of the peristyle

The god is scattered here and there:  deep
hidden in the windy sand
I saw his giant granite hand still clenched in
impotent despair.

And many a wandering caravan of stately
negroes silken-shawled,
Crossing the desert, halts appalled before the
neck that none can span.

And many a bearded Bedouin draws back his
yellow-striped burnous
To gaze upon the Titan thews of him who was
thy paladin.

Go, seek his fragments on the moor and
wash them in the evening dew,
And from their pieces make anew thy mutilated
paramour!

Go, seek them where they lie alone and from
their broken pieces make
Thy bruised bedfellow!  And wake mad passions
in the senseless stone!

Charm his dull ear with Syrian hymns! he loved
your body! oh, be kind,
Pour spikenard on his hair, and wind soft rolls
of linen round his limbs!

Wind round his head the figured coins! stain
with red fruits those pallid lips!
Weave purple for his shrunken hips! and purple
for his barren *****!

Away to Egypt!  Have no fear.  Only one
God has ever died.
Only one God has let His side be wounded by a
soldier’s spear.

But these, thy lovers, are not dead.  Still by the
hundred-cubit gate
Dog-faced Anubis sits in state with lotus-lilies
for thy head.

Still from his chair of porphyry gaunt Memnon
strains his lidless eyes
Across the empty land, and cries each yellow
morning unto thee.

And Nilus with his broken horn lies in his black
and oozy bed
And till thy coming will not spread his waters on
the withering corn.

Your lovers are not dead, I know.  They will
rise up and hear your voice
And clash their cymbals and rejoice and run to
kiss your mouth!  And so,

Set wings upon your argosies!  Set horses to
your ebon car!
Back to your Nile!  Or if you are grown sick of
dead divinities

Follow some roving lion’s spoor across the copper-
coloured plain,
Reach out and hale him by the mane and bid
him be your paramour!

Couch by his side upon the grass and set your
white teeth in his throat
And when you hear his dying note lash your
long flanks of polished brass

And take a tiger for your mate, whose amber
sides are flecked with black,
And ride upon his gilded back in triumph
through the Theban gate,

And toy with him in amorous jests, and when
he turns, and snarls, and gnaws,
O smite him with your jasper claws! and bruise
him with your agate *******!

Why are you tarrying?  Get hence!  I
weary of your sullen ways,
I weary of your steadfast gaze, your somnolent
magnificence.

Your horrible and heavy breath makes the light
flicker in the lamp,
And on my brow I feel the damp and dreadful
dews of night and death.

Your eyes are like fantastic moons that shiver
in some stagnant lake,
Your tongue is like a scarlet snake that dances
to fantastic tunes,

Your pulse makes poisonous melodies, and your
black throat is like the hole
Left by some torch or burning coal on Saracenic
tapestries.

Away!  The sulphur-coloured stars are hurrying
through the Western gate!
Away!  Or it may be too late to climb their silent
silver cars!

See, the dawn shivers round the grey gilt-dialled
towers, and the rain
Streams down each diamonded pane and blurs
with tears the wannish day.

What snake-tressed fury fresh from Hell, with
uncouth gestures and unclean,
Stole from the poppy-drowsy queen and led you
to a student’s cell?

What songless tongueless ghost of sin crept
through the curtains of the night,
And saw my taper burning bright, and knocked,
and bade you enter in?

Are there not others more accursed, whiter with
leprosies than I?
Are Abana and Pharphar dry that you come here
to slake your thirst?

Get hence, you loathsome mystery!  Hideous
animal, get hence!
You wake in me each ******* sense, you make me
what I would not be.

You make my creed a barren sham, you wake
foul dreams of sensual life,
And Atys with his blood-stained knife were
better than the thing I am.

False Sphinx!  False Sphinx!  By reedy Styx
old Charon, leaning on his oar,
Waits for my coin.  Go thou before, and leave
me to my crucifix,

Whose pallid burden, sick with pain, watches
the world with wearied eyes,
And weeps for every soul that dies, and weeps
for every soul in vain.
This trumpeter of nothingness, employed
To keep our reason dull and null and void.
This man of wind and froth and flux will sell
The wares of any who reward him well.
Praising whatever he is paid to praise,
He hunts for ever-newer, smarter ways
To make the gilt seen gold; the shoddy, silk;
To cheat us legally; to bluff and bilk
By methods which no jury can prevent
Because the law's not broken, only bent.

This mind for hire, this mental *******
Can tell the half-lie hardest to refute;
Knows how to hide an inconvenient fact
And when to leave a doubtful claim unbacked;
Manipulates the truth but not too much,
And if his patter needs the Human Touch,
Skillfully artless, artlessly naive,
Wears his convenient heart upon his sleeve.

He uses words that once were strong and fine,
Primal as sun and moon and bread and wine,
True, honourable, honoured, clear and keen,
And leaves them shabby, worn, diminished, mean.
He takes ideas and trains them to engage
In the long little wars big combines wage...
He keeps his logic loose, his feelings flimsy;
Turns eloquence to cant and wit to whimsy;
Trims language till it fits his clients, pattern
And style's a glossy **** or limping slattern.

He studies our defences, finds the cracks
And where the wall is weak or worn, attacks.
lie finds the fear that's deep, the wound that's tender,
And mastered, outmanouevered, we surrender.
We who have tried to choose accept his choice
And tired succumb to his untiring voice.
The dripping tap makes even granite soften
We trust the brand-name we have heard so often
And join the queue of sheep that flock to buy;
We fools who know our folly, you and I.
WHEN cold December
Froze to grisamber
The jangling bells on the sweet rose-trees--
Then fading slow
And furred is the snow
As the almond's sweet husk--
And smelling like musk.
The snow amygdaline
Under the eglantine
Where the bristling stars shine
Like a gilt porcupine--
The snow confesses
The little Princesses
On their small chioppines
Dance under the orpines.
See the casuistries
Of their slant fluttering eyes--
Gilt as the zodiac
(Dancing Herodiac).
Only the snow slides
Like gilded myrrh--
From the rose-branches--hides
Rose-roots that stir.
Steve Page Nov 2016
Christmas can be a time
when families get together:
Young children scream, wine glasses gleam,
both ready for M&S dinner.

TV's in the corner
rerunning Home Alone,
Heart radio's in the kitchen,
Chris Rea's driving home,
again.

Toddlers find the wrapping
more engaging than the Duplo
Teen couples find the company
less of interest than their own.

The dog's confused and excited
with so many different sources
of scratches and pats, he can't relax,
his whining is remorseless.

Christmas can be a time
when families are missed,
the parcel made last post
winging off to little sis.

Skype will come in handy
to laugh across the miles,
the screen will mask the tears
and focus on the smiles.

Gran will talk of Christmas past
when everyone was home
'Cept in Gulf War 1 when Uncle John
went away, ....

Christmas can be a time
when budgets get stretched tight,
cash pressures get to breaking point
and prompt senseless fights.

Some focus on opportunity
to spend some gilt-free money,
the only prayers are for extra hours
and a faster tesco trolley.

For others it's simply ' Yuletide'
an excessive celebration,
a winter feast, all you can eat,
give in to all temptation.

Most focus on the family,
even more on the gifts;
there's little time for Jesus
assigned amongst the myths.

Some do remember Jesus
from half forgotten carols,
they know there's something more
than donkeys and angel heralds.

For there He is in the middle,
noticed once in a while;
it's His birthday, but all He's getting
is a half-hearted song and a smile.

He's no longer a babe in a manger,
He's now a resurrected King,
waiting for those who would worship
to stand and welcome Him in.

Whatever your experience of Christmas
you can come just as you are,
His love is unconditional
He'll accept you warts and all.

So come on!
It’s a season to celebrate!
To dance, to sing and to shout!
Your Saviour invites you to join Him,
so when you sing this Christmas,
BELT it out.
http://redeemerlondon.org/about/
Written for our Christmas Carol concert Dec 2016.
Beckawecka Sep 2016
There are hearts of gilt,
And there are hearts of sin
There are hearts that lose,
And there are hearts that win.
There are hearts of stone.

But if my heart was anything,
It'd be a cactus.

Prickly and unwelcoming with tight alien-green skin,
That never fails to swell to accommodate whatever grew inside unseen.
With love it'd bulge,
And it'd shrink in the absence of love.

(But with the right care it could bloom the most spectacular flowers.)

There are strong hearts,
But even strong hearts give in.
My heart is a cactus heart,
My heart could keep it all in.
Somebody is shooting at something in our town --
A dull pom, pom in the Sunday street.
Jealousy can open the blood,
It can make black roses.
Who are the shooting at?

It is you the knives are out for
At Waterloo, Waterloo, Napoleon,
The **** of Elba on your short back,
And the snow, marshaling its brilliant cutlery
Mass after mass, saying Shh!

Shh! These are chess people you play with,
Still figures of ivory.
The mud squirms with throats,
Stepping stones for French bootsoles.
The gilt and pink domes of Russia melt and float off

In the furnace of greed. Clouds, clouds.
So the swarm ***** and deserts
Seventy feet up, in a black pine tree.
It must be shot down. Pom! Pom!
So dumb it thinks bullets are thunder.

It thinks they are the voice of God
Condoning the beak, the claw, the grin of the dog
Yellow-haunched, a pack-dog,
Grinning over its bone of ivory
Like the pack, the pack, like everybody.

The bees have got so far. Seventy feet high!
Russia, Poland and Germany!
The mild hills, the same old magenta
Fields shrunk to a penny
Spun into a river, the river crossed.

The bees argue, in their black ball,
A flying hedgehog, all prickles.
The man with gray hands stands under the honeycomb
Of their dream, the hived station
Where trains, faithful to their steel arcs,

Leave and arrive, and there is no end to the country.
Pom! Pom! They fall
Dismembered, to a tod of ivy.
So much for the charioteers, the outriders, the Grand Army!
A red tatter, Napoleon!

The last badge of victory.
The swarm is knocked into a cocked straw hat.
Elba, Elba, bleb on the sea!
The white busts of marshals, admirals, generals
Worming themselves into niches.

How instructive this is!
The dumb, banded bodies
Walking the plank draped with Mother France's upholstery
Into a new mausoleum,
An ivory palace, a crotch pine.

The man with gray hands smiles --
The smile of a man of business, intensely practical.
They are not hands at all
But asbestos receptacles.
Pom! Pom! 'They would have killed me.'

Stings big as drawing pins!
It seems bees have a notion of honor,
A black intractable mind.
Napoleon is pleased, he is pleased with everything.
O Europe! O ton of honey!
A-Z
All americans amply adore adult affairs, as all anarchist adapt alchemy adding astrological anatomy. Again and again advertisements allows affliction adopting and adapting behind ****** beliefs. Besides being boggled, beware big bangs become beginnings. Build beneficial bridges, contemptible courts create credit consuming countries, cops copout. Complement compassion conspire, contact & contest causes constant curiosity can cure cancer, disease & disability. Deep diving dare devils dive deep daring devils designing diabolical deeds daily. Every eclipse emits energy. Employ empathy, empower education, embrace emotion, eliminate elitism. Freedom from forever fetching, fined forgotten fundamentals fully focusing, frantic fools fizzle fast. Gas guzzling gluttons gathering garbage gardens generate generational genes. Gods gilt grows. However hustling hope hype has harmed humanity’s harvest, harboring hateful habits ignorance infects into idiots, idealist imagine, illumination increases imaging. Just join James, Jerusalem’s jackpot, jailhouse jokers, Jesus jumping Joseph just justify Kriss Kringle, knowledge, kings killing kids, ku klux **** kingdoms knowing life & logic loosely. Love loud, live & let live less lords linger, least let light lead loyal lunatics merely mortal magic. Media’s morbid makeover makes morning mindless midnight’s mayhem’s marketplace microwave midfields mixing m16 man made misery muffling many muzzled masses. Newly named narcissistic nations nationalize nc-17 nonsense needing normal numerals natural numbers not nuclear Nazis overseeing oblong objectives orbiting our original origin. Organize outlaws outlanders outcasts overall people pathetically pleased pill popping pissants. Permute perseverance provide physical philosophy preceding prime power, push. Quit quarreling, question quadrants, quests quench qualifying qualities. Realist realize realities rigged, reborn rebels raid reason rejecting rusted routines reducing royalty redoing realities redundant reflection. Reaching scared stars secretes surface scientific simplicity. State symbolism segregates sense spelling spellbound Satanism. Temples trapping truth’s timeline, television tames tons teaching troubling tall tails, turbojeted tanks takeoff targeting trailblazing teachers. Ugly unlawful union undone. Ultimate universal u-turn unites us using unearthed UFOs. Unknown variables vast vacuum, visibly violent volcanoes, vented virus vaults, vanishing voyagers, weather warnings with world wide war warming weapons waking who would watch wandering why x-axis yields yin & yang yet yankees yell yearly. Ziggurats, zodiacs, zen & zion zipped, zombie zoos zigzaging zero zones
Cali Mar 2013
it's too late to fret
about decisions made
and ties cut, past tense.
it's hard to see it
without the glaring minutiae
of my demise.
I'm scanning the walls
for a change of subject-
Polaroids and butterfly carcasses,
city skyline sketches
and old cigarette advertisements
in gilt gold frames;
satisfy yourself.

my mind is saturated
with degenerate cogitation-
a stew of pantheons
and painstaking nihilism.
my bones are brittle
and begging to break
and my eyes are growing heavy,
with the weight of it all.
Incipit Prohemium Secundi Libri.

Out of these blake wawes for to sayle,
O wind, O wind, the weder ginneth clere;
For in this see the boot hath swich travayle,
Of my conning, that unnethe I it stere:
This see clepe I the tempestous matere  
Of desespeyr that Troilus was inne:
But now of hope the calendes biginne.
O lady myn, that called art Cleo,
Thou be my speed fro this forth, and my muse,
To ryme wel this book, til I have do;  
Me nedeth here noon other art to use.
For-why to every lovere I me excuse,
That of no sentement I this endyte,
But out of Latin in my tonge it wryte.

Wherfore I nil have neither thank ne blame  
Of al this werk, but prey yow mekely,
Disblameth me if any word be lame,
For as myn auctor seyde, so seye I.
Eek though I speke of love unfelingly,
No wondre is, for it no-thing of newe is;  
A blind man can nat Iuggen wel in hewis.

Ye knowe eek, that in forme of speche is chaunge
With-inne a thousand yeer, and wordes tho
That hadden prys, now wonder nyce and straunge
Us thinketh hem; and yet they spake hem so,  
And spedde as wel in love as men now do;
Eek for to winne love in sondry ages,
In sondry londes, sondry ben usages.

And for-thy if it happe in any wyse,
That here be any lovere in this place  
That herkneth, as the storie wol devyse,
How Troilus com to his lady grace,
And thenketh, so nolde I nat love purchace,
Or wondreth on his speche or his doinge,
I noot; but it is me no wonderinge;  

For every wight which that to Rome went,
Halt nat o path, or alwey o manere;
Eek in som lond were al the gamen shent,
If that they ferde in love as men don here,
As thus, in open doing or in chere,  
In visitinge, in forme, or seyde hire sawes;
For-thy men seyn, ech contree hath his lawes.

Eek scarsly been ther in this place three
That han in love seid lyk and doon in al;
For to thy purpos this may lyken thee,  
And thee right nought, yet al is seyd or shal;
Eek som men grave in tree, som in stoon wal,
As it bitit; but sin I have begonne,
Myn auctor shal I folwen, if I conne.

Exclipit prohemium Secundi Libri.

Incipit Liber Secundus.

In May, that moder is of monthes glade,  
That fresshe floures, blewe, and whyte, and rede,
Ben quike agayn, that winter dede made,
And ful of bawme is fleting every mede;
Whan Phebus doth his brighte bemes sprede
Right in the whyte Bole, it so bitidde  
As I shal singe, on Mayes day the thridde,

That Pandarus, for al his wyse speche,
Felt eek his part of loves shottes kene,
That, coude he never so wel of loving preche,
It made his hewe a-day ful ofte grene;  
So shoop it, that hym fil that day a tene
In love, for which in wo to bedde he wente,
And made, er it was day, ful many a wente.

The swalwe Proigne, with a sorwful lay,
Whan morwe com, gan make hir waymentinge,  
Why she forshapen was; and ever lay
Pandare a-bedde, half in a slomeringe,
Til she so neigh him made hir chiteringe
How Tereus gan forth hir suster take,
That with the noyse of hir he gan a-wake;  

And gan to calle, and dresse him up to ryse,
Remembringe him his erand was to done
From Troilus, and eek his greet empryse;
And caste and knew in good plyt was the mone
To doon viage, and took his wey ful sone  
Un-to his neces paleys ther bi-syde;
Now Ianus, god of entree, thou him gyde!

Whan he was come un-to his neces place,
'Wher is my lady?' to hir folk seyde he;
And they him tolde; and he forth in gan pace,  
And fond, two othere ladyes sete and she,
With-inne a paved parlour; and they three
Herden a mayden reden hem the geste
Of the Sege of Thebes, whyl hem leste.

Quod Pandarus, 'Ma dame, god yow see,  
With al your book and al the companye!'
'Ey, uncle myn, welcome y-wis,' quod she,
And up she roos, and by the hond in hye
She took him faste, and seyde, 'This night thrye,
To goode mote it turne, of yow I mette!'  
And with that word she doun on bench him sette.

'Ye, nece, ye shal fare wel the bet,
If god wole, al this yeer,' quod Pandarus;
'But I am sory that I have yow let
To herknen of your book ye preysen thus;  
For goddes love, what seith it? tel it us.
Is it of love? O, som good ye me lere!'
'Uncle,' quod she, 'your maistresse is not here!'

With that they gonnen laughe, and tho she seyde,
'This romaunce is of Thebes, that we rede;  
And we han herd how that king Laius deyde
Thurgh Edippus his sone, and al that dede;
And here we stenten at these lettres rede,
How the bisshop, as the book can telle,
Amphiorax, fil thurgh the ground to helle.'  

Quod Pandarus, 'Al this knowe I my-selve,
And al the assege of Thebes and the care;
For her-of been ther maked bokes twelve: --
But lat be this, and tel me how ye fare;
Do wey your barbe, and shew your face bare;  
Do wey your book, rys up, and lat us daunce,
And lat us don to May som observaunce.'

'A! God forbede!' quod she. 'Be ye mad?
Is that a widewes lyf, so god you save?
By god, ye maken me right sore a-drad,  
Ye ben so wilde, it semeth as ye rave!
It sete me wel bet ay in a cave
To bidde, and rede on holy seyntes lyves;
Lat maydens gon to daunce, and yonge wyves.'

'As ever thryve I,' quod this Pandarus,  
'Yet coude I telle a thing to doon you pleye.'
'Now, uncle dere,' quod she, 'tel it us
For goddes love; is than the assege aweye?
I am of Grekes so ferd that I deye.'
'Nay, nay,' quod he, 'as ever mote I thryve!  
It is a thing wel bet than swiche fyve.'

'Ye, holy god,' quod she, 'what thing is that?
What! Bet than swiche fyve? Ey, nay, y-wis!
For al this world ne can I reden what
It sholde been; som Iape, I trowe, is this;  
And but your-selven telle us what it is,
My wit is for to arede it al to lene;
As help me god, I noot nat what ye meene.'

'And I your borow, ne never shal, for me,
This thing be told to yow, as mote I thryve!'  
'And why so, uncle myn? Why so?' quod she.
'By god,' quod he, 'that wole I telle as blyve;
For prouder womman were ther noon on-lyve,
And ye it wiste, in al the toun of Troye;
I iape nought, as ever have I Ioye!'  

Tho gan she wondren more than biforn
A thousand fold, and doun hir eyen caste;
For never, sith the tyme that she was born,
To knowe thing desired she so faste;
And with a syk she seyde him at the laste,  
'Now, uncle myn, I nil yow nought displese,
Nor axen more, that may do yow disese.'

So after this, with many wordes glade,
And freendly tales, and with mery chere,
Of this and that they pleyde, and gunnen wade  
In many an unkouth glad and deep matere,
As freendes doon, whan they ben met y-fere;
Til she gan axen him how Ector ferde,
That was the tounes wal and Grekes yerde.

'Ful wel, I thanke it god,' quod Pandarus,  
'Save in his arm he hath a litel wounde;
And eek his fresshe brother Troilus,
The wyse worthy Ector the secounde,
In whom that ever vertu list abounde,
As alle trouthe and alle gentillesse,  
Wysdom, honour, fredom, and worthinesse.'

'In good feith, eem,' quod she, 'that lyketh me;
They faren wel, god save hem bothe two!
For trewely I holde it greet deyntee
A kinges sone in armes wel to do,  
And been of good condiciouns ther-to;
For greet power and moral vertu here
Is selde y-seye in o persone y-fere.'

'In good feith, that is sooth,' quod Pandarus;
'But, by my trouthe, the king hath sones tweye,  
That is to mene, Ector and Troilus,
That certainly, though that I sholde deye,
They been as voyde of vyces, dar I seye,
As any men that liveth under the sonne,
Hir might is wyde y-knowe, and what they conne.  

'Of Ector nedeth it nought for to telle:
In al this world ther nis a bettre knight
Than he, that is of worthinesse welle;
And he wel more vertu hath than might.
This knoweth many a wys and worthy wight.  
The same prys of Troilus I seye,
God help me so, I knowe not swiche tweye.'

'By god,' quod she, 'of Ector that is sooth;
Of Troilus the same thing trowe I;
For, dredelees, men tellen that he dooth  
In armes day by day so worthily,
And bereth him here at hoom so gentilly
To every wight, that al the prys hath he
Of hem that me were levest preysed be.'

'Ye sey right sooth, y-wis,' quod Pandarus;  
'For yesterday, who-so hadde with him been,
He might have wondred up-on Troilus;
For never yet so thikke a swarm of been
Ne fleigh, as Grekes fro him gonne fleen;
And thorugh the feld, in everi wightes ere,  
Ther nas no cry but "Troilus is there!"

'Now here, now there, he hunted hem so faste,
Ther nas but Grekes blood; and Troilus,
Now hem he hurte, and hem alle doun he caste;
Ay where he wente, it was arayed thus:  
He was hir deeth, and sheld and lyf for us;
That as that day ther dorste noon with-stonde,
Whyl that he held his blody swerd in honde.

'Therto he is the freendlieste man
Of grete estat, that ever I saw my lyve;  
And wher him list, best felawshipe can
To suche as him thinketh able for to thryve.'
And with that word tho Pandarus, as blyve,
He took his leve, and seyde, 'I wol go henne.'
'Nay, blame have I, myn uncle,' quod she thenne.  

'What eyleth yow to be thus wery sone,
And namelich of wommen? Wol ye so?
Nay, sitteth down; by god, I have to done
With yow, to speke of wisdom er ye go.'
And every wight that was a-boute hem tho,  
That herde that, gan fer a-wey to stonde,
Whyl they two hadde al that hem liste in honde.

Whan that hir tale al brought was to an ende,
Of hire estat and of hir governaunce,
Quod Pandarus, 'Now is it tyme I wende;  
But yet, I seye, aryseth, lat us daunce,
And cast your widwes habit to mischaunce:
What list yow thus your-self to disfigure,
Sith yow is tid thus fair an aventure?'

'A! Wel bithought! For love of god,' quod she,  
'Shal I not witen what ye mene of this?'
'No, this thing axeth layser,' tho quod he,
'And eek me wolde muche greve, y-wis,
If I it tolde, and ye it **** amis.
Yet were it bet my tonge for to stille  
Than seye a sooth that were ayeins your wille.

'For, nece, by the goddesse Minerve,
And Iuppiter, that maketh the thonder ringe,
And by the blisful Venus that I serve,
Ye been the womman in this world livinge,  
With-oute paramours, to my wittinge,
That I best love, and lothest am to greve,
And that ye witen wel your-self, I leve.'

'Y-wis, myn uncle,' quod she, 'grant mercy;
Your freendship have I founden ever yit;  
I am to no man holden trewely,
So muche as yow, and have so litel quit;
And, with the grace of god, emforth my wit,
As in my gilt I shal you never offende;
And if I have er this, I wol amende.  

'But, for the love of god, I yow beseche,
As ye ben he that I love most and triste,
Lat be to me your fremde manere speche,
And sey to me, your nece, what yow liste:'
And with that word hir uncle anoon hir kiste,  
And seyde, 'Gladly, leve nece dere,
Tak it for good that I shal seye yow here.'

With that she gan hir eiyen doun to caste,
And Pandarus to coghe gan a lyte,
And seyde, 'Nece, alwey, lo! To the laste,  
How-so it be that som men hem delyte
With subtil art hir tales for to endyte,
Yet for al that, in hir entencioun
Hir tale is al for som conclusioun.

'And sithen thende is every tales strengthe,  
And this matere is so bihovely,
What sholde I peynte or drawen it on lengthe
To yow, that been my freend so feithfully?'
And with that word he gan right inwardly
Biholden hir, and loken on hir face,  
And seyde, 'On suche a mirour goode grace!'

Than thoughte he thus: 'If I my tale endyte
Ought hard, or make a proces any whyle,
She shal no savour han ther-in but lyte,
And trowe I wolde hir in my wil bigyle.  
For tendre wittes wenen al be wyle
Ther-as they can nat pleynly understonde;
For-thy hir wit to serven wol I fonde --'

And loked on hir in a besy wyse,
And she was war that he byheld hir so,  
And seyde, 'Lord! So faste ye me avyse!
Sey ye me never er now? What sey ye, no?'
'Yes, yes,' quod he, 'and bet wole er I go;
But, by my trouthe, I thoughte now if ye
Be fortunat, for now men shal it see.  

'For to every wight som goodly aventure
Som tyme is shape, if he it can receyven;
And if that he wol take of it no cure,
Whan that it commeth, but wilfully it weyven,
Lo, neither cas nor fortune him deceyven,  
But right his verray slouthe and wrecchednesse;
And swich a wight is for to blame, I gesse.

'Good aventure, O bele nece, have ye
Ful lightly founden, and ye conne it take;
And, for the love of god, and eek of me,  
Cacche it anoon, lest aventure slake.
What sholde I lenger proces of it make?
Yif me your hond, for in this world is noon,
If that yow list, a wight so wel begoon.

'And sith I speke of good entencioun,  
As I to yow have told wel here-biforn,
And love as wel your honour and renoun
As creature in al this world y-born;
By alle the othes that I have yow sworn,
And ye be wrooth therfore, or wene I lye,  
Ne shal I never seen yow eft with ye.

'Beth nought agast, ne quaketh nat; wher-to?
Ne chaungeth nat for fere so your hewe;
For hardely the werste of this is do;
And though my tale as now be to yow newe,  
Yet trist alwey, ye shal me finde trewe;
And were it thing that me thoughte unsittinge,
To yow nolde I no swiche tales bringe.'

'Now, my good eem, for goddes love, I preye,'
Quod she, 'com of, and tel me what it is;  
For bothe I am agast what ye wol seye,
And eek me longeth it to wite, y-wis.
For whether it be wel or be amis,
Say on, lat me not in this fere dwelle:'
'So wol I doon; now herkneth, I shal telle:  

'Now, nece myn, the kinges dere sone,
The goode, wyse, worthy, fresshe, and free,
Which alwey for to do wel is his wone,
The noble Troilus, so loveth thee,
That, bot ye helpe, it wol his bane be.  
Lo, here is al, what sholde I more seye?
Doth what yow list, to make him live or deye.

'But if ye lete him deye, I wol sterve;
Have her my trouthe, nece, I nil not lyen;
Al sholde I with this knyf my throte kerve --'  
With that the teres braste out of his yen,
And seyde, 'If that ye doon us bothe dyen,
Thus giltelees, than have ye fisshed faire;
What mende ye, though that we bothe apeyre?

'Allas! He which that is my lord so dere,  
That trewe man, that noble gentil knight,
That nought desireth but your freendly chere,
I see him deye, ther he goth up-right,
And hasteth him, with al his fulle might,
For to be slayn, if fortune wol assente;  
Allas! That god yow swich a beautee sente!

'If it be so that ye so cruel be,
That of his deeth yow liste nought to recche,
That is so trewe and worthy, as ye see,
No more than of a Iapere or a wrecche,  
If ye be swich, your beautee may not strecche
To make amendes of so cruel a dede;
Avysement is good bifore the nede.

'Wo worth the faire gemme vertulees!
Wo worth that herbe also that dooth no bote!  
Wo worth that beautee that is routhelees!
Wo worth that wight that tret ech under fote!
And ye, that been of beautee crop and rote,
If therwith-al in you ther be no routhe,
Than is it harm ye liven, by my trouthe!  

'And also thenk wel that this is no gaude;
For me were lever, thou and I and he
Were hanged, than I sholde been his baude,
As heyghe, as men mighte on us alle y-see:
I am thyn eem, the shame were to me,  
As wel as thee, if that I sholde assente,
Thorugh myn abet, that he thyn honour shente.

'Now understond, for I yow nought requere,
To binde yow to him thorugh no beheste,
But only that ye make him bettre chere  
Than ye han doon er this, and more feste,
So that his lyf be saved, at the leste;
This al and som, and playnly our entente;
God help me so, I never other mente.

'Lo, this request is not but skile, y-wis,  
Ne doute of reson, pardee, is ther noon.
I sette the worste that ye dredden this,
Men wolden wondren seen him come or goon:
Ther-ayeins answere I thus a-noon,
That every wight, but he be fool of kinde,  
Wol deme it love of freendship in his minde.

'What? Who wol deme, though he see a man
To temple go, that he the images eteth?
Thenk eek how wel and wy
Christmass is come and every hearth
Makes room to give him welcome now
Een want will dry its tears in mirth
And crown him wi a holly bough
Tho tramping neath a winters sky
Oer snow track paths and ryhmey stiles
The huswife sets her spining bye
And bids him welcome wi her smiles
Each house is swept the day before
And windows stuck wi evergreens
The snow is beesomd from the door
And comfort crowns the cottage scenes
Gilt holly wi its thorny ******
And yew and box wi berrys small
These deck the unusd candlesticks
And pictures hanging by the wall

Neighbours resume their anual cheer
Wishing wi smiles and spirits high
Clad christmass and a happy year
To every morning passer bye
Milk maids their christmass journeys go
Accompanyd wi favourd swain
And childern pace the crumping snow
To taste their grannys cake again

Hung wi the ivys veining bough
The ash trees round the cottage farm
Are often stript of branches now
The cotters christmass hearth to warm
He swings and twists his hazel band
And lops them off wi sharpend hook
And oft brings ivy in his hand
To decorate the chimney nook

Old winter whipes his ides bye
And warms his fingers till he smiles
Where cottage hearths are blazing high
And labour resteth from his toils
Wi merry mirth beguiling care
Old customs keeping wi the day
Friends meet their christmass cheer to share
And pass it in a harmless way

Old customs O I love the sound
However simple they may be
What ere wi time has sanction found
Is welcome and is dear to me
Pride grows above simplicity
And spurns it from her haughty mind
And soon the poets song will be
The only refuge they can find

The shepherd now no more afraid
Since custom doth the chance bestow
Starts up to kiss the giggling maid
Beneath the branch of mizzletoe
That neath each cottage beam is seen
Wi pearl-like-berrys shining gay
The shadow still of what hath been
Which fashion yearly fades away

And singers too a merry throng
At early morn wi simple skill
Yet imitate the angels song
And chant their christmass ditty still
And mid the storm that dies and swells
By fits-in humings softly steals
The music of the village bells
Ringing round their merry peals

And when its past a merry crew
Bedeckt in masks and ribbons gay
The ‘Morrice danse’ their sports renew
And act their winter evening play
The clown-turnd-kings for penny praise
Storm wi the actors strut and swell
And harlequin a laugh to raise
Wears his **** back and tinkling bell

And oft for pence and spicy ale
Wi winter nosgays pind before
The wassail singer tells her tale
And drawls her christmass carrols oer
The prentice boy wi ruddy face
And ryhme bepowderd dancing locks
From door to door wi happy pace
Runs round to claim his ‘christmass box’

The block behind the fire is put
To sanction customs old desires
And many a ******* bands are cut
For the old farmers christmass fires
Where loud tongd gladness joins the throng
And winter meets the warmth of may
Feeling by times the heat too strong
And rubs his shins and draws away

While snows the window panes bedim
The fire curls up a sunny charm
Where creaming oer the pitchers rim
The flowering ale is set to warm
Mirth full of joy as summer bees
Sits there its pleasures to impart
While childern tween their parents knees
Sing scraps of carrols oer by heart

And some to view the winter weathers
Climb up the window seat wi glee
Likening the snow to falling feathers
In fancys infant ******
Laughing wi superstitious love
Oer visions wild that youth supplyes
Of people pulling geese above
And keeping christmass in the skyes

As tho the homstead trees were drest
In lieu of snow wi dancing leaves
As. tho the sundryd martins nest
Instead of ides hung the eaves
The childern hail the happy day
As if the snow was april grass
And pleasd as neath the warmth of may
Sport oer the water froze to glass

Thou day of happy sound and mirth
That long wi childish memory stays
How blest around the cottage hearth
I met thee in my boyish days
Harping wi raptures dreaming joys
On presents that thy coming found
The welcome sight of little toys
The christmass gifts of comers round

‘The wooden horse wi arching head
Drawn upon wheels around the room
The gilded coach of ginger bread
And many colord sugar plumb
Gilt coverd books for pictures sought
Or storys childhood loves to tell
Wi many a urgent promise bought
To get tomorrows lesson well

And many a thing a minutes sport
Left broken on the sanded floor
When we woud leave our play and court
Our parents promises for more
Tho manhood bids such raptures dye
And throws such toys away as vain
Yet memory loves to turn her eye
And talk such pleasures oer again

Around the glowing hearth at night
The harmless laugh and winter tale
Goes round-while parting friends delight
To toast each other oer their ale
The cotter oft wi quiet zeal
Will musing oer his bible lean
While in the dark the lovers steal
To kiss and toy behind the screen

The yule cake dotted thick wi plumbs
Is on each supper table found
And cats look up for falling crumbs
Which greedy childern litter round
And huswifes sage stuffd seasond chine
Long hung in chimney nook to drye
And boiling eldern berry wine
To drink the christmass eves ‘good bye’
Deb Jones Mar 2018
She seems like a bumble bee
Quick and flighty

Her eyes always flitting
Her gaze ever flirty

People are drawn to her
They love her liveliness and charm

Her attention casually given
So lovely and warm

Her words are like wine
You feel heady and drunk

You want to be closer
To be noticed and loved

It's so warm
That attention of hers

But she is looking for treasures
Assessing worth

She collects hearts
No matter the cost

Being caught in her net
Doesn't feel bad

The knowing look in her eyes
Doesn't offend

It's like having a secret
Unknown to the rest

What no one sees
Is that gaze they admire

Is furtive and restless
Tallying the tolls

Assessing treasures
To line her nest

Taking and using
Her charm is all gilt

A thin layer of gold
Covering her soul

Do you never wonder why
Most of her crowd are men?

She is a Magpie
She has collected you
Megan Sep 2014
I gaze  at my reflection
in a gilt picture frame.

She has the slimmest
sliver of a smile painted
on her  expressionless face.

Her perfect eyes are so
intense, so empty.

Am I this predictable?
I don't know why, but I am really inspired by the Mona Lisa at the moment. This is my 3rd post today, and the second about this painting. What?
Next, then, the peacock, gilt
With all its feathers. Look, what gorgeous dyes
Flow in the eyes!
And how deep, lustrous greens are splashed and spilt
Along the back, that like a sea-wave's crest
Scatters soft beauty o'er th' emblazoned breast!

A strange fowl! But most fit
For feasts like this, whereby I honor one
Pure as the sun!
Yet glowing with the fiery zeal of it!
Some wine? Your goblet's empty? Let it foam!
It is not often that you come to Rome!

You like the Venice glass?
Rippled with lines that float like women's curls,
Neck like a girl's,
Fierce-glowing as a chalice in the Mass?
You start -- 'twas artist then, not Pope who spoke!
Ave Maria stella! -- ah, it broke!

'Tis said they break alone
When poison writhes within. A foolish tale!
What, you look pale?
Caraffa, fetch a silver cup! . . . You own
A Birth of Venus, now -- or so I've heard,
Lovely as the breast-plumage of a bird.

Also a Dancing Faun,
Hewn with the lithe grace of Praxiteles;
Globed pearls to please
A sultan; golden veils that drop like lawn --
How happy I could be with but a tithe
Of your possessions, fortunate one! Don't writhe

But take these cushions here!
Now for the fruit! Great peaches, satin-skinned,
Rough tamarind,
Pomegranates red as lips -- oh they come dear!
But men like you we feast at any price --
A plum perhaps? They're looking rather nice!

I'll cut the thing in half.
There's yours! Now, with a one-side-poisoned knife
One might ***** life
And leave one's friend with -- "fool" for epitaph!
An old trick? Truth! But when one has the itch
For pretty things and isn't very rich. . . .

There, eat it all or I'll
Be angry! You feel giddy? Well, it's hot!
This bergamot
Take home and smell -- it purges blood of bile!
And when you kiss Bianca's dimpled knee,
Think of the poor Pope in his misery!

Now you may kiss my ring!
** there, the Cardinal's litter! -- You must dine
When the new wine
Is in, again with me -- hear Bice sing,
Even admire my frescoes -- though they're nought
Beside the calm Greek glories you have bought!

Godspeed, Sir Cardinal!
And take a weak man's blessing! Help him there
To the cool air! . . .
Lucrezia here? You're ready for the ball?
-- He'll die within ten hours, I suppose --
Mhm! Kiss your poor old father, little rose!
No use whistling for Lyonnesse!
Sea-cold, sea-cold it certainly is.
Take a look at the white, high berg on his forehead-

There's where it sunk.
The blue, green,
Gray, indeterminate gilt

Sea of his eyes washing over it
And a round bubble
Popping upward from the mouths of bells

People and cows.
The Lyonians had always thought
Heaven would be something else,

But with the same faces,
The same places...
It was not a shock-

The clear, green, quite breathable atmosphere,
Cold grits underfoot,
And the spidery water-dazzle on field and street.

It never occurred that they had been forgot,
That the big God
Had lazily closed one eye and let them slip

Over the English cliff and under so much history!
They did not see him smile,
Turn, like an animal,

In his cage of ether, his cage of stars.
He'd had so many wars!
The white gape of his mind was the real Tabula Rasa.
First born of Chaos, who so fair didst come
        From the old *****’s darksome womb!
        Which when it saw the lovely Child,
The melancholly Mass put on kind looks and smil’d.

Thou Tide of Glory which no Rest dost know,
        But ever Ebb, and ever Flow!
        Thou ******* of a true Jove!
Who does in thee descend, and Heav’n to Earth make Love!

Hail active Natures watchful Life and Health!
        Her Joy, her Ornament, and Wealth!
        Hail to thy Husband Heat, and Thee!
Thou the worlds beauteous Bride, the ***** Bridegroom He!

Say from what Golden Quivers of the Sky,
        Do all thy winged Arrows fly?
        Swiftness and Power by Birth are thine:
From thy Great Sire they came, thy Sire the word Divine.

’Tis, I believe, this Archery to show,
        That so much cost in Colours thou,
        And skill in Painting dost bestow,
Upon thy ancient Arms, the Gawdy Heav’nly Bow.

Swift as light Thoughts their empty Carriere run,
        Thy Race is finisht, when begun,
        Let a Post-Angel start with Thee,
And Thou the Goal of Earth shalt reach as soon as He:

Thou in the Moons bright Chariot proud and gay,
        Dost thy bright wood of Stars survay;
        And all the year dost with thee bring
Of thousand flowry Lights thine own Nocturnal Spring.

Thou Scythian-like dost round thy Lands above
        The Suns gilt Tent for ever move,
        And still as thou in pomp dost go
The shining Pageants of the World attend thy show.

Nor amidst all these Triumphs dost thou scorn
        The humble Glow-worms to adorn,
        And with those living spangles gild,
(O Greatness without Pride!) the Bushes of the Field.

Night, and her ugly Subjects thou dost fright,
        And sleep, the lazy Owl of Night;
        Asham’d and fearful to appear
They skreen their horrid shapes with the black Hemisphere.

With ’em there hasts, and wildly takes the Alarm,
        Of painted Dreams, a busie swarm,
        At the first opening of thine eye,
The various Clusters break, the antick Atomes fly.

The guilty Serpents, and obscener Beasts
        Creep conscious to their secret rests:
        Nature to thee does reverence pay,
Ill Omens, and ill Sights removes out of thy way.

At thy appearance, Grief it self is said,
        To shake his Wings, and rowse his Head.
        And cloudy care has often took
A gentle beamy Smile reflected from thy Look.

At thy appearance, Fear it self grows bold;
        Thy Sun-shine melts away his Cold.
        Encourag’d at the sight of Thee,
To the cheek Colour comes, and firmness to the knee.

Even Lust the Master of a hardned Face,
        Blushes if thou beest in the place,
        To darkness’ Curtains he retires,
In Sympathizing Night he rowls his smoaky Fires.

When, Goddess, thou liftst up thy wakened Head,
        Out of the Mornings purple bed,
        Thy Quire of Birds about thee play,
And all the joyful world salutes the rising day.

The Ghosts, and Monster Spirits, that did presume
        A Bodies Priv’lege to assume,
        Vanish again invisibly,
And Bodies gain agen their visibility.

All the Worlds bravery that delights our Eyes
        Is but thy sev’ral Liveries,
        Thou the Rich Dy on them bestowest,
Thy nimble Pencil Paints this Landskape as thou go’st.

A Crimson Garment in the Rose thou wear’st;
        A Crown of studded Gold thou bear’st,
        The ****** Lillies in their White,
Are clad but with the Lawn of almost Naked Light.

The Violet, springs little Infant, stands,
        Girt in thy purple Swadling-bands:
        On the fair Tulip thou dost dote;
Thou cloath’st it in a gay and party-colour’d Coat.

With Flame condenst thou dost the Jewels fix,
        And solid Colours in it mix:
        Flora her self envyes to see
Flowers fairer then her own, and durable as she.

Ah, Goddess! would thou could’st thy hand withhold,
        And be less Liberall to Gold;
        Didst thou less value to it give,
Of how much care (alas) might’st thou poor Man relieve!

To me the Sun is more delighful farr,
        And all fair Dayes much fairer are.
        But few, ah wondrous few there be,
Who do not Gold preferr, O Goddess, ev’n to Thee.

Through the soft wayes of Heaven, and Air, and Sea,
        Which open all their Pores to Thee;
        Like a cleer River thou dost glide,
And with thy Living Stream through the close Channels slide.

But where firm Bodies thy free course oppose,
        Gently thy source the Land oreflowes;
        Takes there possession, and does make,
Of Colours mingled, Light, a thick and standing Lake.

But the vast Ocean of unbounded Day
        In th’ EmpyrÆan Heaven does stay.
        Thy Rivers, Lakes, and Springs below
From thence took first their Rise, thither at last must Flow.
Juliana Jun 2013
Tighten your braces with yellows,
UV lights in police cars,
your high socks and new crewnecks,
steep all your worries in the cellar air.
The kitchen crew necks you,
steps over your extra vertebrae on the floor.
Exchange Red Sox caps and collaged cards for
iron oxides and spare joints,
an apology gift for the knees of a Titan.

Gilt neckties and stockings
hard hits over first base,
infrared silhouettes waving goodbye
slip on the steep porch stairs.
Your personal marching bands
sleep in shopping carts.
Your postcards lost in the Andes
written in purple pen --
everything’s smells like guilt.

Harts stagger behind
stags that hope to tiptoe around your toes,
scouting the suites in South America.
Back roads hastily swept under dining room chairs.
Necklaces of burned out light bulbs,
players sock the suited callers.
My bird house is empty.
Your world map is crumpled,
stuffed into the left ventricle of my heart.

Knaps of your wrist bones
fill the endnotes of my biography.
Bottlenecked bus loops and
windsocks left deflated in broom closets.
Your left hand in my kitchen sink,
catches my pressed shirts,
your clothesline melts into the sidewalk like lightning.
Bracelets on marble sculptures.
After you, I need a nap.

Littoral instructions spelled out in sand dollars.
Purple sunflower seeds caught in my turtleneck,
ghosts of eyelashes begin
to whisper wishes,
sockets for wrenches and ankles.
Blue hair braces for the midnight smiles,
the low tide of flowers,
the daily newspaper full of ocean currents,
your lips were too literal.

Lumbar dimples and goose bumps,
the rubbernecking waiter waited for the lights
rubbing his eyes.
Your playful dialogue
makes my plate shake.
Your safety is never on,
eyebrows marking my fifth disappointment.
I usually hate piano solos,
your voice is unstable, charred lumber.

Mince the pages of the dictionary
to make kindling for your irises.
Necklines defined as jade stamps
at the bottoms of the Chinese paintings
above last year’s birthday card.
Connect the dots to see the ruins of Rome,
your arms after the final battle,
crude stitches on undone sweaters.
Your pockets still full of dinner mints.

Canvass the imprint on the inside of
your leg from where the stitching folds over,
your jeans, unwashed in my laundry hamper.
Still overflows from knee socks and potted plants.
Microwaves compressed into my glass of water
the high tide seashells in your pantry facing
your ego in mason jars on shelves.
You’re tired of white board marker promises,
your skin a poorly cleaned canvas.
Homonyms everywhere. First and last word of each stanza. Enjoy :)
Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush
That overhung a molehill large and round,
I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush
Sing hymns to sunrise, and I drank the sound
With joy; and often, an intruding guest,
I watched her secret toil from day to day—
How true she warped the moss to form a nest,
And modelled it within with wood and clay;
And by and by, like heath-bells gilt with dew,
There lay her shining eggs, as bright as flowers,
Ink-spotted over shells of greeny blue;
And there I witnessed, in the sunny hours,
A brood of nature’s minstrels chirp and fly,
Glad as the sunshine and the laughing sky.
A L Davies Jan 2013
last night i almost
gave up thinking of bronzy brazilian girls
perspiring pure coconut oil, eau de margherita ;
supermodelas eating my dreams like concord grapes, lionesses
lounging on new york balconies, lithe, reading céline.
(esti ginzburg, on the phone, considers another pomeranian) .
almost stopped.
almost derailed strange vogue-like fantasme of irina shayk, standing legs planted
left knee out-****** and foot
in ebony heel, cocked against the earth.
set being imitation of gloomy coal mine, east of prague. thin arms firmly controlling the
arc of her pickaxe, clothed in leather, high heels;
sheen of sweat holding her feline body in sweet embrace.
imagining that when shift's end buzzer echoes thru the tunnels she smokes a cigarette
on a bench in the women's locker, apple planted on old planking, elbows on her knees.
cover-alls peeled
down to her waist and her hair,
free at last.
(click)
on the tram back into the city all the smoked glass
cartier storefronts pass by like polaroids held in the hand. the same speed.
giggling, 'rina thinks of the six she could place
along her arm; gilt gold, brushed silver, diamant...

there are 11 smoked belmonts by the back steps; i did
little with the night. (tall shadow of a woman in a black dress and my mouth
a cotton ball)
that is to say:
i did almost give up thinking about bronzy braz ilia     g rls ,
-
but i didn't/and so there's nothing else.
'some girls' (insp.) / kanye west taught me a lot about supermodels.
ONE time he dreamed beside a sea
That laid a mane of mimic stars
In fondling quiet on the knee
Of one tall, pearlèd cliff; the bars
Of golden beaches upward swept;
Pine-scented shadows seaward crept.

The full moon swung her ripened sphere
As from a vine; and clouds, as small
As vine leaves in the opening year,
Kissed the large circle of her ball.
The stars gleamed thro' them as one sees
Thor' vine leaves drift the golden bees.

He dreamed beside this purple sea;
Low sang its trancéd voice, and he-
He knew not if the wordless strain
Made prophecy of joy or pain;
He only knew far stretched that sea,
He knew its name-Eternity.

A shallop with a rainbow sail
On the bright pulses of the tide
Throbbed airily; a fluting gale
Kissed the rich gilding of its side;
By chain of rose and myrtle fast
A light sail touched the slender mast.

'A flower-bright rainbow thing,' he said
To one beside him, 'far too frail
To brave dark storms that lurk ahead,
To dare sharp talons of the gale.
Beloved, thou wouldst not forth with me
In such a bark on such a sea?'

'First tell me of its name.' She bent
Her eyes divine and innocent
On his. He raised his hand above
Its prow and answering swore, ''Tis Love!'
'Now tell,' she asked, 'how is it build-
Of gold, or worthless timber gilt?'

'Of gold,' he said. 'Whence named?' asked she,
The roses of her lips apart;
She paused-a lily by the sea.
Came his swift answer, 'From my heart!'
She laid her light palm in his hand:
'Let loose the shallop from the strand!'
PK Wakefield Jun 2011
i got tumbled over creeks over mountains and even over
the stroke of roots like "have you ever been a permanent
walking sound?"the earth was raised in meek hillocks
distending the asphalt like lovely thronging arteries
of full and with gilt split pavement just up over them
,gilt with the song of a dying star, crusted on them
as they split the yoke of the hard scramble of tightly packed
firm loosing."a tree is sound that i have tasted when i
was just young struck moments of flesh as thin as
the instants that i was then when i was in forests and
in ponds and the silk of water drowned the heat of
long suffering summer drawn cheeks(we called them
days but really they were just the paneless leaves of
glass i spun myself through as like a stretch of damped
slightly fingers, sticky slightly, i picked up some
flecks of seconds shorn and fluttering to my skin
they stuck)tanned and brushed with the rosy tattoo
of my heart down a little just a bit in my chest.
I was in the golden state and i had heard my mother
call me as the twill of friscalating nice illuminant
brushes played against my ***** blond hair and i was
pulled from them the moments of youth stabbed
instants and i was pulled right up back to now
where i am sitting just another second dead.
It's optional
Like the fading of skies
Early, wild, or remorseful.
All the impalpable space in the lights
Scaled in weighty gilt and curls
The locks and gold of sun,
early as it sets on a moiety of moor grey
Brushed by shadows of agonised poplars
on a spiral land of sheer pistachio blanket.

Muffled by lyres played from the trumpets of
convolvuluses, behind spears of the brain-
an imagery commence to carouse
into planet deep.

A promenade atop the tulle of skies,
an optional way to live.
Saunter and fall onto slopes, shudder, meditate
and hit a bee coffin pebble on the temple
Where there are options to live, to bleed.
Like the lurid sunrise sifting on
yellow-green nuts, and dandruffs combed
like granulated sugar
Oh the taste of chemistry
on the shea butter candles.

It's sanguine and optional,
your farewells on laden calendars of poems
A promenade- back into sea of spears and flames
A cadaver veined in pink,
bearing plethora of methanol
down pulverising bone.
AN ANATOMY OF THE WORLD Wherein, by occasion of the untimely death of
Mistress Elizabeth Drury, the frailty and the decay of this whole world is
represented THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY

     When that rich soul which to her heaven is gone,
     Whom all do celebrate, who know they have one
     (For who is sure he hath a soul, unless
     It see, and judge, and follow worthiness,
     And by deeds praise it? He who doth not this,
     May lodge an inmate soul, but 'tis not his)
     When that queen ended here her progress time,
     And, as t'her standing house, to heaven did climb,
     Where loath to make the saints attend her long,
   She's now a part both of the choir, and song;
   This world, in that great earthquake languished;
   For in a common bath of tears it bled,
   Which drew the strongest vital spirits out;
   But succour'd then with a perplexed doubt,
   Whether the world did lose, or gain in this,
   (Because since now no other way there is,
   But goodness, to see her, whom all would see,
   All must endeavour to be good as she)
   This great consumption to a fever turn'd,
   And so the world had fits; it joy'd, it mourn'd;
   And, as men think, that agues physic are,
   And th' ague being spent, give over care,
   So thou, sick world, mistak'st thy self to be
   Well, when alas, thou'rt in a lethargy.
   Her death did wound and tame thee then, and then
   Thou might'st have better spar'd the sun, or man.
   That wound was deep, but 'tis more misery
   That thou hast lost thy sense and memory.
   'Twas heavy then to hear thy voice of moan,
   But this is worse, that thou art speechless grown.
   Thou hast forgot thy name thou hadst; thou wast
   Nothing but she, and her thou hast o'erpast.
   For, as a child kept from the font until
   A prince, expected long, come to fulfill
   The ceremonies, thou unnam'd had'st laid,
   Had not her coming, thee her palace made;
   Her name defin'd thee, gave thee form, and frame,
   And thou forget'st to celebrate thy name.
   Some months she hath been dead (but being dead,
   Measures of times are all determined)
   But long she'ath been away, long, long, yet none
   Offers to tell us who it is that's gone.
   But as in states doubtful of future heirs,
   When sickness without remedy impairs
   The present prince, they're loath it should be said,
   "The prince doth languish," or "The prince is dead;"
   So mankind feeling now a general thaw,
   A strong example gone, equal to law,
   The cement which did faithfully compact
   And glue all virtues, now resolv'd, and slack'd,
   Thought it some blasphemy to say sh'was dead,
   Or that our weakness was discovered
   In that confession; therefore spoke no more
   Than tongues, the soul being gone, the loss deplore.
   But though it be too late to succour thee,
   Sick world, yea dead, yea putrified, since she
   Thy' intrinsic balm, and thy preservative,
   Can never be renew'd, thou never live,
   I (since no man can make thee live) will try,
     What we may gain by thy anatomy.
   Her death hath taught us dearly that thou art
   Corrupt and mortal in thy purest part.
   Let no man say, the world itself being dead,
   'Tis labour lost to have discovered
   The world's infirmities, since there is none
   Alive to study this dissection;
   For there's a kind of world remaining still,
   Though she which did inanimate and fill
   The world, be gone, yet in this last long night,
   Her ghost doth walk; that is a glimmering light,
   A faint weak love of virtue, and of good,
   Reflects from her on them which understood
   Her worth; and though she have shut in all day,
   The twilight of her memory doth stay,
   Which, from the carcass of the old world free,
   Creates a new world, and new creatures be
   Produc'd. The matter and the stuff of this,
   Her virtue, and the form our practice is.
   And though to be thus elemented, arm
   These creatures from home-born intrinsic harm,
   (For all assum'd unto this dignity
   So many weedless paradises be,
   Which of themselves produce no venomous sin,
   Except some foreign serpent bring it in)
   Yet, because outward storms the strongest break,
   And strength itself by confidence grows weak,
   This new world may be safer, being told
   The dangers and diseases of the old;
   For with due temper men do then forgo,
   Or covet things, when they their true worth know.
   There is no health; physicians say that we
   At best enjoy but a neutrality.
   And can there be worse sickness than to know
   That we are never well, nor can be so?
   We are born ruinous: poor mothers cry
   That children come not right, nor orderly;
   Except they headlong come and fall upon
   An ominous precipitation.
   How witty's ruin! how importunate
Upon mankind! It labour'd to frustrate
Even God's purpose; and made woman, sent
For man's relief, cause of his languishment.
They were to good ends, and they are so still,
But accessory, and principal in ill,
For that first marriage was our funeral;
One woman at one blow, then ****'d us all,
And singly, one by one, they **** us now.
We do delightfully our selves allow
To that consumption; and profusely blind,
We **** our selves to propagate our kind.
And yet we do not that; we are not men;
There is not now that mankind, which was then,
When as the sun and man did seem to strive,
(Joint tenants of the world) who should survive;
When stag, and raven, and the long-liv'd tree,
Compar'd with man, died in minority;
When, if a slow-pac'd star had stol'n away
From the observer's marking, he might stay
Two or three hundred years to see't again,
And then make up his observation plain;
When, as the age was long, the size was great
(Man's growth confess'd, and recompens'd the meat),
So spacious and large, that every soul
Did a fair kingdom, and large realm control;
And when the very stature, thus *****,
Did that soul a good way towards heaven direct.
Where is this mankind now? Who lives to age,
Fit to be made Methusalem his page?
Alas, we scarce live long enough to try
Whether a true-made clock run right, or lie.
Old grandsires talk of yesterday with sorrow,
And for our children we reserve tomorrow.
So short is life, that every peasant strives,
In a torn house, or field, to have three lives.
And as in lasting, so in length is man
Contracted to an inch, who was a span;
For had a man at first in forests stray'd,
Or shipwrack'd in the sea, one would have laid
A wager, that an elephant, or whale,
That met him, would not hastily assail
A thing so equall to him; now alas,
The fairies, and the pigmies well may pass
As credible; mankind decays so soon,
We'are scarce our fathers' shadows cast at noon,
Only death adds t'our length: nor are we grown
In stature to be men, till we are none.
But this were light, did our less volume hold
All the old text; or had we chang'd to gold
Their silver; or dispos'd into less glass
Spirits of virtue, which then scatter'd was.
But 'tis not so; w'are not retir'd, but damp'd;
And as our bodies, so our minds are cramp'd;
'Tis shrinking, not close weaving, that hath thus
In mind and body both bedwarfed us.
We seem ambitious, God's whole work t'undo;
Of nothing he made us, and we strive too,
To bring our selves to nothing back; and we
Do what we can, to do't so soon as he.
With new diseases on our selves we war,
And with new physic, a worse engine far.
Thus man, this world's vice-emperor, in whom
All faculties, all graces are at home
(And if in other creatures they appear,
They're but man's ministers and legates there
To work on their rebellions, and reduce
Them to civility, and to man's use);
This man, whom God did woo, and loath t'attend
Till man came up, did down to man descend,
This man, so great, that all that is, is his,
O what a trifle, and poor thing he is!
If man were anything, he's nothing now;
Help, or at least some time to waste, allow
T'his other wants, yet when he did depart
With her whom we lament, he lost his heart.
She, of whom th'ancients seem'd to prophesy,
When they call'd virtues by the name of she;
She in whom virtue was so much refin'd,
That for alloy unto so pure a mind
She took the weaker ***; she that could drive
The poisonous tincture, and the stain of Eve,
Out of her thoughts, and deeds, and purify
All, by a true religious alchemy,
She, she is dead; she's dead: when thou knowest this,
Thou knowest how poor a trifling thing man is,
And learn'st thus much by our anatomy,
The heart being perish'd, no part can be free,
And that except thou feed (not banquet) on
The supernatural food, religion,
Thy better growth grows withered, and scant;
Be more than man, or thou'rt less than an ant.
Then, as mankind, so is the world's whole frame
Quite out of joint, almost created lame,
For, before God had made up all the rest,
Corruption ent'red, and deprav'd the best;
It seiz'd the angels, and then first of all
The world did in her cradle take a fall,
And turn'd her brains, and took a general maim,
Wronging each joint of th'universal frame.
The noblest part, man, felt it first; and then
Both beasts and plants, curs'd in the curse of man.
So did the world from the first hour decay,
That evening was beginning of the day,
And now the springs and summers which we see,
Like sons of women after fifty be.
And new philosophy calls all in doubt,
The element of fire is quite put out,
The sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
And freely men confess that this world's spent,
When in the planets and the firmament
They seek so many new; they see that this
Is crumbled out again to his atomies.
'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone,
All just supply, and all relation;
Prince, subject, father, son, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinks he hath got
To be a phoenix, and that then can be
None of that kind, of which he is, but he.
This is the world's condition now, and now
She that should all parts to reunion bow,
She that had all magnetic force alone,
To draw, and fasten sund'red parts in one;
She whom wise nature had invented then
When she observ'd that every sort of men
Did in their voyage in this world's sea stray,
And needed a new compass for their way;
She that was best and first original
Of all fair copies, and the general
Steward to fate; she whose rich eyes and breast
Gilt the West Indies, and perfum'd the East;
Whose having breath'd in this world, did bestow
Spice on those Isles, and bade them still smell so,
And that rich India which doth gold inter,
Is but as single money, coin'd from her;
She to whom this world must it self refer,
As suburbs or the microcosm of her,
She, she is dead; she's dead: when thou know'st this,
Thou know'st how lame a ******* this world is
....
There was a Young Lady of Bute,
Who played on a silver-gilt flute;
She played several jigs,
To her uncle's white pigs,
That amusing Young Lady of Bute.
DieingEmbers May 2013
Oh clockwork child with inkwell eyes
that penned mens doubts in promised lies
and watched as all that's born now dies
for nothing more than greed

Oh clockwork child with parchment hands
that mapped the hearts of war torn lands
and bleached the blood stained foreign sands
where children came to bleed

Oh clockwork child with torn page skin
that kept the scores of all mens sin
of wars they lost they could not win
as if they gave a ****

Oh clockwork child with gilt edged breath
who's whispers were the screams of death
that Rose the corpses from the depths
to herald the end of man
st64 Feb 2014
in the silver of morn, little bird joyful trills
five lines remain blank
the notes won't play on
its breathe lies below the sand
where tranquil bulrushes grow


1.
in the hue of sombre afternoon
    knees drawn up to chest
    memories intent on knocking loud
cold harbour between these sheets
   no blotting out that light -- it has to be faced
there's no silver in the clouds.. so bulbous and so there
only a tie on the path


2.
can you please let me be?
need to be left alone a while
while I clean up the righteous-mess of this dread
           hours to make me presentable before that
which must be lived through

smiles can be pasted on.. by old-habit, so well-mastered
it's an old tale caught in a twist by its own wick'd-tail
perhaps some gale to shake up the roster
and relieve from parallel track.. liberate
surely, they can hear the stylised bass-chords inside me
             leave their odd-resonance
boom.. boom

3.
treble is missing..
your laughter, I can still hear your tinkling-laughter
         even as I see you being lowered slowly, slowly, slowly
s l o w l y
down into the bowels of where we all go to rest one day
you take with you.. the *one clef
needed for clarity to live

shut eyes tight against that bright-red insolence
        struggle with the process of accepting the impossible
reliving anguish through swollen eyes in a clip of vision
imposing terror.. grips tummy-muscles and twists
eternally deforming galaxial-dust in my eyes


4.
in the grey of eve.. no hunger, no thirst
    place food in mouth - must
    shove fluids down constricted-throat - must
..baking sun waves at me, setting in gilt-smiles

clean out the navy-attic of my overdrawn-mind
find your blue bubblegum on the counter
and suddenly, my arms are clad in shivers-cold
                       head is spinning
I pick up the morsel, turn it over and unwrap
stare at it, discovering you.. again
tears well but never fall..
         I place the gum inside
         chew and chew and chew....................
it is you.. not lost
place the bubblegum on silver wrapping
'cause the clouds.. they offer no solution

I have to eat, my hunger grew
my sanity is toast


5.
yes, smiles can be pasted on.. by old-habit
        but not this time
why let love be secured so.. then harshness steps in
to wrench away.. leaving such monstrous-gaps?
perhaps it's safe to just.. not love..
close up the heart - pack away in congelator

(weird.. a heart is just a piece of meat)
love-letters and sweet-poems are for the eyeless
hearts for eyes.. render blind-suite
tenderly hack out these.. hack, hack!



the only remnant now.. a hard-ball of gum found stuck
      hid as a half-moon under the pedestal


still.. earth turns again
          birds sing on

your laughter never lost.. completes the score
        the symphony unfolds
as sage doth reveal..
one step at a time :)



S T -  14 Feb 2014
hello, earth.. can you dig it?
I so like the smell of Eden.




sub-entry: pedestal

when these toes finally quake
feed my heart and brains to the birds
that way, I become useful.

developing allergies to this century's din
erstwhile kings and counts climb on
today, pedestal is.. a false-friend.
Hope, whose weak Being ruin’d is,
Alike if it succeed, and if it miss;
Whom Good or Ill does equally confound,
And both the Horns of Fates Dilemma wound.
    Vain shadow! which dost vanish quite,
    Both at full Noon, and perfect Night!
The Stars have not a possibility
    Of blessing Thee;
If things then from their End we happy call,
’Tis Hope is the most Hopeless thing of all.

    Hope, thou bold Taster of Delight,
Who whilst thou shouldst but tast, devour’st it quite!
Thou bringst us an Estate, yet leav’st us Poor,
By clogging it with Legacies before!
    The Joys which we entire should wed,
    Come deflowr’d Virgins to our bed;
Good fortunes without gain imported be,
    Such mighty Custom’s paid to Thee.
For Joy, like Wine, kept close does better tast;
If it take air before, its spirits wast.

    Hope, Fortunes cheating Lottery!
Where for one prize an hundred blanks there be;
Fond Archer, Hope, who tak’st thy aim so far,
That still or short, or wide thine arrows are!
    Thin, empty Cloud, which th’eye deceives
    With shapes that our own Fancy gives!
A Cloud, which gilt and painted now appears,
    But must drop presently in tears!
When thy false beams o’re Reasons light prevail,
By Ignes fatui for North-Stars we sail.

    Brother of Fear, more gaily clad!
The merr’ier Fool o’th’ two, yet quite as Mad:
Sire of Repentance, Child of fond Desire!
That blow’st the Chymicks, and the Lovers fire!
    Leading them still insensibly’on
    By the strange witchcraft of Anon!
By Thee the one does changing Nature through
    Her endless Labyrinths pursue,
And th’ other chases Woman, whilst She goes
More ways and turns than hunted Nature knows.
Fah Oct 2013
beat waves , beach haze

beat drips , in slaves mouths as they thank the rich for their gift of tapped water

and tapped shoes on tapping feet dancing not to entertain but to save their skins from narrow , harrow mishap and they know , if they make it out of there alive they’ll never go back

not now , not ever.

not now , never .

not now .


not now ...
not now...

not now....
then when?...

when , were they,  there
and where were they there..

who  - . ? (owls)

who sat upon drinking mats and dancing streets who ate with their shoes at their feet?
who licked up their milk , who danced with starlight naked with no more gilt then guilt
and shame to beneficiours name and thankful legend doth save mankinds *** - once again.

and you tell me i shouldn’t be writing stories and tales
and bed time nightmares
wait till i get dark -

MOON.

is the name.  winks

i am not the moon , no ,  but i am a faucet of moon’s taste and moon’s style her failures and her virtues , if it’s easier for you , i am moon personified...

hovers slightly

i once read somewhere - love is  metaphysical gravity -

i’ve never heard anything more scientifically accurate.

Lips lock - the poppers drop
one by one , zip slide ,
electric skin , carnvicours sins - some would deem un worldly
well - i wouldn’t put it past yourself
it’s only in the shadows of days death ,

the night time arena
many a metaphysical friend and maybe a few foes

Life , knows....

Maybe that’s who we should start with eh , noob?

Life? His house is over there.

Take my hand -

See , down below - we have the lands of El Salvador

and here , is Papua ,

Look Svalbard....and the elves are having a party...

*Dive bombs to Svalbards shores ....the mountain white drenched in sipping brews the elves rest in woodland - night begins to wrap the company in shivers and the light flickers out * - shh say’s moon - it’s almost time -

the last full moon of summer , is rising.

from beyond the frozen lake shores where all lay still sat the moon’s crest her light before her self
up on the shelf of mountain lip ,


and with grace like no other - the orb slowly began to glow green


and the thunderstorm no one had seen cracked lightning behind , called up by norse winds and norse tides.

The elves looked upon the tree and a single blossom falls,

touches the floor and blinds them all in bright light.

END CHAPTER -
comic book - i am currently creating called 'Moon Cat'

just the prolouge tease
Sie sind das meer mein Rhein.
Ich mochte nun das gleiche gilt wenn man nicht die meinen.

Sie befinden sich der regen auf meine elbe.
Die strome der liebe haben mich zum Anschwellen.

Liebe und Wasser verdunsten kann.
Und alles hat ein ende
Sie moge die liebe Seine die gleiche wie sie liebte den Rhein.

Minnesang
Me trying my hand at a german minnesang.  My german isn't very good.
Where hast thou been since round the walls of Troy
The sons of God fought in that great emprise?
Why dost thou walk our common earth again?
Hast thou forgotten that impassioned boy,
His purple galley and his Tyrian men
And treacherous Aphrodite’s mocking eyes?
For surely it was thou, who, like a star
Hung in the silver silence of the night,
Didst lure the Old World’s chivalry and might
Into the clamorous crimson waves of war!

Or didst thou rule the fire-laden moon?
In amorous Sidon was thy temple built
Over the light and laughter of the sea
Where, behind lattice scarlet-wrought and gilt,
Some brown-limbed girl did weave thee tapestry,
All through the waste and wearied hours of noon;
Till her wan cheek with flame of passion burned,
And she rose up the sea-washed lips to kiss
Of some glad Cyprian sailor, safe returned
From Calpe and the cliffs of Herakles!

No! thou art Helen, and none other one!
It was for thee that young Sarpedon died,
And Memnon’s manhood was untimely spent;
It was for thee gold-crested Hector tried
With Thetis’ child that evil race to run,
In the last year of thy beleaguerment;
Ay! even now the glory of thy fame
Burns in those fields of trampled asphodel,
Where the high lords whom Ilion knew so well
Clash ghostly shields, and call upon thy name.

Where hast thou been? in that enchanted land
Whose slumbering vales forlorn Calypso knew,
Where never mower rose at break of day
But all unswathed the trammelling grasses grew,
And the sad shepherd saw the tall corn stand
Till summer’s red had changed to withered grey?
Didst thou lie there by some Lethaean stream
Deep brooding on thine ancient memory,
The crash of broken spears, the fiery gleam
From shivered helm, the Grecian battle-cry?

Nay, thou wert hidden in that hollow hill
With one who is forgotten utterly,
That discrowned Queen men call the Erycine;
Hidden away that never mightst thou see
The face of Her, before whose mouldering shrine
To-day at Rome the silent nations kneel;
Who gat from Love no joyous gladdening,
But only Love’s intolerable pain,
Only a sword to pierce her heart in twain,
Only the bitterness of child-bearing.

The lotus-leaves which heal the wounds of Death
Lie in thy hand; O, be thou kind to me,
While yet I know the summer of my days;
For hardly can my tremulous lips draw breath
To fill the silver trumpet with thy praise,
So bowed am I before thy mystery;
So bowed and broken on Love’s terrible wheel,
That I have lost all hope and heart to sing,
Yet care I not what ruin time may bring
If in thy temple thou wilt let me kneel.

Alas, alas, thou wilt not tarry here,
But, like that bird, the servant of the sun,
Who flies before the north wind and the night,
So wilt thou fly our evil land and drear,
Back to the tower of thine old delight,
And the red lips of young Euphorion;
Nor shall I ever see thy face again,
But in this poisonous garden-close must stay,
Crowning my brows with the thorn-crown of pain,
Till all my loveless life shall pass away.

O Helen!  Helen! Helen! yet a while,
Yet for a little while, O, tarry here,
Till the dawn cometh and the shadows flee!
For in the gladsome sunlight of thy smile
Of heaven or hell I have no thought or fear,
Seeing I know no other god but thee:
No other god save him, before whose feet
In nets of gold the tired planets move,
The incarnate spirit of spiritual love
Who in thy body holds his joyous seat.

Thou wert not born as common women are!
But, girt with silver splendour of the foam,
Didst from the depths of sapphire seas arise!
And at thy coming some immortal star,
Bearded with flame, blazed in the Eastern skies,
And waked the shepherds on thine island-home.
Thou shalt not die:  no asps of Egypt creep
Close at thy heels to taint the delicate air;
No sullen-blooming poppies stain thy hair,
Those scarlet heralds of eternal sleep.

Lily of love, pure and inviolate!
Tower of ivory! red rose of fire!
Thou hast come down our darkness to illume:
For we, close-caught in the wide nets of Fate,
Wearied with waiting for the World’s Desire,
Aimlessly wandered in the House of gloom,
Aimlessly sought some slumberous anodyne
For wasted lives, for lingering wretchedness,
Till we beheld thy re-arisen shrine,
And the white glory of thy loveliness.
Meagan Moore Jan 2014
Unfurling ancient drift
current sifted
sand grit mantling
diaspora effulgent
thumb humbly probing
tossed carapace niche

briny patina
shifting into fingerprint

I – request approach to thine
sodden curve
licking my thumb,
I'm enchanted with your gilt
st64 Oct 2013
thinking oft of alighting into dreams
whose rides go through loftiest-clouds..



Upon the gilt threshold, it appeared - a waiting carriage
and passing by, along the broken road, came Zachary
through gentle-haze, it struck him - the face of beauty
Came nearer.. only for disillusionment to take him by the hand..

Zachary’s lament falls on the thunderous roll of carriage
as it leaves the water’s edge..
ripping out his heart-eyeball and throwing at open lightning-sky
He chokes on dust-particled truth-beads piercing heavy-air, doubling over

Zachary, oh Zachary..  who are you?                 
too many ill-winds                                          
                   blow rude-breathe                                          
                  rack and shake your life-cage                             
try to unseat your heart’s-core                           
            



a gentle-prayer comes across the way – and takes your hand – leads you to the side
it shows you how redemptive-answers lie on the light-ripple on the water
go quietly beneath and
you’ll find yourself..
in time*





S T – 15 Octogonic-day 2013
yeah man - do keep 'em smiles flowing – it’s in there.. somewhere 
let's try not to lament the rough-seas too much.. there's purpose to the pain (lol)

some saying I read :

Smooth roads never make good drivers
    Smooth seas never make good sailors
        Clear skies never make good pilots

Be strong enough to challenge of Life
Don't ask Life: 'Why me?'
     Instead - say: 'Try me!'







sub-entry : tackle

word-spewing’s easy
when heart’s bashed on stone

yet beaut-flow comes breezy
tackle that inside.. slowly
st64 Mar 2013
Meet the Whisperer....
(Oh, and you will want to, promise :)


1.
He can shape and mould
To aught pleasure he desires.

When he calls them at will
Supple compliance at his command.

Yes, they come like twitching magnets
Real easy beck and call.

Such happy slaves are they
Very few recalcitrant ones.

He twists and trims their sides
Makes them kneel before his want.

He will harness their might
Bend them sweetly to his gratifix.

Perchance, skittish on occasion
Yet they serve their master well.

They can spread to furthest capacity
Turning dried veracity into well-loved fable.

He whips them to submission
Insanely alive, they need birth certificates!

Yet tenderly, he caresses, explores
Renders dramatic echoes in outrageous lore.


2.
They melt like marvelous putty, toffee in deft hands
Makes them caress YOU sensuous, everywhere...

They reach deep, tap in and touch your core
Delight or thrill....or equally meet your mind.

Yes, they can stick you with bruising truth
Move you, or bring you to your knees....

They can furnish context with telling content
And with stunning detail, woo the sox off thee :-p

He articulates every brief encounter
With sage and timeless passion.

Molten liquid drips from his entrancing tip
In gilt carriages headed your way....

When the whisperer appears, best be ready
To receive what he may see fit to flay on you!

If that's too tall an order, it amounts to
Clipped wings, falling sadly short of flight.

Be willing to taste that mesmerising lilt
Indebted you'll be to the lack of crude reality.

Oh, reader...retire not spirit of droll mind
Revel eager in rich spark for riveting trips.

Yes, he is the one, your...
One and only word-whisperer.


(Enchante, cher lecteur :)

bows




Star Toucher, 28 March 2013
Only words, you guys....lol
Shhhhh.....!

Words...mere purveyors of thought, not so?

Yet you must admit.....
Appointments with terrific words and the broad mind can lead to......zippingly cool romps and staggeringly impressive mental empires.

Yes, to submerge the mind in an endless sea of tremendous words and well-turned phrases....if you learn to swim well there....oh, what wonders await there .....open your mind....

Well.....hope you don't turn down the (actually, androgynous) whisperer...should you be so lucky to have a chance encounter or two....lol
King Tutankhamun Jul 2015
And you wonder why they call u *****? ?
Cuz ****** n hoes quick to switch
Like this one muthafucka
Tried to set me up with the feds
Now he dead clothes soaked in red
God bless the dead
I aint lyin'
Keep my thai **** fryin'
My spirits cryin'
Out loud tryna tell me to avoid
The pain but i cant in then rain?
Uh unless i wanna get wet up
So all my real homies throw ya set up
Guns up
In gats we trust bust
At the pulpits from hell
We dont care we ride or die
And if we fail
Ill little semens will grow
and vanish the demons thats schemin'
Be on the look out
Watch ya mouth
Cuz fools quick to rush in
Pistol smokin' i seen one of my homies eyes open
Stiff as a log mind began to jog
Tryna escape the smog
But they really wanna see dead or in the penitentiary
But i see ten years ahead of the game
No shame quick to light the flame
Burn muthafuckas if they try
Still running in the fields
Pressure buildin' up
Cuz my society corrupt
Ya might be here today
And gone tomorrow
And the family only feels the sorrow
Borrow
A tinted window in the stretch limo
Sayin' eulogy
For all the thugs before me
But im still battlin' the sable
Makin' gilt that my peeps fall for
And end up in the killing fields uh
**** life til i die!!!!



Foools wearin' bulletproof vest
To protect they chest
When muthafuckas been takin' head shots
With the infered dots
And Yea... i call 'em the cops
Somebody gotta drop
**** the law we raw and rugged
With our ****
Hardest to spit soon to hit
Every ghetto city in the country
They'll mourn me
And remember the the game
I gave to ya
cuz if you got a mind
They'll try to abuse ya
Told ya the time is now
Muthafuckas quick to take a bow
Givin' honor to temporary fame
Learn the game
Bring ya own rules fools
Still search for 40 acres and a mule
But they aint gone never give it to you
But dont give up
Just bomb rush these muthafuckas
Until they act up
Bawlin' for state of an emergency
Call up the national guard
Cant **** a million nigguhs with
weapons
Then when they step in
Let them ******* have it
With the automatic
We causin static
To every news radio station
Shook up the whole nation
Got everybody screamin **** life
Revengin' for Malcolm X
This is for all the real leaders
That got killed
And ended up yoooo
In the killing fields


Im deeep in yo brains
Like illusion from *******
Mixed with hennessey
Gotta nigguh think
He strong mayne? ??
Aint no rest for the wickd
Since societys sadistic
I gotta keep my nine
On the side of my hip
No bloods or crips
Just real killers ready to bust at yo ****
Guard it well
Cuz if we fail
My troops goin to jail
The next day they out on bail
Though im dead
Ill be comin' back
Penetratin' enemies
With the bullets of my mac
No slackin' bodies Stackin
**** life is way of the game
No shame
To bring the pain
Uh we exterminatin' nation
Leavin' no remainsssss
now ya stuck in the fields!! $$

— The End —