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We had Taiwan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Oman open their markets to our beef, and we're excited about that.

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Mary had a Little Vamp and Other Parodies after Sarah Josepha HALE

Mary had a little vamp,
whose teeth glowed white as snow,
each night from sightly vent – no cramp -
the crimson droplets flow.

Some followed her from school one day;
though stalking's 'gainst the rules;
it made goose pimples grow and stay
to see them play at ghouls.

But they were caught, their tale remains
from history well hid,
though we discovered their remains
beneath oak coffin lid.

And so blood flowed from inside out,
none dared to lingered near
when shadows shiver, hang about
until Vamps disappear.

'Why does the Vamp love Mary so? '
the eager children cry;
'Why, Mary loves the Vamp, you know, '
the teacher did reply.

Sleep-overs followed, - little Vamp
A, B, AB, O, drew
by light of Mary’s lurid lamp
new haemoglobulu.

Thus vampire Vlad made Mary glad
hark! men well-read may read,
from kid school lad to college grad, -
mark then welt's red fey bead.

He wore a scarlet cape to match
sweet Mary’s ruddy lips,
attached thereto a cup to catch
the rhesus drips he sips.

No fly-by-night awed Mary’s Vamp,
he could fear blend at need,
though sky high flight soared scary champ -
we here end batty screed.

© Jonathan Robin parody written 3 May 2007 revised 3 September 2008 - for previous version see below


Mary had a little vamp,
whose teeth were white as snow,
each night from sightly vent – no cramp -
the crimson droplets flow.

I followed her from school one day;
to stalk against the rules;
it simply made goose pimples stay
to see them play at ghouls.

And so blood flowed from inside out,
but still I lingered near,
and waited patiently about
till dawn - Vamps disappear.

'Why does the Vamp love Mary so? '
the eager children cry;
'Why, Mary loves the Vamp, you know, '
the teacher did reply.

Sleep-overs followed, - little Vamp
A, B, AB, O, drew
by light of Mary’s lurid lamp
new haemoglobulu.

Thus vampire Vlad made Mary glad
hark! men well-read may read,
from kid school lad to college grad, -
mark then welt red fey bead.

He wore a scarlet cape to match
sweet Mary’s ruddy lips,
attached thereto a cup to catch
the rhesus drips he sips.

The Kansas Education Board
became the first to fall
beneath a nascent vampire horde
attracting one and all.

No fly-by-night awed Mary’s Vamp,
he could fear blend at need,
though sky high flight soared scary champ -
we would here end bat screed.

© Jonathan Robin parody written 3 May 2007

Parody Sarah Josepha HALE 1788_1879 Published 24 May 1830

Based upon an actual incident, Mary being Mary Sawyer parts - notably the first verse - probably by John ROULSTONE see notes below

The 'original' Mary plus other parodies to share Enjoy!

Mary had a little lamb


Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day;
That was against the rules;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
But still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear.

'Why does the lamb love Mary so? '
The eager children cry;
'Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know, '
The teacher did reply.

Based upon an actual incident, parts probably by John ROULSTONE
Published 24 May 1830 Sarah Josepha HALE 1788_1879

Mary had a little lamp


Mary had a little lamp,
Filled with benzoline;
Tried to light it at the fire,
Has not since benzine.

Parody Author Unknown

Mary had a little lamb

Mary had a little lamb, a lobster and some prunes
A piece of pie, a glass of milk, and then some macaroons.

It made the naughty waiters grin to see her order so,
And when they carried Mary out, her face was white as snow.

see alternative:

Mary had a little lamb, likewise a lobster stew,
And ere the sunlit morning dawned she had a nightmare, too.


Parody Author Unknown

Mary’s Ovine


Mary was the proprietress of a diminutive incipient ovine, whose outer covering was as devoid of colours as congealed atmospheric vapour, and to all localities to which Mary perambulated, her young South-down was morally sure to follow. It tagged her to the dispensary of learning one diurnal section of time, which was contrary to all precedent, and excited cachinnation to the seminary attendants when they perceived the presence of a young mutton at the establishment of instruction. Consequently, the preceptor expelled him from the interior, but he contnued to circumnavigate in the the immediate vicinity, without fretfulness, until Mary once more became visible.

“What caused this specimen of the genus ovis to bestow so much affection on Mary? ” the impetuous progeny vociferated.

“Because Mary reciprocated the woo-producer’s esteem, you understand, ” the teacher answered.


Parody Author Unknown

Mary’s Pin Cushion


Mary sat upon a pin
But showed no purtubation;
For some of her was genuine,
But most was imitation.


Author Unknown Sphinx – Life 21 July 1904

Mary had a little lamb


Mary had a little lamb, she thought it rather silly,
She threw it up into the air and caught it by it's …
Willie was a sheep dog sitting on the ground
Along came a bee and stung him on his …
Ask no questions tell no lies,
Ever see a p'liceman doing up his …
Flies are a nuisance, bugs are worse
And this is the end of my silly little verse.


Parody Author Unknown


Mary had a Little Lamb


Prithee, good pedagogue, we lend our ears
To feed on explanation. It appears
That this pet lamb has passed the world’s estate
Of treachery, and love that loves to prate
Of love, while loving but the sound
The gnashing lips that bear it breathe around.

Beseemeth he would with her spangle nights
And wear her as the stars wear satellites,
To him she is the lightning to the cloud,
The rain to summer, to death the shroud,
Dreams to eyes, sleep to the weary, rest
To the yearning or ambitious brest.
We prithee, pedagogue, if so be you know,
Why does this sheep love little Mary so?


Parody Author Unknown

Mary's Little Lamb


Bounce, bounce, bounce,
For Mary’s poor pet wool!
But the tenderness of three days’ grace
Can’t get him back to school;
Oh, well for the sailor lad
That he bit his sister’s thumb,
For the contribution box goes round
And the lamb is deaf and dumb!


Author Unknown
Parody S.J. Hale and Alfred TENNYSON – Break, Break, Break


Mary's Lamb

I saw that lamb rise from the hallowed ground
That emperors have kissed as they resigned their rule;
I saw him rise like Venice rise and straddle round,
There where the wraith of Time prowls like a ghoul,
And centuries have sate, each on its stool,
Then, with a spring of ages, saw him bound
To Mary’s side, and down the sombre cool
Dark corridors of rotting years he followed her to school.


Author Unknown
Parody S.J. HALE and Lord Byron


Mary's Cactus

Mary had a cactus plant,
So modestly it grew.
Shooting its little fibers out,
It lived upon the dew.

Her little brother often heard
Her say it lived on air;
And so he pulled it up one day
And placed it in a chair.

Placed it in a chair he did,
Then laughed with ghoulish glee –
Placed it in the old arm chair
Under the trysting tree.

Nor thought of Mary’s lover,
Who called each night to woo,
Or even dreamed they’d take a stroll,
As lovers often do.

The eve drew on. The lover came,
They sought the trysting tree,
Where has the little cactus gone?
The lover – where is he?


Parody Author Unknown

Mary’s Snow White Lamb

Mary had a little lamb,
She called it Little Bro
One day she took it skiing
And lost it in the snow.


New Zealand Parody Author Unknown

Mary's Jam


Mary had a pot of jam
Presented by the cook,
And everywhere that Mary went,
The luscious jar she took.

She carried it to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
And when the teacher looked away,
She ate the jam in school.

At last the teacher found her out,
And, oh! was most severe;
But what the imposition was
It doth not well appear.

Now Mary soon began to roll
Her head upon her arm,
And felt dismayed, and much afraid
The jam had done her harm.

“Oh! why does Mary’s head ache so? ”
The curious children cry,
“Quaejam est, ea sic erit, ”
the teacher did reply.


Author C.W.G. Newcastle Weekly Chronicle 1887
Parody Author Unknown

Dot Lambs vot Mary haf got

Mary haf got a leetle lambs already:
Dose vool vas vite like shnow;
Und every times dot Mary did vend oud,
Dot lambs vent also oud vid Mary.

Dot lambs did follow Mary von day to der shool-house,
Vich was obbositon to der rules of der schoolmaster.
Alzo, vich it dit cause dose schillen to schmile out loud
Ven dey did saw does lambs on der insides of der shool-house.

Und so dot shoolmaster did kick dot lambs quick oud,
Likevise, dot lambs dit loaf around on der outsides,
Und did shoo de flies mit his tail off patiently aboud
Undil Mary did come also from dot school-house oud.

Und den dot lambs did run right away quick to Mary,
Und dit make his het on Mary’s arms,
Like he would said, “I don’t vos schkared
Mary would keep from droubles ena how.”

“Vot vos de reason about it, of dot lambs and Mary? ”
Dose schillen did ask it, dot schoolmaster;
Vell, doand you know it, dot Mary love dose lambs already
Dot schoolmaster did zaid.

Moral

Und zo, alzo, dot mora vas,
Boued Mary’s lambs’ relations:
Of you lofe dose like she lofe dose,
Dot lambs vas obligations.


Parody Author Unknown

Mary’s Lamb of Course

Mary had a little lamb,
She ate it with mint sauce,
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb went too, of course.


Parody Author Unknown

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary had a little lamb,
But her sister came to grief, -
She lived in 1951
And only got corned beef.


England 1951 Food Rationning
Parody Author Unknown

Mary in Pittsburg

Mary had a little lamb,
Whose fleece was white as snow;
She took it down to Pittsburgh
And look at the damn thing now!

19th c. Parody Author Unknown


Mary Had a Little Lamb 2000

Pepper: Mary had a little lamb, but she really wanted two,
Lamb: Baa.
M.Info: And thanks to genetic research, she knew just what to do!
WOW: Scientists took the DNA from Mary's lamb and said,
Wilmut: We'll make a carbon copy, and a lamb clone will be bred!
Lambs: Baa.
M.Info: So, a brand new lamb was born, and people called it Dolly.
Pepper: Mammal cloning's first big star,
Froggo: Or mankind's biggest folly?
Nun: For if we start to clone ourselves, aren't we playing God?
WOW: Creating some master race, with perfect face and bod?
Toast: If today we clone a lamb, how long will it be
'Til someone decides to clone himself, and not clone you and me?
Pepper: So the next time Mary's little lamb comes walking down the way,
Admire its fleece, as white a snow, and not its DNA.
Lamb: Baa. Baa!
Pepper: Thank you! Thank you! Ah haa hah haa! !


Histeria N° 32 Writers of Purple Prose
Parody Author Unknown

Mary had a Little Flock

Mary had a little lamb,
then two and three and four.
And each a perfect replica
of all that went before.
The followed her to school one day
which was against the rule.
It made the children laugh and play
to see her flock at school.
The teacher turned the woolies out
to wait the bell at four.
But when the children tried to leave
more sheep had jammed the door.
'What makes those lambs love Mary so? '
The eager children fish.
Says teacher, dialing 9-1-1:
'She's got the Petri dish.'

Toronto Sun - Parody Author Unknown

Mary and the Lamb

Mary, what melodies mingle
To murmur her musical name!
It makes all one’s fingertips tingle
Like fagots, the food of the flame;
About her an ancient tradition,
A romance delightfully deep,
Has woven in juxtaposition
With one little sheep, -

One dear little lamb that would follow
Her footsteps, unwearily fain,
Down dale, over hill, over hollow,
To school and to hamlet again;
A gentle companion whose beauty
Consisted in snow-driven fleece,
And whose most imperative duty
Was keeping the peace.

His eyes were are as beads made of glassware,
His lips were coquetishly curled,
His capers made many a lass swear
His caper-sauce baffled the world;
His tail had a wag when it relished
A sip of the milk in the pail, -
And this fact has largely embellished
The wag of this tale.

One calm summer day when the sun was
A great golden globe in the sky,
One mild summer morn when the fun was
Unspeakably clear in his eye,
He tagged after exquisite Mary,
And over the threshold of school
He tripped in a temper contrary,
And splintered the rule.

A great consternation was kindled
Among all the scholars, and some
Confessed their affection had dwindled
For lamby, and looked rather glum;
But Mary’s schoolmistress quick beckoned
The children awy from the jam,
And said, sotto voce, she reckoned
That Mame loved the lamb.

Then all up the spine of the rafter
There ran a most risible shock,
And sorrow was sweetened with laughter
And this little lamb of the flock;
And out spoke the schoolmistress Yannkee,
With rather a New Hampshire whine,
“Dear pupils, sing Moody and Sankey,
Hymn ‘Ninety and Nine.’”

Now after this music had finished,
And silence again was restored,
The ardor of lamby diminished,
His quips for a moment were floored.
Then cried he, “Bah-ed children you blundered
When singing that psalmistry, quite.
I’m labelled by Mary, ‘Old hundred, ’
And I’m labelled right.”

Then vanished the lambkin in glory,
A halo of books round his head:
What furthermore happened, the story,
Alackaday! cannot be said.
And Mary, the musical maid, is
Today but a shadow in time:
Her epitaph too, I’m afraid is
Writ only in rhyme.

She’s sung by the cook at her ladle
That stirs up the capering sauce;
She’s sung by the nurse at the cradle
When ba-ba is restless and cross;
And lamby, whose virtues were legion,
Dwells ever in songs that we sing,
He makes a nice dish in this region
To eat in the spring.

SHERMAN Frank Dempster 1860_1917


Parody S J Hale and Algernon C. SWINBURNE - Dolores

Mary's Replicated Reply

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was slightly grey,
It didn't have a father,
Just some borrowed DNA.

It sort of had a mother,
Though the ovum was on loan,
It was not so much a lambkin,
As a little lamby clone.

And soon it had a fellow clone,
And soon it had some more,
They followed her to school one day,
All cramming through the door.

It made the children laugh and sing,
The teachers found it droll,
There were too many lamby clones,
For Mary to control.

No other could control the sheep,
Since their programs didn't vary,
So the scientists resolved it all,
By simply cloning Mary.

But now they feel quite sheepish,
Those scientists unwary,
One problem solved, but what to do,
With Mary, Mary, Mary...
~ unk

Norma VAN DER PLAAS

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The Houses Open Their Window Lids

the houses open their window lids
the keys unlock thousands of doors
an entrance spreads for all the misfits
whose ocean dropp tells to sandy shores
a tale of waves
a story no more
swept by a whale's
breath on ocean floor
sea bottom deep
it's still to be found
in words that keep
the whisper of the ground
uttered in a stillness of a lonely night
it still can swim and promise the flight
to a seagull circling around its prey
to eat of the twilight and still keep the day
so come in with your eyes resting on sight
to burn in its candles and fit in the light

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And You Say I Am Not The Giving Kind

I offend you?
Good.
But, please...
Do not attribute my giving,
As a charitable act.
I would have contributed that anyway,
To assist you with this acknowledgement...
If I had not offended you,
Who would have taken time to do it?
You didn't think about that did you?
I know!

But all you want to do is to accuse me of being abusive.
Self-centered, mean and cruel.
Have I ever been that selfish?
No!
When I am angry about anything,
Aren't you the first one I come to...
To express it?
Yes.
And you say I am not the giving kind.
Oh...
The thought of you thinking that appalls me!

I offend you?
Good.
At least you know I remain devoted.
Name any of your true friends who can say that?
Among your friends I bet there is more than one,
Who secretly wishes to be offended.
And here I am...giving you that AND in abundance.

And you say I am not the giving kind.
Oh...
The thought of you thinking that appalls me!
Yes.
I am 'A' with a 'P' palled ya'll.
And,
Admittedly sensitive.
I am 'A' as I can be with a 'P' and palled.

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He is no more

In dead night Long ring on land line
Woke me up suddenly from sleep fine,
I was not drunk or had taken wine
Eyes remained half open with light’s shine

I knew it was her calling from that end,
I had many messages to send,
Neither she cared to pick up not to attend
I decided not to give her time to mend,

“May I speak to so and so mister?
“I am not dolly but her sister”
I was raging from inside and not in good mood,
I lost my speech and motionlessly stood,

“He is no more and left for abode” I replied
“But had left some message with secret code”
We are in shock and in bad mood
for many days we have taken no food

She was on line but trying to hide
Taking deep breath for something to hide
I heard her voice choked with grief,
She had spoken only few words for brief

I thought of slapping her and scolding,
more shocks and stories kept on unfolding
She was not in mood to compromise
Tried to remind of old promises

I was unhappy with her attitude
She should have expressed her gratitude
I was altogether wit her for anything
She too was special and something

She had strong reservation for being very close
Wanted every detail in minute to disclose
I too was not averse to the idea of freedom
It was also one step forward towards wisdom

I gathered strength to be frank enough
She tried to be unreasonably funny and tough
I still restrained myself and kept her in good humor
I was not ready to afloat any more rumor

I tried to offer words with solace touch,
It was enough and not required much,
Lesson was meant to be taught not to act such,
Life was to prove dark even without torch,

She was in distress and also in pain,
she had tried her best but all in vain,
I could not informed her due to some reasons
She was in tears and in fact very good person

Well, it happens with all the newly wed couples
It is difficult to adjust and match in with doubles
As singles they had great liberty and freedom
The sweet talk was to be restricted and upper voice seldom

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Jane and You and the Hollow Tree.

Jane waited for you
by the narrow road
that led to Linch farm

the water tower visible
against the afternoon sky
of pale blue and white

cold clouds
she was dressed
in a grey coat

and her dark hair
was pinned back
with grips

you noticed
blueness
about her lips

the cold taking toll
wasn't sure
if you would show

she said
the coldness
and such

I said I would
and I say
what I mean

you replied
once you were close to her
she took her hands

out of the coat pockets
and linked her arm
through yours

where shall we go?
she asked
you know it better

around here than I do
you choose
you said

let's go up
the dust track
to the hollow tree

on the way up
to the Downs
she said

ok
you said
and so you walked along

and up the dust track
side by side
and she talked

of the wintery trees
and what birds
there were still about

and how she liked
spring best with the coming
of flowers and birds nesting

and you listened
looking at her
as she spoke

watching her lips move
how when she spoke
her white teeth showed

and now and then
her tongue would show
and it reminded you

of that kiss she gave you
up by Diddling church
as you stood looking

at the grave stones
and she gazed at you
and then kissed

and her tongue
touched yours
and it was like heaven

as if someone
had opened up
your heart

and stuck
their tongue in there
and as you thought

about that kiss
she talked of some girl
of a cowman

who'd got pregnant
and how did that happen?
she asked

and you said nothing
but listened on
and then you reached

the hollow tree
and climbed inside
and sat down

looking out
of the hole
in the side

and it felt cosy
in there
like a small home

and she leaned
in against you
and there was silence

and you looked at her
at her eyes
and hair

and how her lips
were parted
and her white teeth

showed and her tongue
waiting to speak
and you wondered

about that kiss again
and whether
it would happen this time

there in the hollow tree
out of sight
of others

and she showed you
tucked between
her small breasts

a small locket
which used to be
her mother's.

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Account of a Visit From ST. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
And mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap--
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The boon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I new in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys--and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the root
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress'd in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes--how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow.
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye hand a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; and turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He spring to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of site--
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas,when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering sight should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof--
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he look'd like a pedlar just opening his pack.
His eyes--how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlfull of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

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Understand That This Is a Dream

Real as a dream
What shall I do with this great opportunity to fly?
What is the interpretation of this planet, this moon?
if I can dream that I dream / and dream anything dreamable / can I dream
I am awake / and why do that?
When I dream in a dream that I wake / up what
happens when I try to move?
I dream that I move
and the effort moves and moves
till I move / and my arm hurts
Then I wake up / dismayed / I was dreaming / I was waking
when I was dreaming still / just now.
and try to remember next time in dreams
that I am in dreaming.
And dream anything I want when I'm awaken.
When I'm in awakeness what do I desire?
I desire to fulfill my emotional belly.
My whole body my heart in my fingertops thrill with some old fulfillments.
Pages of celestial rhymes burning fire-words
unconsumable but disappear.
Arcane parchments my own and the universe the answer.
Belly to Belly and knee to knee.
The hot spurt of my body to thee and thee
old boy / dreamy Earl / you Prince of Paterson / now king of me / lost

Haledon

first dream that made me take down my pants
urgently to show the cars / auto tracks / rolling down avenue hill.
That far back what do I remember / but the face of the leader of the gang
was blond / that loved me / one day on the steps of his house blocks away
all afternoon I told him about my magic Spell
I can do anything I want / palaces millions / chemistry sets / chicken

coops / white horses

stables and torture basements / I inspect my naked victims
chained upside down / my fingertips thrill approval on their thighs
white hairless cheeks I may kiss all I want
at my mercy. on the racks.
I pass with my strong attendants / I am myself naked
bending down with my buttocks out
for their smacks of reproval / o the heat of desire
liek shit in my asshole. The strange gang
across the street / thru the grocerystore / in the wood alley / out in the open

on the corner

Because I lied to the Dentist about that chickencoop roofing / slate stolen off

his garage

by me and the boy I loved who would punish me if he knew
what I loved him.
That now I have had that boy back in another blond form
Peter Orlovsky a Chinese teenager in Bangkok ten years twenty years
Jo Army on the campus / white blond loins / my mouth hath kisses /
full of his cock / my ass burning / full of his cock
all that I do desire. In dream and awake
this handsome body mine / answered
all I desired / intimate loves / open eyed / revealed at last / clothes on the

floor
Underwear the most revealing stripped off below the belly button in bed.
That's that / yes yes / the flat cocks the red pricks the gentle public hair /

alone with me

my magic spell. My power / what I desire alone / what after thirty years /
I got forever / after thirty years / satisfied enough with Peter / with all I

wanted /

with many men I knew one generation / our sperm passing
into our mouths and bellies / beautiful when I love / given.
Now the dream oldens / I olden / my hair a year long / my thirtyeight

birthday approaching.

I dream I
am bald / am disappearing / the campus unrecognizable / Haledon Avenue
will be covered with neon / motels / Supermarkets / iron
the porches and woods changed when i go back / to see Earl again
He'll be bald / fleshy father / I could pursie him further in the garage
If there's still a garage on the hill / on the planet / when I get back.

From Asia.

If I could even remember his name or his face / or find him /
When I was ten / perhaps he exists in some form.
With a belly and a belt and an auto
Whatever his last name / I never knew / in the phonebook / the Akashic

records.

I'll write my Inspiration for all Mankind to remember,
My Idea, the secret cave / in the clothes closet / that house probably down /
Nothing to go back to / everything's gone / only my idea
that's disappearing / even in dreams / gray dust piles / instant annihilation
of World War II and all its stainless steel shining-mouthed cannons
much less me and my grammar school kisses / I never kissed in time /
and go on kissing in dream and out on the street / as if it were for ever.
No forever left! Even my oldest forever gone, in Bangkok, in Benares,
swept up with words and bodies / all into the brown Ganges /
passing the burning grounds and / into the police state.
My mind, my mind / you had six feet of Earth to hoe /
Why didn't you remember and plant the seed of Law and gather the sprouts

of What?

the golden blossoms of what idea? If I dream that I dream / what dream
should I dream next? Motorcycle rickshaws / parting lamp shine / little

taxis / horses hoofs

on this Saigon midnight street. Angkor Wat ahead and the ruined city's old

Hindu faces

and there was a dream about Eternity. What should I dream when I wake?
What's left to dream, more Chinese meat? More magic Spells? More youths

to love before I change & disappear?

More dream words? For now that I know that I am dreaming /
What next for you Allen? Run down to the Presidents Palace full of Morphine /
The cocks crowing / in the street / Dawn trucks / What is the question?
Do I need sleep, now that there's light in the window?
I'll go to sleep. Signing off until / the next idea / the moving van arrives

empty

at the Doctor's house full of Chinese furniture.

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The Boy and the Mantle

In the third day of May,
To Carleile did come
A kind curteous child,
That cold much of wisdome.

A kirtle and a mantle
This child had uppon,
With brouches and ringes
Full richelye bedone.

He had a sute of silke
About his middle drawne;
Without he cold of curtesye,
He thought itt much shame.

"God speed thee, King Arthur,
Sitting at thy meate:
And the goodly Queene Guénever
I cannott her forgett.

"I tell you, lords, in this hall,
I hett you all to heede,
Except you be the more surer,
Is you for to dread."

He plucked out of his poterner,
And longer wold not dwell;
He pulled forth a pretty mantle,
Betweene two nut-shells.

"Have thou here, King Arthur,
Have thou heere of mee;
Give itt to thy comely queene,
Shapen as itt is alreadye.

"Itt shall never become that wiffe,
That hath once done amisse:-"
Then every knight in the kings court
Began to care for his.

Forth came dame Guénever;
To the mantle shee her hied;
The ladye shee was newfangle,
But yett shee was affrayd.

When shee had taken the mantle,
She stoode as shee had beene madd:
It was from the top to the toe
As sheeres had itt shread.

One while was it gule,
Another while was itt greene;
Another while was it wadded;
Ill itt did her beseeme.

Another while was it blacke,
And bore the worst hue:
"By my troth," quoth King Arthur,
"I thinke thou be not true."

Shee threw downe the mantle,
That bright was of blee;
Fast, with a rudd redd,
To her chamber can shee flee.

She curst the weaver and the walker
That clothe that had wrought,
And bade a vengeance on his crowne
That hither hath itt brought.

"I had rather be in a wood,
Under a greene tree,
Then in King Arthurs court
Shamed for to bee."

Kay called forth his ladye,
And bade her come neere;
Saies, "Madam, and thou be guiltye,
I pray thee hold thee there."

Forth came his ladye,
Shortlye and anon;
Boldlye to the mantle
Then is shee gone.

When she had tane the mantle,
And cast it her about,
Then was shee bare
Before all the rout.

Then every knight,
That was in the kings court,
Talked, laughed, and showted
Full oft att that sport.

She threw downe the mantle,
That bright was of blee;
Fast, with a red rudd,
To her chamber can shee flee.

Forth came an old knight
Pattering ore a creede,
And he proferred to this little boy
Twenty markes to his meede,

And all the time of the Christmasse,
Willinglye to ffeede;
For why this mantle might
Doe his wiffe some need.

When she had tane the mantle,
Of cloth that was made,
Shee had no more left on her,
But a tassell and a threed:

Then every knight in the kings court
Bade evill might shee speed.
Shee threw downe the mantle,
That bright was of blee;

And fast, with a redd rudd,
To her chamber can shee flee.
Craddocke called forth his ladye,
And bade her come in;

Saith, "Winne this mantle, ladye,
With a litle dinne.
"Winne this mantle, ladye,
And it shal be thine,

If thou never did amisse
Since thou wast mine."
Forth came Craddockes ladye,
Shortlye and anon;

But boldlye to the mantle
Then is shee gone.
When she had tane the mantle,
And cast it her about,

Upp att her great toe
It began to crinkle and crowt:
Shee said, "Bowe downe, mantle,
And shame me not for nought.

"Once I did amisse,
I tell you certainlye,
When I kist Craddockes mouth
Under a greene tree;

When I kist Craddockes mouth
Before he marryed mee."
When shee had her shreeven,
And her sines shee had tolde,

The mantle stoode about her
Right as shee wold,
Seemelye of coulour,
Glittering like gold:

Then every knight in Arthurs court
Did her behold.
Then spake dame Guénever
To Arthur our king;

"She hath tane yonder mantle
Not with right, but with wronge.
"See you not yonder woman,
That maketh her self soe cleane?

I have seene tane out of her bedd
Of men fiveteene;
"Priests, clarkes, and wedded men
From her, bedeene:

Yett shee taketh the mantle,
And maketh her self cleane."
Then spake the little boy,
That kept the mantle in hold;

Sayes, "King, chasten thy wiffe,
Of her words shee is to bold:
"Shee is a bitch and a witch,
And a whore bold:

King, in thine owne hall
Thou art a cuckold."
The little boy stoode
Looking out a dore;

And there as he was lookinge
He was ware of a wyld bore.
He was ware of a wyld bore,
Wold have werryed a man:

He pulld forth a wood kniffe,
Fast thither that he ran:
He brought in the bores head,
And quitted him like a man.

He brought in the bores head,
And was wonderous bold:
He said there was never a cuckolds kniffe
Carve itt that cold.

Some rubbed their knives
Uppon a whetstone:
Some threw them under the table,
And said they had none.

King Arthur and the child
Stood looking upon them;
All their knives edges
Turned backe againe.

Craddocke had a little knive
Of iron and of steele;
He britled the bores head
Wonderous weele,

That every knight in the kings court
Had a morssell.
The little boy had a horne,
Of red gold that ronge:

He said there was "noe cuckolde
Shall drinke of my horne,
But he shold it sheede,
Either behind or beforne."

Some shedd on their shoulder,
And some on their knee;
He that cold not hitt his mouthe,
Put it in his eye:

And he that was a cuckold
Every man might him see.
Craddocke wan the horne,
And the bores head:

His ladie wan the mantle
Unto her meede.
Everye such a lovely ladye
God send her well to speede.

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A Few Remarks on Goats, Asses and the Dead Hand

I don't mind kings and dukes and things;
I don't mind wigs or maces;
I don't mind crowns or robes or gowns
Or ruffles, swords or laces
But what I do object to, and some others more than I,
Are the mad old, bad old practices these baubles signify.


Good friends, brother Australians and fellow voters;
I think that you will agree with me that few of us are doters
Upon the customs, practices, fooleries and tommyrotics of the mouldy past;
Nor are we apt to cast
A reverent eye behindward upon ancient precedent:
Nor do we consent
To let the cold, clammy and unusually muddling Dead Hand
Control the destinies of this our native land.
Nay, rather do we stand
Tiptoe upon the summit of the Present, peering out,
With faces eager and expectant eyes, into the mystic Future. Have you a doubt
That in Progress, Business-like Procedure, Common-sense Habit, and Up-to-Date
Method we are all earnest believers?
Is it not so?....
Well, I don't know
So much about it. 'Twere easy to prove, good friends, that we are, in the
lump, followers of Make-Believe, triflers with Humbug and inance self-deceivers.
'Twere easy to prove that our ass-like attribute indeed surpasses
That of innumerable and intensely asinine asses.
And here, good friends, I extend to all of you my blessin',
And conclude, amidst great applause, the first lesson.


Secondly, my brothers
Right-thinking persons, men-in-the-street, common-sense individuals, and people who call a spade a spade, and others
There are full many of us who deeply deplore
The use or display of these gauds, decorations, baubles and trappings that belong to the unpractical, superstitious and quite unfashionable days of yore.
We deride, for instance, the ntion that the caudal appendage of a deceased horse
Perched upon the cranium of an erudite justice can add to his dignity or give to his remarks more force.
In short, we class as mere bunkum, bosh, flapdoodle and other sludge
The contention that the hind end of a horse can in any way assist the fore end of a judge.
The wig, the gown, the staff, the rod, the mace,
We regard as obsolete, and entirely out of place.
If there is one thing more than another upon which we pride ourselves it is, I suppose,
The fact that we scorn to wear grandpa's old-fashioned clothes.
The poor old gentleman's pantaloons, his shirts, his cravat, his fob-chain, his frill-whiskers are all anathema to us.
Good friends, why all this fuss?
Why waste all this precious energy in denouncing the wig, the gown, the mace?
They may be, in a sense, out of place;
Yet, why should these things shock you?
Believe me, they are perfectly innocu
Ous, and furthermore, dear friends,
They serve their ends;
Fo why deny these toys
To that large, mentally-bogged, and much musinderstood class of elderly girls and boys
Whose state demands some sign or symbol
To push an idea or a principle into their heads, even as the thimble
Thrusts the needle into the cloth?
Then why so wrath?
Heed ye, good friends, the parable of the beam and the mote.
Nay, I crave your pardon, but I have known a not particularly intelligent goat
To view materially essential matters with a more discerning eye; to possess, so to speak, more inate perspicacity
Than you - that is to say, us. Nay, grasp not at the seeming audacity
Of these few remarks; for perfect perspicuity
Attends them, and I like not ambiguity.
As thinking machines the ass, the goat, good people are preferable; at least, so it appears.
And here, the ending of my second lesson is attended by your deafening and appreciative cheers.


My worthy friends, ye who scorn to wear my poor grandpa's clothes
Get down from your pedestals, O ye modern intellectual giants; let each decline his scornful and uptilted nose.
Deride, would ye, grandpa's ancient mace?
Abolish it, would ye, and hunt it off the place?
What's the matter with it? It's not eating anythng, is it?
And it might prove handy if a masked burglar, or a Trust or a mad dog paid the
House a visit.
Gird, would ye, at grandpa's wig, at his gown trimmed with the overcoats of late lamented rabbits?
But, Oh! my up-to-date brothers, what have ye to say about grandpa's and great grandpa's and great-great-grandpa's ridiculous customs, absurd precedents,inance systems and obsolete habits?
What about that musty, dusty, mouldy, mildewed, hoary, Tory, injurious, time wasting, insane, inane, self-ridiculed, unwieldy and utterly unprofitable system of Party Govrnment? Great-great-great-great-grandpa's cherished
System, good friends?
Does it serve our modern ends?
Or is it, think you, obsolete and absurd?
I pause for a reply....What! Not a word?
Do I hear you raving to have it abolished?
Yearn ye to see this thing demolished?
Go to the ass, ye dullards! He doesn't eat mouldy sawdust when there's good hay about.
And here, kind friends, I pass to 'fourthly,' flattered by your encouraging shout.


Friends, countrymen and fellow-voters of this fair land,
All ye smart, up-to-date people who scorn dear grandpa's raiment, are you feeling his dead hand?
Think ye that ancient fist should interfere so in the vital affairs of to-day?
Or are ye so apathetic that you don't care a tuppenny curse either way?
'Tis cheap and easy to scoff at granpa's gauds and trappings and to the Devil send 'em;
But have ye ever seriously considered such things as elected Mnistries or theInitiative and Referendum?
Not you! You shirk, good friend, you shirk.
That means Work!


Friends, I am done....I know not what ye intend to do about it, and I haven't much hope; but, for my part,
I say unto ye, in a spirit of true brotherly love, and with my hand upon my heart,
That I have enjoyed the acquaintance of asses who were never fooled by musty precedent. Aye, and intelligent goats
Who scorned the jam-tin diet of their forebears when there was good grass about but they had no votes.
And what is a goat without a vote?

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Kaddish, Part I

Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on
the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking,
talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues
shout blind on the phonograph
the rhythm the rhythm--and your memory in my head three years after--
And read Adonais' last triumphant stanzas aloud--wept, realizing
how we suffer--
And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember,
prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of An-
swers--and my own imagination of a withered leaf--at dawn--
Dreaming back thru life, Your time--and mine accelerating toward Apoca-
lypse,
the final moment--the flower burning in the Day--and what comes after,
looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city
a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom
Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed--
like a poem in the dark--escaped back to Oblivion--
No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream,
trapped in its disappearance,
sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worship-
ping each other,
worshipping the God included in it all--longing or inevitability?--while it
lasts, a Vision--anything more?
It leaps about me, as I go out and walk the street, look back over my shoulder,
Seventh Avenue, the battlements of window office buildings shoul-
dering each other high, under a cloud, tall as the sky an instant--and
the sky above--an old blue place.
or down the Avenue to the south, to--as I walk toward the Lower East Side
--where you walked 50 years ago, little girl--from Russia, eating the
first poisonous tomatoes of America frightened on the dock
then struggling in the crowds of Orchard Street toward what?--toward
Newark--
toward candy store, first home-made sodas of the century, hand-churned ice
cream in backroom on musty brownfloor boards--
Toward education marriage nervous breakdown, operation, teaching school,
and learning to be mad, in a dream--what is this life?
Toward the Key in the window--and the great Key lays its head of light
on top of Manhattan, and over the floor, and lays down on the
sidewalk--in a single vast beam, moving, as I walk down First toward
the Yiddish Theater--and the place of poverty
you knew, and I know, but without caring now--Strange to have moved
thru Paterson, and the West, and Europe and here again,
with the cries of Spaniards now in the doorstops doors and dark boys on
the street, firs escapes old as you
--Tho you're not old now, that's left here with me--
Myself, anyhow, maybe as old as the universe--and I guess that dies with
us--enough to cancel all that comes--What came is gone forever
every time--
That's good!That leaves it open for no regret--no fear radiators, lacklove,
torture even toothache in the end--
Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul--and the lamb, the soul,
in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change's fierce hunger--hair
and teeth--and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin,
braintricked Implacability.
Ai! ai!we do worse! We are in a fix!And you're out, Death let you out,
Death had the Mercy, you're done with your century, done with
God, done with the path thru it--Done with yourself at last--Pure
--Back to the Babe dark before your Father, before us all--before the
world--
There, rest.No more suffering for you.I know where you've gone, it's good.
No more flowers in the summer fields of New York, no joy now, no more
fear of Louis,
and no more of his sweetness and glasses, his high school decades, debts,
loves, frightened telephone calls, conception beds, relatives, hands--
No more of sister Elanor,--she gone before you--we kept it secret you
killed her--or she killed herself to bear with you--an arthritic heart
--But Death's killed you both--No matter--
Nor your memory of your mother, 1915 tears in silent movies weeks and
weeks--forgetting, agrieve watching Marie Dressler address human-
ity, Chaplin dance in youth,
or Boris Godunov, Chaliapin's at the Met, halling his voice of a weeping Czar
--by standing room with Elanor & Max--watching also the Capital
ists take seats in Orchestra, white furs, diamonds,
with the YPSL's hitch-hiking thru Pennsylvania, in black baggy gym skirts
pants, photograph of 4 girls holding each other round the waste, and
laughing eye, too coy, virginal solitude of 1920
all girls grown old, or dead now, and that long hair in the grave--lucky to
have husbands later--
You made it--I came too--Eugene my brother before (still grieving now and
will gream on to his last stiff hand, as he goes thru his cancer--or kill
--later perhaps--soon he will think--)
And it's the last moment I remember, which I see them all, thru myself, now
--tho not you
I didn't foresee what you felt--what more hideous gape of bad mouth came
first--to you--and were you prepared?
To go where?In that Dark--that--in that God? a radiance? A Lord in the
Void?Like an eye in the black cloud in a dream?Adonoi at last, with
you?
Beyond my remembrance! Incapable to guess! Not merely the yellow skull
in the grave, or a box of worm dust, and a stained ribbon--Deaths-
head with Halo?can you believe it?
Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence,
than none ever was?
Nothing beyond what we have--what you had--that so pitiful--yet Tri-
umph,
to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower--fed to the
ground--but made, with its petals, colored, thinking Great Universe,
shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth
wrapped, sore--freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless.
No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the
knife--lost
Cut down by an idiot Snowman's icy--even in the Spring--strange ghost
thought some--Death--Sharp icicle in his hand--crowned with old
roses--a dog for his eyes--cock of a sweatshop--heart of electric
irons.
All the accumulations of life, that wear us out--clocks, bodies, consciousness,
shoes, breasts--begotten sons--your Communism--'Paranoia' into
hospitals.
You once kicked Elanor in the leg, she died of heart failure later.You of
stroke.Asleep?within a year, the two of you, sisters in death.Is
Elanor happy?
Max grieves alive in an office on Lower Broadway, lone large mustache over
midnight Accountings, not sure.His life passes--as he sees--and
what does he doubt now?Still dream of making money, or that might
have made money, hired nurse, had children, found even your Im-
mortality, Naomi?
I'll see him soon.Now I've got to cut through to talk to you as I didn't
when you had a mouth.
Forever.And we're bound for that, Forever like Emily Dickinson's horses
--headed to the End.
They know the way--These Steeds--run faster than we think--it's our own
life they cross--and take with them.

Magnificent, mourned no more, marred of heart, mind behind, mar-
ried dreamed, mortal changed--Ass and face done with murder.
In the world, given, flower maddened, made no Utopia, shut under
pine, almed in Earth, blamed in Lone, Jehovah, accept.
Nameless, One Faced, Forever beyond me, beginningless, endless,
Father in death.Tho I am not there for this Prophecy, I am unmarried, I'm
hymnless, I'm Heavenless, headless in blisshood I would still adore
Thee, Heaven, after Death, only One blessed in Nothingness, not
light or darkness, Dayless Eternity--
Take this, this Psalm, from me, burst from my hand in a day, some
of my Time, now given to Nothing--to praise Thee--But Death
This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Won-
derer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping
--page beyond Psalm--Last change of mine and Naomi--to God's perfect
Darkness--Death, stay thy phantoms!

II
Over and over--refrain--of the Hospitals--still haven't written your
history--leave it abstract--a few images
run thru the mind--like the saxophone chorus of houses and years--
remembrance of electrical shocks.
By long nites as a child in Paterson apartment, watching over your
nervousness--you were fat--your next move--
By that afternoon I stayed home from school to take care of you--
once and for all--when I vowed forever that once man disagreed with my
opinion of the cosmos, I was lost--
By my later burden--vow to illuminate mankind--this is release of
particulars--(mad as you)--(sanity a trick of agreement)--
But you stared out the window on the Broadway Church corner, and
spied a mystical assassin from Newark,
So phoned the Doctor--'OK go way for a rest'--so I put on my coat
and walked you downstreet--On the way a grammarschool boy screamed,
unaccountably--'Where you goin Lady to Death'? I shuddered--
and you covered your nose with motheaten fur collar, gas mask
against poison sneaked into downtown atmosphere, sprayed by Grandma--
And was the driver of the cheesebox Public Service bus a member of
the gang?You shuddered at his face, I could hardly get you on--to New
York, very Times Square, to grab another Greyhound--

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Golden Legend: V. A Covered Bridge At Lucerne

_Prince Henry_. God's blessing on the architects who build
The bridges o'er swift rivers and abysses
Before impassable to human feet,
No less than on the builders of cathedrals,
Whose massive walls are bridges thrown across
The dark and terrible abyss of Death.
Well has the name of Pontifex been given
Unto the Church's head, as the chief builder
And architect of the invisible bridge
That leads from earth to heaven.

_Elsie_ How dark it grows!
What are these paintings on the walls around us?

_Prince Henry_ The Dance Macaber!

_Elsie_ What?

_Prince Henry_ The Dance of Death!
All that go to and fro must look upon it,
Mindful of what they shall be, while beneath,
Among the wooden piles, the turbulent river
Rushes, impetuous as the river of life,
With dimpling eddies, ever green and bright,
Save where the shadow of this bridge falls on it.

_Elsie._ O, yes! I see it now!

_Prince Henry_ The grim musician
Leads all men through the mazes of that dance,
To different sounds in different measures moving;
Sometimes he plays a lute, sometimes a drum,
To tempt or terrify.

_Elsie_ What is this picture?

_Prince Henry_ It is a young man singing to a nun,
Who kneels at her devotions, but in kneeling
Turns round to look at him, and Death, meanwhile,
Is putting out the candles on the altar!

_Elsie_ Ah, what a pity 't is that she should listen
to such songs, when in her orisons
She might have heard in heaven the angels singing!

_Prince Henry_ Here he has stolen a jester's cap and bells,
And dances with the Queen.

_Elsie_ A foolish jest!

_Prince Henry_ And here the heart of the new-wedded wife,
Coming from church with her beloved lord,
He startles with the rattle of his drum.

_Elsie_ Ah, that is sad! And yet perhaps 't is best
That she should die, with all the sunshine on her,
And all the benedictions of the morning,
Before this affluence of golden light
Shall fade into a cold and clouded gray,
Then into darkness!

_Prince Henry_ Under it is written,
'Nothing but death shall separate thee and me!'

_Elsie._ And what is this, that follows close upon it?

_Prince Henry_ Death, playing on a ducimer. Behind him,
A poor old woman, with a rosary,
Follows the sound, and seems to wish her feet
Were swifter to o'ertake him. Underneath,
The inscription reads, 'Better is Death than Life.'

_Elsie._ Better is Death than Life! Ah yes! to thousands
Death plays upon a dulcimer, and sings
That song of consolation, till the air
Rings with it, and they cannot choose but follow
Whither he leads. And not the old alone,
But the young also hear it, and are still.

_Prince Henry_ Yes, in their sadder moments. 'T is the sound
Of their own hearts they hear, half full of tears,
Which are like crystal cups, half filled with water.
Responding to the pressure of a finger
With music sweet and low and melancholy.
Let us go forward, and no longer stay
In this great picture-gallery of Death!
I hate it! ay, the very thought of it!

_Elsie._ Why is it hateful to you?

_Prince Henry._ For the reason
That life, and all that speaks of life, is lovely,
And death, and all that speaks of death, is hateful.

_Elsie._ The grave is but a covered bridge,
leading from light to light, through a brief darkness!

_Prince Henry (emerging from the bridge)._ I breathe again more
freely! Ah, how pleasant
To come once more into the light of day,
Out of that shadow of death! To hear again
The hoof-beats of our horses on firm ground,
And not upon those hollow planks, resounding
With a sepulchral echo, like the clods
On coffins in a churchyard! Yonder lies
The Lake of the Four Forest-Towns, apparelled
In light, and lingering, like a village maiden,
Hid in the bosom of her native mountains,
Then pouring all her life into another's,
Changing her name and being! Overhead,
Shaking his cloudy tresses loose in air,
Rises Pilatus, with his windy pines.

(_They pass on_.)

* * * * *

THE DEVIL'S BRIDGE.

* * * * *

PRINCE HENRY _and_ ELSIE _crossing, with attendants._

_Guide._ This bridge is called the Devil's Bridge.
With a single arch, from ridge to ridge,
It leaps across the terrible chasm
Yawning beneath us, black and deep,
As if, in some convulsive spasm,
the summits of the hills had cracked,
and made a road for the cataract,
That raves and rages down the steep!

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha!

_Guide._ Never any bridge but this
Could stand across the wild abyss;
All the rest, of wood or stone,
By the Devil's hand were overthrown.
He toppled crags from the precipice,
And whatsoe'er was built by day
In the night was swept away;
None could stand but this alone.

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha!

_Guide._ I showed you in the valley a boulder
Marked with the imprint of his shoulder;
As he was bearing it up this way,
A peasant, passing, cried, 'Herr Je!'
And the Devil dropped it in his fright,
And vanished suddenly out of sight!

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha!

_Guide._ Abbot Giraldus of Einsiedel,
For pilgrims on their way to Rome,
Built this at last, with a single arch,
Under which, on its endless march,
Runs the river, white with foam,
Like a thread through the eye of a needle.
And the Devil promised to let it stand,
Under compact and condition
That the first living thing which crossed
Should be surrendered into his hand,
And be beyond redemption lost.

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha! perdition!

_Guide._ At length, the bridge being all completed,
The Abbot, standing at its head,
Threw across it a loaf of bread,
Which a hungry dog sprang after,
And the rocks reechoed with peals of laughter
To see the Devil thus defeated!

(_They pass on_)

_Lucifer_ (_under the bridge_) Ha! ha! defeated!
For journeys and for crimes like this
To let the bridge stand o'er the abyss!

* * * * *

THE ST. GOTHARD PASS.

* * * * *

_Prince Henry._ This is the highest point. Two ways the rivers
Leap down to different seas, and as they roll
Grow deep and still, and their majestic presence
Becomes a benefaction to the towns
They visit, wandering silently among them,
Like patriarchs old among their shining tents.

_Elsie._ How bleak and bare it is! Nothing but mosses
Grow on these rocks.

_Prince Henry._ Yet are they not forgotten;
Beneficent Nature sends the mists to feed them.

_Elsie._ See yonder little cloud, that, borne aloft
So tenderly by the wind, floats fast away
Over the snowy peaks! It seems to me
The body of St. Catherine, borne by angels!

_Prince Henry._ Thou art St. Catherine, and invisible angels
Bear thee across these chasms and precipices,
Lest thou shouldst dash thy feet against a stone!

_Elsie._ Would I were borne unto my grave, as she was,
Upon angelic shoulders! Even now
I Seem uplifted by them, light as air!
What sound is that?

_Prince Henry_. The tumbling avalanches!

_Elsie_ How awful, yet how beautiful!

_Prince Henry_. These are
The voices of the mountains! Thus they ope
Their snowy lips, and speak unto each other,
In the primeval language, lost to man.

_Elsie_. What land is this that spreads itself beneath us?

_Prince Henry_ Italy! Italy!

_Elsie_ Land of the Madonna!
How beautiful it is! It seems a garden
Of Paradise!

_Prince Henry_. Nay, of Gethsemane
To thee and me, of passion and of prayer!
Yet once of Paradise. Long years ago
I wandered as a youth among its bowers,
And never from my heart has faded quite
Its memory, that, like a summer sunset,
Encircles with a ring of purple light
All the horizon of my youth.

_Guide_. O friends!
The days are short, the way before us long;
We must not linger, if we think to reach
The inn at Belinzona before vespers!

(_They pass on_.)

* * * * *

AT THE FOOT OF THE ALPS.

* * * * *

_A halt under the trees at noon_.

_Prince Henry_ Here let us pause a moment in the trembling
Shadow and sunshine of the roadside trees,
And, our tired horses in a group assembling,
Inhale long draughts of this delicious breeze
Our fleeter steeds have distanced our attendants;
They lag behind us with a slower pace;
We will await them under the green pendants
Of the great willows in this shady place.
Ho, Barbarossa! how thy mottled haunches
Sweat with this canter over hill and glade!
Stand still, and let these overhanging branches
Fan thy hot sides and comfort thee with shade!

_Elsie._ What a delightful landscape spreads before us,
Marked with a whitewashed cottage here and there!
And, in luxuriant garlands drooping o'er us,
Blossoms of grapevines scent the sunny air.

_Prince Henry._ Hark! what sweet sounds are those, whose accents holy
Fill the warm noon with music sad and sweet!

_Elsie._ It is a band of pilgrims, moving slowly
On their long journey, with uncovered feet.

_Pilgrims (chaunting the Hymn of St. Hildebert)_
Me receptet Sion illa,
Sion David, urbs tranquilla,
Cujus faber auctor lucis,
Cujus portae lignum crucis,
Cujus claves lingua Petri,
Cujus cives semper laeti,
Cujus muri lapis vivus,
Cujus custos Rex festivus!

_Lucifer (as a Friar in the procession)._ Here am I, too, in the
pious band,
In the garb of a barefooted Carmelite dressed!
The soles of my feet are as hard and tanned
As the conscience of old Pope Hildebrand,
The Holy Satan, who made the wives
Of the bishops lead such shameful lives.
All day long I beat my breast,
And chaunt with a most particular zest
The Latin hymns, which I understand
Quite as well, I think, as the rest.
And at night such lodging in barns and sheds,
Such a hurly-burly in country inns,
Such a clatter of tongues in empty heads,
Such a helter-skelter of prayers and sins!
Of all the contrivances of the time
For sowing broadcast the seeds of crime,
There is none so pleasing to me and mine
As a pilgrimage to some far-off shrine!

_Prince Henry._ If from the outward man we judge the inner,
And cleanliness is godliness, I fear
A hopeless reprobate, a hardened sinner,
Must be that Carmelite now passing near.

_Lucifer._ There is my German Prince again,
Thus far on his journey to Salern,
And the lovesick girl, whose heated brain
Is sowing the cloud to reap the rain;
But it's a long road that has no turn!
Let them quietly hold their way,
I have also a part in the play.
But first I must act to my heart's content
This mummery and this merriment,
And drive this motley flock of sheep
Into the fold, where drink and sleep
The jolly old friars of Benevent.
Of a truth, it often provokes me to laugh
To see these beggars hobble along,
Lamed and maimed, and fed upon chaff,
Chanting their wonderful piff and paff,
And, to make up for not understanding the song,
Singing it fiercely, and wild, and strong!
Were it not for my magic garters and staff,
And the goblets of goodly wine I quaff,
And the mischief I make in the idle throng,
I should not continue the business long.

_Pilgrims (chaunting)._ In hac uibe, lux solennis,
Ver aeternum, pax perennis,
In hac odor implens caelos,
In hac semper festum melos!

_Prince Henry._ Do you observe that monk among the train,
Who pours from his great throat the roaring bass,
As a cathedral spout pours out the rain,
And this way turns his rubicund, round face?

_Elsie._ It is the same who, on the Strasburg square,
Preached to the people in the open air.

_Prince Henry._ And he has crossed o'er mountain, field, and fell,
On that good steed, that seems to bear him well,
The hackney of the Friars of Orders Gray,
His own stout legs! He, too, was in the play,
Both as King Herod and Ben Israel.
Good morrow, Friar!

_Friar Cuthbert._ Good morrow, noble Sir!

_Prince Henry._ I speak in German, for, unless I err,
You are a German.

_Friar Cuthbert._ I cannot gainsay you.
But by what instinct, or what secret sign,
Meeting me here, do you straightway divine
That northward of the Alps my country lies?

_Prince Henry._ Your accent, like St, Peter's, would betray you,
Did not your yellow beard and your blue eyes,
Moreover, we have seen your face before,
And heard you preach at the Cathedral door
On Easter Sunday, in the Strasburg square
We were among the crowd that gathered there,
And saw you play the Rabbi with great skill,
As if, by leaning o'er so many years
To walk with little children, your own will
Had caught a childish attitude from theirs,
A kind of stooping in its form and gait,
And could no longer stand erect and straight.
Whence come you now?

_Friar Cuthbert._ From the old monastery
Of Hirschau, in the forest; being sent
Upon a pilgrimage to Benevent,
To see the image of the Virgin Mary,
That moves its holy eyes, and sometimes speaks,
And lets the piteous tears run down its cheeks,
To touch the hearts of the impenitent.

_Prince Henry._ O, had I faith, as in the days gone by,
That knew no doubt, and feared no mystery!

_Lucifer (at a distance)._ Ho, Cuthbert! Friar Cuthbert!

_Friar Cuthbert._ Farewell, Prince!
I cannot stay to argue and convince.

_Prince Henry._ This is indeed the blessed Mary's land,
Virgin and Mother of our dear Redeemer!
All hearts are touched and softened at her name;
Alike the bandit, with the bloody hand,
The priest, the prince, the scholar, and the peasant,
The man of deeds, the visionary dreamer,
Pay homage to her as one ever present!
And even as children, who have much offended
A too indulgent father, in great shame,
Penitent, and yet not daring unattended
To go into his presence, at the gate
Speak with their sister, and confiding wait
Till she goes in before and intercedes;
So men, repenting of their evil deeds,
And yet not venturing rashly to draw near
With their requests an angry father's ear,
Offer to her their prayers and their confession,
And she for them in heaven makes intercession.
And if our Faith had given us nothing more
Than this example of all womanhood,
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good,
So patient, peaceful, loyal, loving, pure,
This were enough to prove it higher and truer
Than all the creeds the world had known before.

_Pilgrims (chaunting afar off)_. Urbs ccelestis, urbs beata,
Supra petram collocata,
Urbs in portu satis tuto
De longinquo te saluto,
Te saluto, te suspiro,
Te affecto, te requiro!

* * * * *

THE INN AT GENOA.

* * * * *

_A terrace overlooking the sea. Night._

_Prince Henry._ It is the sea, it is the sea,
In all its vague immensity,
Fading and darkening in the distance!
Silent, majestical, and slow,
The white ships haunt it to and fro,
With all their ghostly sails unfurled,
As phantoms from another world
Haunt the dim confines of existence!
But ah! how few can comprehend
Their signals, or to what good end
From land to land they come and go!
Upon a sea more vast and dark
The spirits of the dead embark,
All voyaging to unknown coasts.
We wave our farewells from the shore,
And they depart, and come no more,
Or come as phantoms and as ghosts.

Above the darksome sea of death
Looms the great life that is to be,
A land of cloud and mystery,
A dim mirage, with shapes of men
Long dead, and passed beyond our ken.
Awe-struck we gaze, and hold our breath
Till the fair pageant vanisheth,
Leaving us in perplexity,
And doubtful whether it has been
A vision of the world unseen,
Or a bright image of our own
Against the sky in vapors thrown.

_Lucifer (singing from the sea)_. Thou didst not make it, thou
canst not mend it,
But thou hast the power to end it!
The sea is silent, the sea is discreet,
Deep it lies at thy very feet;
There is no confessor like unto Death!
Thou canst not see him, but he is near;
Thou needest not whisper above thy breath,
And he will hear;
He will answer the questions,
The vague surmises and suggestions,
That fill thy soul with doubt and fear!

_Prince Henry_. The fisherman, who lies afloat,
With shadowy sail, in yonder boat,
Is singing softly to the Night!
But do I comprehend aright
The meaning of the words he sung
So sweetly in his native tongue?
Ah, yes! the sea is still and deep.
All things within its bosom sleep!
A single step, and all is o'er;
A plunge, a bubble, and no more;
And thou, dear Elsie, wilt be free
From martyrdom and agony.

_Elsie (coming from her chamber upon the terrace)._
The night is calm and cloudless,
And still as still can be,
And the stars come forth to listen
To the music of the sea.
They gather, and gather, and gather,
Until they crowd the sky,
And listen, in breathless silence,
To the solemn litany.
It begins in rocky caverns,
As a voice that chaunts alone
To the pedals of the organ
In monotonous undertone;
And anon from shelving beaches,
And shallow sands beyond,
In snow-white robes uprising
The ghostly choirs respond.
And sadly and unceasing
The mournful voice sings on,
And the snow-white choirs still answer
Christe eleison!

_Prince Henry._ Angel of God! thy finer sense perceives
Celestial and perpetual harmonies!
Thy purer soul, that trembles and believes,
Hears the archangel's trumpet in the breeze,
And where the forest rolls, or ocean heaves,
Cecilia's organ sounding in the seas,
And tongues of prophets speaking in the leaves.
But I hear discord only and despair,
And whispers as of demons in the air!

* * * * *

AT SEA.

* * * * *

_Il Padrone._ The wind upon our quarter lies,
And on before the freshening gale,
That fills the snow-white lateen sail,
Swiftly our light felucca flies.
Around, the billows burst and foam;
They lift her o'er the sunken rock,
They beat her sides with many a shock,
And then upon their flowing dome
They poise her, like a weathercock!
Between us and the western skies
The hills of Corsica arise;
Eastward, in yonder long, blue line,
The summits of the Apennine,
And southward, and still far away,
Salerno, on its sunny bay.
You cannot see it, where it lies.

_Prince Henry._ Ah, would that never more mine eyes
Might see its towers by night or day!

_Elsie._ Behind us, dark and awfully,
There comes a cloud out of the sea,
That bears the form of a hunted deer,
With hide of brown, and hoofs of black,
And antlers laid upon its back,
And fleeing fast and wild with fear,
As if the hounds were on its track!

_Prince Henry._ Lo! while we gaze, it breaks and falls
In shapeless masses, like the walls
Of a burnt city. Broad and red
The fires of the descending sun
Glare through the windows, and o'erhead,
Athwart the vapors, dense and dun,
Long shafts of silvery light arise,
Like rafters that support the skies!

_Elsie._ See! from its summit the lurid levin
Flashes downward without warning,
As Lucifer, son of the morning,
Fell from the battlements of heaven!

_Il Padrone._ I must entreat you, friends, below!
The angry storm begins to blow,
For the weather changes with the moon.
All this morning, until noon,
We had baffling winds, and sudden flaws
Struck the sea with their cat's-paws.
Only a little hour ago
I was whistling to Saint Antonio
For a capful of wind to fill our sail,
And instead of a breeze he has sent a gale.
Last night I saw St. Elmo's stars,
With their glimmering lanterns, all at play
On the tops of the masts and the tips of the spars,
And I knew we should have foul weather to-day.
Cheerily, my hearties! yo heave ho!
Brail up the mainsail, and let her go
As the winds will and Saint Antonio!

Do you see that Livornese felucca,
That vessel to the windward yonder,
Running with her gunwale under?
I was looking when the wind o'ertook her,
She had all sail set, and the only wonder
Is that at once the strength of the blast
Did not carry away her mast.
She is a galley of the Gran Duca,
That, through the fear of the Algerines,
Convoys those lazy brigantines,
Laden with wine and oil from Lucca.
Now all is ready, high and low;
Blow, blow, good Saint Antonio!

Ha! that is the first dash of the rain,
With a sprinkle of spray above the rails,
Just enough to moisten our sails,
And make them ready for the strain.
See how she leaps, as the blasts o'ertake her,
And speeds away with a bone in her mouth!
Now keep her head toward the south,
And there is no danger of bank or breaker.
With the breeze behind us, on we go;
Not too much, good Saint Antonio!

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William Blake

Book the Second

Thou hearest the Nightingale begin the Song of Spring.
The Lark sitting upon his earthly bed, just as the morn
Apears, listens silent; then springing from the waving Corn-field loud
He leads the Choir of Day! trill, thrill, thrill, trill,
Mounting upon the wings of light into the great Expanse,
Reechoing against the lovely blue & shining heavenly Shell.
His little throat labours with inspiration; every feather
On throat & breast & wings vibrates with the effluence Divine.
All Nature listens silent to him, & the awful Sun
Stands still upon the Mountain looking on this little Bird
With eyes of soft humility & wonder, love & awe.
Then loud from their green covert all the Birds begin their Song:
The Thrush, the Linnet & the Goldfinch, Robin & the Wren
Awake the Sun from his sweet reverie upon the Mountain;
The Nightingale again assays his song, & thro’ the day
And thro’ the night warbles luxuriant, every Bird of Song
Attending his loud harmony with admiration & love.
This is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon.

Thou perceivest the Flowers put forth their precious Odours,
And none can tell how form so small a center comes such sweets,
Forgetting that within that Center Eternity expends
Its ever during doors that Og & Anak fiercely guard.
First, e’er the morning breaks, joy opens in the flowery bosoms,
Joy even to tears, which the
Sun rising dries; first the Wild Thyme
And Meadow-sweet, downy & soft, waving among the reeds,
Light springing on the air, lead the sweet Dance: they wake
The Honeysuckle sleeping on the Oak; the flaunting beauty
Revels along upon the wind; the White-thorn, lovely May,
Opens her many lovely eyes; listening the Rose still sleeps –
None dare to wake her; soon she bursts her crimson curtain’d bed
And comes forth in the majesty of beauty; every Flower,
The Pink, the Jessamine, the Wall-flower, the Carnation,
The Jonquil, the mild Lilly opes her heavens; every Tree
And Flower & Herb soon fill the air with an innumberable Dance,
Yet all in order sweet & lovely. Men are sick with Love.
Such is a Vision of the Lamentation of Beulah over Ololon.
And Milton oft sat upon the Couch of Death, & oft conversed
In vision & dream beatific with the Seven Angels of the Presence:
‘I have turned my back upon these Heavens builded on cruelty.
My Spectre still wandering thro’ them follows my Emanation;
He hunts her footsteps thro’ the snow & the wintry hail & rain.
The idiot Reasoner laughs at the Man of Imagination,
And from laughter proceeds o murder by undervaluing calumny.’
Then Hillel, who is Lucifer, replied over the Couch of Death,
And thus the Seven angels instructed him, & thus they converse:
We are not Individuals but States, Combinations of Individuals.
We were Angels of the Divine Presence, & were Druids in Annandale,
Compell’d to combine into Form by Satan, the Spectre of Albion,
Who make himself a God & destroyed the Human Form Divine.
But the divine Humanity & Mercy gave us a Human Form
Because we were combin’d in Freedom & holy Brotherhood;
Whild those combin’d by Satan’s Tyranny, first in the blood of War
And Sacrifice & next in Chains of imprisonment, are Shapeless Rocks
Retaining only Satan’s Mathematic holiness, Length, Bredth & Highth,
Calling the Human Imagination, which is the Divine Vision & Fruition
In which Man liveth eternally, madness & blasphemy, against
Its own Qualities, which are Servants of Humanity, not Gods or Lords.
Distinguish therefore States from Individuals in those States.
States change, but Individual Identities never change nor cease.
You cannot go to Eternal Death in that which can never Die.
Satan & Adam are States Created in Twenty-seven Churches,
And thou, O Milton, are a State about to be Created
Called Eternal Annihilation, that none but the Living shall
Dare to enter; & they shall enter triumphant over Death
And Hell & the Grave: States that are not, but ah! Seem to be.
‘Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore,
What is Eternal & what Changeable, & what Annihilable?
The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself.
Affection of Love becomes a State when divided from Imagination.
The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State
Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created.
Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated. Forms cannot.
The Oak is cut down by the Ax, the Lamb falls by the Knife;
But their Forms Eternal Exist For-ever. Amen. Hallelujah!’

Thus they converse with the Dead, watching round the Couch of Death.
For God himself enters Death’s door always with those that enter,
And lays down in the grave with them, in Vision of Eternity,
Till they awake & see Jesus, & the Linen Clothes lying
That the Females had Woven for them, & the Gates of their Father’s House.

* * *

There is a Moment in each Day that Satan cannot find,
Nor can his Watch Fiends find it; but the Industrious find
This Moment & it multiply; & when it once is found
It renovates every Moment of the Day if rightly placed.
In this Moment Ololon descended to Los & Enitharmon,
Unseen beyond the Mundane Shell, Southward in Milton’s track.

Just in this Moment when the morning odours rise abroads,
And first from the Wild thyme, stands a Fountain in a rock
Of crystal flowing into two Streams: one flow thro’ Golgonooza
And thro’ Beulah to Eden, beneath Los’s western wall;
The other flows thro’ the Aerial Void & all the Churches,
Meeting again in Golgonooze beyond Satan’s Seat.

The Wild thyme is Los’s Messenger to Eden, a mighty Demon,
Terrible, deadly & poisonous his presence in Ulro dark;
Therefore the appears only a small Root creeping in grass,
Covering over the Rock of Odours his bright purple mantle
Beside the Fount, above the Lark’s Nest in Golgonooza.
Luvah slept here in death, & here is Luvah’s empty Tomb.
Ololon sat beside this Fountain on the Rock of Odours.

Just at the place to where the Lark mounts is a Crystal Gate:
It is the entrance of the First Heaven, named Luther; for
The Lark is Los’s Messenger thro’ the Twenty-seven Churches,
That the Seven Eyes of god, who walk even to Satan’s Seat
Thro’ all the Twenty-seven Heavens, may not slumber nor sleep.
But the Lark’s Nest is at the gate of Los, at the eastern
Gate of wide Golgonooza, & the Lark is Los’s Messenger.
When on the highest lift of his light pinions he arrives
At that bright Gate, another Lark meets him, & back to back
They touch their pinions, tip tip, and each descend
To their respective Earths, & there all night consult with Angels
Of Providence & with the eyes of God all night in slumbers
Inspired, & at the dawn of day send out another Lark
Into another Heaven to carry news upon his wings.
Thus are the Messengers dispatch’d till they reach the Earth again
In the East Gate of Golgonooza; & the twenty-eighth bright
Lark met the Female Ololon descending my Garden.
Thus it appears to Mortal eyes & those of the Ulro Heavens,
But not thus to Immortals; the Lark is a mighty Angel.
For Ololon step’d into the Polypus within the Mundane Shell –
They could not step into Vegetable Worlds without becoming
The enemies of Humanity, except in a Female Form –
And as One Female Ololon and all its mighty Hosts
Appear’d, a Virgin of twelve years. Nor time nor space was
To the perception of the Virgin Ololon; but as the
Flash of lightning, but more quick, the virgin in my Garden
Before my Cottage stood; for the Satanic space is delusion.

For when Los join’d with me he took me in his fi’ry
Whirlwind.
My Vegetated portion was hurried from Lambeth’s shades;
He set me down in Pelpham’s Vale & prepar’d a beautiful
Cottage for me, that in three years I might write all these Visions
To display Nature’s cruel holiness, the deceits of Natural Religion.
Walking in my Cottage Garden sudden I beheld
The Virgin Ololon & address’d her as a Daughter of Beulah:

‘Virgin of Providence fear not to enter into my Cottage.
What is thy message to thy friend? What am I now to do?
Is it again to plunge into deeper affliction? Behold me
Ready to obey, but pity thou my Shadow of Delight.
Enter my Cottage, comfort her, for she is sick with fatigue.’
The Virgin answer’d: ‘Knowest thou of Milton who descended
Driven form Eternity? Him I seek! terrified at my Act
In Great Eternity which thou knowest, I come him to seek.’

So Ololon utter’d in words distinct the anxious thought:
Mild was the voice, but more distinct than any earthly.
That Milton’s Shadow heard; & condensing all his Fibres
Into a strength impregnable of majesty & beauty infinite,
I saw he was the Covering Cherub, & within him Satan
And Rahab, in an outside which is fallacious, within
Beyond the outline of Identity, in the Selfhood deadly.
And he appear’d the Wicker Man of Scandinavia, in whom
Jerusalem’s children consume in flames among the Stars.

Descending down into my Garden, a Human Wonder of God
Reaching form heaven to earth, a Cloud & Human Form,
I beheld Milton with astonishment, & in him beheld
The Monstrous Churches of Beulah, the Gods of Ulro dark
Twelve monstrous dishumaniz’d terrors, Synagogues of Satan,
A Double Twelve & Thrice Nine: such their divisions.

* * *

and Milton, collecting all his fibres into impregnable strength,
Descended down a Paved work of all kinds of precious stones
Out from the eastern sky; descending down into my Cottage
Garden, clothed in black, severe & silent he descended.

The Spectre of Satan stood upon the roaring sea & beheld
Milton within his sleeping Humanity; trembling & shudd’ring
He stood upon the waves, a Twenty-seven-fold mighty Demon,
Gorgeous & beautiful; loud roll his thunders against Milton.
Loud Satan thunder’d, loud & dark upon mild Felpham shore;
Not daring to touch one fibre he howl’d round upon the Sea.

I also stood in Satan’s bosom & beheld its desolatons:
A ruin’d Man, a ruin’d building of God not made with hands;
Its plains of burning sand, its mountains of marble terrible;
Its pits & declivities flowing with molten ore & fountains
Of pitch & nitre; its ruin’d palaces & cities & mighty works;
Its furnaces of affliction, in which his Angels & Emanations
Labour with blacken’d visages among its stupendous ruins,
Arches & pyramids & porches, colonnades & domes,
In which dwells Mystery, Babylon; here is her secret place;
From hence she comes forth on the Churches in delight;
Here is her Cup fill’d with its poisons, in these horrid vales,
And here her scarlet Veil woven in pestilence & war;
Here is Jerusalem bound in chains, in the Dens of Babylon.

In the Eastern porch of Satan’s Universe Milton stood & said:
‘Satan! my Spectre! I know my power thee to annihilate
And be a greater in thy place, & be thy Tabernacle,
A covering for thee to do thy will, till one greater comes
And smites me as I Smote thee & becomes my covering.
Such are the laws of thy false Heav’ns; but Laws of eternity
Are not such. Know thou, I come to Self Annihilation.
Such are the Laws of Eternity, that each shall mutully
Annighilate himself for other’s good, as I for thee.
Thy purpose & the purpose of thy Priests & of thy Churches
Is to impress on men the fear of death, to teach
Trembling & fear, terror, constriction, abject selfishness.
Mine is to teach Men to despise death & to go on
In fearless majesty annihilating Self, laughing to scorn
Thy Laws & terrors, shaking down thy Synagogues as webs.
I come to discover before Heav’n & Hell the Self righteousness
In all it Hypocritic turpitude, opening to every eye
These wonders of Satan’s holiness, shewing to the Earth
The Idol Virtues of the Natural Hearth, & Satan’s Seat
Explore in all its Selfish Natural Virtue, & put off
In Self annihilation all that is not of God alone,
To put off Self & all I have, ever & ever. Amen.’

Satan heard, Coming in a cloud with trumpets & flaming fire,
Saying: ‘I am God the judge of all, the living & the dead.
Fall therefore down& worship me; submit thy supreme
Dictate to my eternal Will, & to my dictate bow.
I hold the Balances of Right & just, & mine the Sword.
Seven Angels bear my Name & in those Seven I appear;
But I alone am God, & I alone in Heav’n & Earth
Of all that live dare utter this; others tremble & bow,
Till All Things become One Great Satan, in Holiness
Oppos’d to Mercy, and the Divines Delusion, Jesus, be no more.’

Suddenly around Milton on my Path the Starry Seven
Burn’d terrible! My Path became a solid fire, as bright
As the clear Sun, & Milton silent came down on my Path.
And there went forth from the Starry limbs of the Seven, Forms
Human, with Trumpets innumerable, sounding articulate
As the Seven spake; and they stood in a mighty Column of Fire
Surrounding Felpham’s Vale, reaching to the Mundane Shell, Saying:

‘Awake, Albion awake! reclaim thy Reasoning Spectre. Subdue
Him to the Divine Mercy; Cast him down into the Lake
Of Los that ever burneth with fire, ever & ever, Amen!
Let the Four Zoas awake form Slumbers of Six Thousand Years.’

Then loud the Furnaces of Los were heard, & seen as Seven Heavens
Stretching from south to north over the mountains of Albion.
Satan heard’ trembling round his Body, he incircled it;
He trembled with exceeding great trembling & astonishment,
Howling in his Spectre round his Body, hung’ring to devour
But fearing for the pain; for if he touches a Vital
His torment is unendurable. Therefore he cannot devour,
But howls round it as a lion round his prey continually.
Loud Satan thunder’d, loud& dark upon mild Felpham’s Shore,
Coming in a Cloud with Trumpets & with Fiery Flame,
An awful Form eastward, form midst of a bright Pavedwork
Of Precious stones by Cherubim surrounded, so permitted
(Lest he should fall apart in his Eternal Death) to imitate
The Eternal Great Humanity Divine surrounded by
His Cherubim & Seraphim in ever happy Eternity.
Beneath sat Chaos: sin on his right hand, Death on his left;
And Ancient Night spread over all the heav’n his Mantle of Laws.
He trembled with exceeding great trembling & astonishment.

Then Albion rose up in the Night of Beulah on his Couch
Of dread repose seen by the visionary eye; his face is toward
The east, toward Jerusalem’s Gates; groaning he sat above
His rocks. London & Bath & Legions & Edinburgh
Are the four pillars of his Throne; his left foot near London
Covers the shades of Tyburn; his instep from Windsor
To Primrose Hill stretching to Highgate & Holloway;
London is between his knees, its basements fourfold;
His right foot stretches to the sea on Dover cliffs, his heel
On Canterbury’s ruins; his right hand covers lofty Wales,
His left Scotland; his bosom girt with gold involves
York, Edinburgh, Durham & Carlisle, & on the front
Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, Norwich; his right elbow
Leans on the Rocks of Erin’s Land, Ireland, ancient nation;
His head bends over London. He sees his embodied Spectre
Trembling before him with exceeding great trembling & fear.
He views Jerusalem & Babylon, his tears flow down.
He mov’d his right foot to Cornwall, his left to the rocks of Bognor;
He strove to rise to walk into the Deep, but strength failing
Forbad; & down with dreadful groans he sunk upon his Couch
In moony Beulah. Los, his strong Guard, walks round beneath the Moon.

Urizen faints in terror, striving among the Brooks of Arnon
With Milton’s Spirit. As the Plowman of Artificer of Shepherd
While in the labours of his Calling sends his thought abroad
To labour in the ocean or in the starry heaven, So Milton
Labour’d in Chasms of the Mundane Shell, tho’ here before
My Cottage midst the Starry Seven, where the Virgin Ololon
Stood rembling in the Porch. Loud Satan thunder’d on the stormy Sea,
Circling Albion’s Cliffs in which the Four-fold World resides,
Tho’s seen in fallacy outside, a fallacy of Satan’s Churches.
Before Ololon Milton stood & perceiv’d the Eternal Form
Of that mild Vision; wondrous were their acts by me unknown
Except remotely; and I heard Ololon say to Milton:

‘I see thee strive upon the Brooks of Arnon. There a dread
And awful Man I see, o’vercover’d with the mantle of years.
I behold Los & Urizen, I behold Orc & Tharmas,
The Four Zoas of Albion, & thy Spirit with them striving,
In Self annihilation giving thy life to thy enemies.
Are those who contemn Religion & seek to annihilate it
Become in their Feminine portions the causes & promoters
Of these Religions? How is this thing, this Newtonian Phantasm,
This Voltaire & Rousseau, this Hume & Gibbon & Bolingbroke,
This Natural Religion, this impossibleabsurdity?
Is Ololon the cause of this? O where shall I hide my face?
These tears fall for the little ones, the Children of Jerusalem,
Lest they be annihilated in thy annihilation.’

No sooner she had spoke but Rahab Babylon appear’d
Eastward upon the Paved work across Europe & Asia,
Glorious as the midday Sun, in Satan’s bosom glowing,
A Female hidden in a Male, Religion hidden in War,
Nam’d Moral Virtue, cruel two-fold Monster shining bright,
A Dragon red & hidden Harlot which John in Patmos saw.

And all beneath the Nations innumberable of Ulro
Apear’d: the Seven Kingdoms of Canaan & Five Baalim
Of Philistea into Twelve divided, call’d after the Names
Of Israel, as they are in Eden – Mountain, River & Plain,
City & sandy Desart intermingled beyond mortal ken.
But turning toward Ololon in terrible majesty, Milton
Replied: ‘Obey thou the Words of the Inspired Man.
All that can be annihilated must be annihilated
That the Children of Jerusalem may be saved form slavery.
There is a Negation, & there is a Contrary;
The Negation must be destroy’d to redeem the Contraries.
The Negation is the Spectre, the reasoning Power in Man.
This is a false body, an Incrustation over my Immortal
Spirit, a Selfhood which must be put off & annihilated always.
To cleanse the face of my Spirit by Self-examination,
To bathe in the Waters of Life, to wash off the Not Human,
I come in Self-annihilation & the grandeur of Inspiration;
To cast off rational Demonstration by Faith in the Saviour,
To cast off the rotten rags of Memory by Inspiration,
To cast off Bacon, Locke & Newton form Albion’s covering,
To take off his filthy garments, & clothe him with Imagination;
To cast aside from Poetry all that is not Inspiration,
That is no longer shall dare to mock with the aspersion of Madness
Cast on the Inspired by the tame high finisher of paltry Blots
Indefinite, or paltry Rhymes, or Paltry Harmonies,
Who creeps into State Government like a catterpiller to destroy;
To cast off the idiot Questioner who is always questioning
But never capable of answering, who sits wit a sly grin
Silent plotting when to question, like a thief in a cave;
Who publishes doubt & calls it knowledge, whose Science is Despair,
Whose pretence to knowledge is Envy, whose whole Science is
To destroy the wisdom of ages to gratify ravenous Envy,
That rages round him like a Wolf day & night without rest.
He smiles with condescension, he talks of Benevolence & Virtue,
And those who act with Benevolence & Virtue they murder time on time.
These are the destroyers of Jerusalem, these are the murderers
Of Jesus, who deny the Faith & mock at Eternal life;
Who pretend to Poetry that they may destroy Imagination
By imitation of Nature’s Images drawn from Remembrance.
These are the Sexual Garments, the Abomination of Desolation,
Hiding the Human Lineaments as with an Ark & Curtains,
Which Jesus rent & now shall wholly purge away with Fire,
Till Generation is swallow’d up in Regeneration.’

Then trembled the Virgin Ololon & reply’d in clouds of despair:

‘Is this our Feminine Portion, the Six-fold Miltonic Female?
Terrible this Portion trembles before thee, O awful Man!
Altho’ our Human Power can sustain the severe contentions
Of Friendship, our Sexual cannot, but flies into the Ulro.
Hence arose all our terrors in Eternity; & now remembrance
Returns upon us. Are we Contraries, O Milton, Thou & I?
O Immortal! how were we led to War the Wars of Death?
Is this the Void Outside of Existence, which if enter’d into
Becomes a Womb? & is this the Death Couch of Albion?
Thou goest to Eternal Death, & all must go with thee.’

So saying, the Virgin divided Six-fold, & with a shriek
Dolorous that ran thro’ all Creation, a Double-Six-fold Wonder,
Away from Ololon she divided & fled into the depths
Of Milton’s Shadow, as a Dove upon the stormy Sea.

Then as a Moony Ark Ololon descended to Felpham’s Vale
In clouds of blood, in streams of gore, with dreadful thunderings
Into the Fires of Intellect that rejoic’d in Felpham’s Vale
Around the Starry Eight. With one accord the Starry Eight became
One Man, Jesus the Saviour, wonderful! Round his limbs
The Clouds of Ololon folded as a Garment dipped in blood,
Written within & without in woven letters; & the Writing
Is the Divine Revelation in the Litteral expression,
A Garment of War. I heard it nam’d the Woof of Six Thousand Years.

And I beheld the Twenty-four Cities of Albion
Arise upon their Thrones to Judge the Nations of the Earth;
And the Immortal Four in whom the Twenty-four appear Four-fold
Arose around Albion’s body. Jesus wept & walked forth
From Felpham’s Vale clothed in Clouds of blood, to enter into
Albion’s Bosom, the bosom of death, & the Four surrounded him
In the Column of Fire in Felpham’s Vale. Then to their mouths the four
Applied their Four Trumpets & them sounded to the Four winds.

Terror struck in the Vale. I stood at that immortal sound;
My bones trembles. I fell outstretch’d upon the path
A moment, & my Soul return’d into its mortal state,
To Resurrection & Judgment in the Vegetable body;
And my sweet Shadow of Delight stood trembling by my side.

Immediately the Lark mounted with a loud trill form Felpham’s Vale,
And the Wild Thyme from Wimbleton’s green & impurpled Hills;
And Los& Enitharmon rose over the Hills of Surrey.
Their clouds roll over London with a south wind. Soft Oothoon
Pants in the Vales of Lambeth, weeping o’er her Human Harvest.
Los listens to the Cry of the Poor Man, his Cloud
Over London in volume terrific, low bended in anger.

Rintrah & Palamabron view the Human Harvest beneath.
Their Wine-presses & Barns stand open; the Ovens are prepar’d,
The Waggons ready; terrific, Lions & Tygers sport & play.
All Animals upon the Earth are prepar’d in all their strength
To go forth to the Great Harvest & Vintage of the Nations.

Finis

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Guinevere

Queen Guinevere had fled the court, and sat
There in the holy house at Almesbury
Weeping, none with her save a little maid,
A novice: one low light betwixt them burned
Blurred by the creeping mist, for all abroad,
Beneath a moon unseen albeit at full,
The white mist, like a face-cloth to the face,
Clung to the dead earth, and the land was still.

For hither had she fled, her cause of flight
Sir Modred; he that like a subtle beast
Lay couchant with his eyes upon the throne,
Ready to spring, waiting a chance: for this
He chilled the popular praises of the King
With silent smiles of slow disparagement;
And tampered with the Lords of the White Horse,
Heathen, the brood by Hengist left; and sought
To make disruption in the Table Round
Of Arthur, and to splinter it into feuds
Serving his traitorous end; and all his aims
Were sharpened by strong hate for Lancelot.

For thus it chanced one morn when all the court,
Green-suited, but with plumes that mocked the may,
Had been, their wont, a-maying and returned,
That Modred still in green, all ear and eye,
Climbed to the high top of the garden-wall
To spy some secret scandal if he might,
And saw the Queen who sat betwixt her best
Enid, and lissome Vivien, of her court
The wiliest and the worst; and more than this
He saw not, for Sir Lancelot passing by
Spied where he couched, and as the gardener's hand
Picks from the colewort a green caterpillar,
So from the high wall and the flowering grove
Of grasses Lancelot plucked him by the heel,
And cast him as a worm upon the way;
But when he knew the Prince though marred with dust,
He, reverencing king's blood in a bad man,
Made such excuses as he might, and these
Full knightly without scorn; for in those days
No knight of Arthur's noblest dealt in scorn;
But, if a man were halt or hunched, in him
By those whom God had made full-limbed and tall,
Scorn was allowed as part of his defect,
And he was answered softly by the King
And all his Table. So Sir Lancelot holp
To raise the Prince, who rising twice or thrice
Full sharply smote his knees, and smiled, and went:
But, ever after, the small violence done
Rankled in him and ruffled all his heart,
As the sharp wind that ruffles all day long
A little bitter pool about a stone
On the bare coast.

But when Sir Lancelot told
This matter to the Queen, at first she laughed
Lightly, to think of Modred's dusty fall,
Then shuddered, as the village wife who cries
`I shudder, some one steps across my grave;'
Then laughed again, but faintlier, for indeed
She half-foresaw that he, the subtle beast,
Would track her guilt until he found, and hers
Would be for evermore a name of scorn.
Henceforward rarely could she front in hall,
Or elsewhere, Modred's narrow foxy face,
Heart-hiding smile, and gray persistent eye:
Henceforward too, the Powers that tend the soul,
To help it from the death that cannot die,
And save it even in extremes, began
To vex and plague her. Many a time for hours,
Beside the placid breathings of the King,
In the dead night, grim faces came and went
Before her, or a vague spiritual fear--
Like to some doubtful noise of creaking doors,
Heard by the watcher in a haunted house,
That keeps the rust of murder on the walls--
Held her awake: or if she slept, she dreamed
An awful dream; for then she seemed to stand
On some vast plain before a setting sun,
And from the sun there swiftly made at her
A ghastly something, and its shadow flew
Before it, till it touched her, and she turned--
When lo! her own, that broadening from her feet,
And blackening, swallowed all the land, and in it
Far cities burnt, and with a cry she woke.
And all this trouble did not pass but grew;
Till even the clear face of the guileless King,
And trustful courtesies of household life,
Became her bane; and at the last she said,
`O Lancelot, get thee hence to thine own land,
For if thou tarry we shall meet again,
And if we meet again, some evil chance
Will make the smouldering scandal break and blaze
Before the people, and our lord the King.'
And Lancelot ever promised, but remained,
And still they met and met. Again she said,
`O Lancelot, if thou love me get thee hence.'
And then they were agreed upon a night
(When the good King should not be there) to meet
And part for ever. Vivien, lurking, heard.
She told Sir Modred. Passion-pale they met
And greeted. Hands in hands, and eye to eye,
Low on the border of her couch they sat
Stammering and staring. It was their last hour,
A madness of farewells. And Modred brought
His creatures to the basement of the tower
For testimony; and crying with full voice
`Traitor, come out, ye are trapt at last,' aroused
Lancelot, who rushing outward lionlike
Leapt on him, and hurled him headlong, and he fell
Stunned, and his creatures took and bare him off,
And all was still: then she, `The end is come,
And I am shamed for ever;' and he said,
`Mine be the shame; mine was the sin: but rise,
And fly to my strong castle overseas:
There will I hide thee, till my life shall end,
There hold thee with my life against the world.'
She answered, `Lancelot, wilt thou hold me so?
Nay, friend, for we have taken our farewells.
Would God that thou couldst hide me from myself!
Mine is the shame, for I was wife, and thou
Unwedded: yet rise now, and let us fly,
For I will draw me into sanctuary,
And bide my doom.' So Lancelot got her horse,
Set her thereon, and mounted on his own,
And then they rode to the divided way,
There kissed, and parted weeping: for he past,
Love-loyal to the least wish of the Queen,
Back to his land; but she to Almesbury
Fled all night long by glimmering waste and weald,
And heard the Spirits of the waste and weald
Moan as she fled, or thought she heard them moan:
And in herself she moaned `Too late, too late!'
Till in the cold wind that foreruns the morn,
A blot in heaven, the Raven, flying high,
Croaked, and she thought, `He spies a field of death;
For now the Heathen of the Northern Sea,
Lured by the crimes and frailties of the court,
Begin to slay the folk, and spoil the land.'

And when she came to Almesbury she spake
There to the nuns, and said, `Mine enemies
Pursue me, but, O peaceful Sisterhood,
Receive, and yield me sanctuary, nor ask
Her name to whom ye yield it, till her time
To tell you:' and her beauty, grace and power,
Wrought as a charm upon them, and they spared
To ask it.

So the stately Queen abode
For many a week, unknown, among the nuns;
Nor with them mixed, nor told her name, nor sought,
Wrapt in her grief, for housel or for shrift,
But communed only with the little maid,
Who pleased her with a babbling heedlessness
Which often lured her from herself; but now,
This night, a rumour wildly blown about
Came, that Sir Modred had usurped the realm,
And leagued him with the heathen, while the King
Was waging war on Lancelot: then she thought,
`With what a hate the people and the King
Must hate me,' and bowed down upon her hands
Silent, until the little maid, who brooked
No silence, brake it, uttering, `Late! so late!
What hour, I wonder, now?' and when she drew
No answer, by and by began to hum
An air the nuns had taught her; `Late, so late!'
Which when she heard, the Queen looked up, and said,
`O maiden, if indeed ye list to sing,
Sing, and unbind my heart that I may weep.'
Whereat full willingly sang the little maid.

`Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill!
Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.

`No light had we: for that we do repent;
And learning this, the bridegroom will relent.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.

`No light: so late! and dark and chill the night!
O let us in, that we may find the light!
Too late, too late: ye cannot enter now.

`Have we not heard the bridegroom is so sweet?
O let us in, though late, to kiss his feet!
No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now.'

So sang the novice, while full passionately,
Her head upon her hands, remembering
Her thought when first she came, wept the sad Queen.
Then said the little novice prattling to her,
`O pray you, noble lady, weep no more;
But let my words, the words of one so small,
Who knowing nothing knows but to obey,
And if I do not there is penance given--
Comfort your sorrows; for they do not flow
From evil done; right sure am I of that,
Who see your tender grace and stateliness.
But weigh your sorrows with our lord the King's,
And weighing find them less; for gone is he
To wage grim war against Sir Lancelot there,
Round that strong castle where he holds the Queen;
And Modred whom he left in charge of all,
The traitor--Ah sweet lady, the King's grief
For his own self, and his own Queen, and realm,
Must needs be thrice as great as any of ours.
For me, I thank the saints, I am not great.
For if there ever come a grief to me
I cry my cry in silence, and have done.
None knows it, and my tears have brought me good:
But even were the griefs of little ones
As great as those of great ones, yet this grief
Is added to the griefs the great must bear,
That howsoever much they may desire
Silence, they cannot weep behind a cloud:
As even here they talk at Almesbury
About the good King and his wicked Queen,
And were I such a King with such a Queen,
Well might I wish to veil her wickedness,
But were I such a King, it could not be.'

Then to her own sad heart muttered the Queen,
`Will the child kill me with her innocent talk?'
But openly she answered, `Must not I,
If this false traitor have displaced his lord,
Grieve with the common grief of all the realm?'

`Yea,' said the maid, `this is all woman's grief,
That SHE is woman, whose disloyal life
Hath wrought confusion in the Table Round
Which good King Arthur founded, years ago,
With signs and miracles and wonders, there
At Camelot, ere the coming of the Queen.'

Then thought the Queen within herself again,
`Will the child kill me with her foolish prate?'
But openly she spake and said to her,
`O little maid, shut in by nunnery walls,
What canst thou know of Kings and Tables Round,
Or what of signs and wonders, but the signs
And simple miracles of thy nunnery?'

To whom the little novice garrulously,
`Yea, but I know: the land was full of signs
And wonders ere the coming of the Queen.
So said my father, and himself was knight
Of the great Table--at the founding of it;
And rode thereto from Lyonnesse, and he said
That as he rode, an hour or maybe twain
After the sunset, down the coast, he heard
Strange music, and he paused, and turning--there,
All down the lonely coast of Lyonnesse,
Each with a beacon-star upon his head,
And with a wild sea-light about his feet,
He saw them--headland after headland flame
Far on into the rich heart of the west:
And in the light the white mermaiden swam,
And strong man-breasted things stood from the sea,
And sent a deep sea-voice through all the land,
To which the little elves of chasm and cleft
Made answer, sounding like a distant horn.
So said my father--yea, and furthermore,
Next morning, while he past the dim-lit woods,
Himself beheld three spirits mad with joy
Come dashing down on a tall wayside flower,
That shook beneath them, as the thistle shakes
When three gray linnets wrangle for the seed:
And still at evenings on before his horse
The flickering fairy-circle wheeled and broke
Flying, and linked again, and wheeled and broke
Flying, for all the land was full of life.
And when at last he came to Camelot,
A wreath of airy dancers hand-in-hand
Swung round the lighted lantern of the hall;
And in the hall itself was such a feast
As never man had dreamed; for every knight
Had whatsoever meat he longed for served
By hands unseen; and even as he said
Down in the cellars merry bloated things
Shouldered the spigot, straddling on the butts
While the wine ran: so glad were spirits and men
Before the coming of the sinful Queen.'

Then spake the Queen and somewhat bitterly,
`Were they so glad? ill prophets were they all,
Spirits and men: could none of them foresee,
Not even thy wise father with his signs
And wonders, what has fallen upon the realm?'

To whom the novice garrulously again,
`Yea, one, a bard; of whom my father said,
Full many a noble war-song had he sung,
Even in the presence of an enemy's fleet,
Between the steep cliff and the coming wave;
And many a mystic lay of life and death
Had chanted on the smoky mountain-tops,
When round him bent the spirits of the hills
With all their dewy hair blown back like flame:
So said my father--and that night the bard
Sang Arthur's glorious wars, and sang the King
As wellnigh more than man, and railed at those
Who called him the false son of Gorlos:
For there was no man knew from whence he came;
But after tempest, when the long wave broke
All down the thundering shores of Bude and Bos,
There came a day as still as heaven, and then
They found a naked child upon the sands
Of dark Tintagil by the Cornish sea;
And that was Arthur; and they fostered him
Till he by miracle was approven King:
And that his grave should be a mystery
From all men, like his birth; and could he find
A woman in her womanhood as great
As he was in his manhood, then, he sang,
The twain together well might change the world.
But even in the middle of his song
He faltered, and his hand fell from the harp,
And pale he turned, and reeled, and would have fallen,
But that they stayed him up; nor would he tell
His vision; but what doubt that he foresaw
This evil work of Lancelot and the Queen?'

Then thought the Queen, `Lo! they have set her on,
Our simple-seeming Abbess and her nuns,
To play upon me,' and bowed her head nor spake.
Whereat the novice crying, with clasped hands,
Shame on her own garrulity garrulously,
Said the good nuns would check her gadding tongue
Full often, `and, sweet lady, if I seem
To vex an ear too sad to listen to me,
Unmannerly, with prattling and the tales
Which my good father told me, check me too
Nor let me shame my father's memory, one
Of noblest manners, though himself would say
Sir Lancelot had the noblest; and he died,
Killed in a tilt, come next, five summers back,
And left me; but of others who remain,
And of the two first-famed for courtesy--
And pray you check me if I ask amiss-
But pray you, which had noblest, while you moved
Among them, Lancelot or our lord the King?'

Then the pale Queen looked up and answered her,
`Sir Lancelot, as became a noble knight,
Was gracious to all ladies, and the same
In open battle or the tilting-field
Forbore his own advantage, and the King
In open battle or the tilting-field
Forbore his own advantage, and these two
Were the most nobly-mannered men of all;
For manners are not idle, but the fruit
Of loyal nature, and of noble mind.'

`Yea,' said the maid, `be manners such fair fruit?'
Then Lancelot's needs must be a thousand-fold
Less noble, being, as all rumour runs,
The most disloyal friend in all the world.'

To which a mournful answer made the Queen:
`O closed about by narrowing nunnery-walls,
What knowest thou of the world, and all its lights
And shadows, all the wealth and all the woe?
If ever Lancelot, that most noble knight,
Were for one hour less noble than himself,
Pray for him that he scape the doom of fire,
And weep for her that drew him to his doom.'

`Yea,' said the little novice, `I pray for both;
But I should all as soon believe that his,
Sir Lancelot's, were as noble as the King's,
As I could think, sweet lady, yours would be
Such as they are, were you the sinful Queen.'

So she, like many another babbler, hurt
Whom she would soothe, and harmed where she would heal;
For here a sudden flush of wrathful heat
Fired all the pale face of the Queen, who cried,
`Such as thou art be never maiden more
For ever! thou their tool, set on to plague
And play upon, and harry me, petty spy
And traitress.' When that storm of anger brake
From Guinevere, aghast the maiden rose,
White as her veil, and stood before the Queen
As tremulously as foam upon the beach
Stands in a wind, ready to break and fly,
And when the Queen had added `Get thee hence,'
Fled frighted. Then that other left alone
Sighed, and began to gather heart again,
Saying in herself, `The simple, fearful child
Meant nothing, but my own too-fearful guilt,
Simpler than any child, betrays itself.
But help me, heaven, for surely I repent.
For what is true repentance but in thought--
Not even in inmost thought to think again
The sins that made the past so pleasant to us:
And I have sworn never to see him more,
To see him more.'

And even in saying this,
Her memory from old habit of the mind
Went slipping back upon the golden days
In which she saw him first, when Lancelot came,
Reputed the best knight and goodliest man,
Ambassador, to lead her to his lord
Arthur, and led her forth, and far ahead
Of his and her retinue moving, they,
Rapt in sweet talk or lively, all on love
And sport and tilts and pleasure, (for the time
Was maytime, and as yet no sin was dreamed,)
Rode under groves that looked a paradise
Of blossom, over sheets of hyacinth
That seemed the heavens upbreaking through the earth,
And on from hill to hill, and every day
Beheld at noon in some delicious dale
The silk pavilions of King Arthur raised
For brief repast or afternoon repose
By couriers gone before; and on again,
Till yet once more ere set of sun they saw
The Dragon of the great Pendragonship,
That crowned the state pavilion of the King,
Blaze by the rushing brook or silent well.

But when the Queen immersed in such a trance,
And moving through the past unconsciously,
Came to that point where first she saw the King
Ride toward her from the city, sighed to find
Her journey done, glanced at him, thought him cold,
High, self-contained, and passionless, not like him,
`Not like my Lancelot'--while she brooded thus
And grew half-guilty in her thoughts again,
There rode an armd warrior to the doors.
A murmuring whisper through the nunnery ran,
Then on a sudden a cry, `The King.' She sat
Stiff-stricken, listening; but when armd feet
Through the long gallery from the outer doors
Rang coming, prone from off her seat she fell,
And grovelled with her face against the floor:
There with her milkwhite arms and shadowy hair
She made her face a darkness from the King:
And in the darkness heard his armd feet
Pause by her; then came silence, then a voice,
Monotonous and hollow like a Ghost's
Denouncing judgment, but though changed, the King's:

`Liest thou here so low, the child of one
I honoured, happy, dead before thy shame?
Well is it that no child is born of thee.
The children born of thee are sword and fire,
Red ruin, and the breaking up of laws,
The craft of kindred and the Godless hosts
Of heathen swarming o'er the Northern Sea;
Whom I, while yet Sir Lancelot, my right arm,
The mightiest of my knights, abode with me,
Have everywhere about this land of Christ
In twelve great battles ruining overthrown.
And knowest thou now from whence I come--from him
From waging bitter war with him: and he,
That did not shun to smite me in worse way,
Had yet that grace of courtesy in him left,
He spared to lift his hand against the King
Who made him knight: but many a knight was slain;
And many more, and all his kith and kin
Clave to him, and abode in his own land.
And many more when Modred raised revolt,
Forgetful of their troth and fealty, clave
To Modred, and a remnant stays with me.
And of this remnant will I leave a part,
True men who love me still, for whom I live,
To guard thee in the wild hour coming on,
Lest but a hair of this low head be harmed.
Fear not: thou shalt be guarded till my death.
Howbeit I know, if ancient prophecies
Have erred not, that I march to meet my doom.
Thou hast not made my life so sweet to me,
That I the King should greatly care to live;
For thou hast spoilt the purpose of my life.
Bear with me for the last time while I show,
Even for thy sake, the sin which thou hast sinned.
For when the Roman left us, and their law
Relaxed its hold upon us, and the ways
Were filled with rapine, here and there a deed
Of prowess done redressed a random wrong.
But I was first of all the kings who drew
The knighthood-errant of this realm and all
The realms together under me, their Head,
In that fair Order of my Table Round,
A glorious company, the flower of men,
To serve as model for the mighty world,
And be the fair beginning of a time.
I made them lay their hands in mine and swear
To reverence the King, as if he were
Their conscience, and their conscience as their King,
To break the heathen and uphold the Christ,
To ride abroad redressing human wrongs,
To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it,
To honour his own word as if his God's,
To lead sweet lives in purest chastity,
To love one maiden only, cleave to her,
And worship her by years of noble deeds,
Until they won her; for indeed I knew
Of no more subtle master under heaven
Than is the maiden passion for a maid,
Not only to keep down the base in man,
But teach high thought, and amiable words
And courtliness, and the desire of fame,
And love of truth, and all that makes a man.
And all this throve before I wedded thee,
Believing, "lo mine helpmate, one to feel
My purpose and rejoicing in my joy."
Then came thy shameful sin with Lancelot;
Then came the sin of Tristram and Isolt;
Then others, following these my mightiest knights,
And drawing foul ensample from fair names,
Sinned also, till the loathsome opposite
Of all my heart had destined did obtain,
And all through thee! so that this life of mine
I guard as God's high gift from scathe and wrong,
Not greatly care to lose; but rather think
How sad it were for Arthur, should he live,
To sit once more within his lonely hall,
And miss the wonted number of my knights,
And miss to hear high talk of noble deeds
As in the golden days before thy sin.
For which of us, who might be left, could speak
Of the pure heart, nor seem to glance at thee?
And in thy bowers of Camelot or of Usk
Thy shadow still would glide from room to room,
And I should evermore be vext with thee
In hanging robe or vacant ornament,
Or ghostly footfall echoing on the stair.
For think not, though thou wouldst not love thy lord,
Thy lord hast wholly lost his love for thee.
I am not made of so slight elements.
Yet must I leave thee, woman, to thy shame.
I hold that man the worst of public foes
Who either for his own or children's sake,
To save his blood from scandal, lets the wife
Whom he knows false, abide and rule the house:
For being through his cowardice allowed
Her station, taken everywhere for pure,
She like a new disease, unknown to men,
Creeps, no precaution used, among the crowd,
Makes wicked lightnings of her eyes, and saps
The fealty of our friends, and stirs the pulse
With devil's leaps, and poisons half the young.
Worst of the worst were that man he that reigns!
Better the King's waste hearth and aching heart
Than thou reseated in thy place of light,
The mockery of my people, and their bane.'

He paused, and in the pause she crept an inch
Nearer, and laid her hands about his feet.
Far off a solitary trumpet blew.
Then waiting by the doors the warhorse neighed
At a friend's voice, and he spake again:

`Yet think not that I come to urge thy crimes,
I did not come to curse thee, Guinevere,
I, whose vast pity almost makes me die
To see thee, laying there thy golden head,
My pride in happier summers, at my feet.
The wrath which forced my thoughts on that fierce law,
The doom of treason and the flaming death,
(When first I learnt thee hidden here) is past.
The pang--which while I weighed thy heart with one
Too wholly true to dream untruth in thee,
Made my tears burn--is also past--in part.
And all is past, the sin is sinned, and I,
Lo! I forgive thee, as Eternal God
Forgives: do thou for thine own soul the rest.
But how to take last leave of all I loved?
O golden hair, with which I used to play
Not knowing! O imperial-moulded form,
And beauty such as never woman wore,
Until it became a kingdom's curse with thee--
I cannot touch thy lips, they are not mine,
But Lancelot's: nay, they never were the King's.
I cannot take thy hand: that too is flesh,
And in the flesh thou hast sinned; and mine own flesh,
Here looking down on thine polluted, cries
"I loathe thee:" yet not less, O Guinevere,
For I was ever virgin save for thee,
My love through flesh hath wrought into my life
So far, that my doom is, I love thee still.
Let no man dream but that I love thee still.
Perchance, and so thou purify thy soul,
And so thou lean on our fair father Christ,
Hereafter in that world where all are pure
We two may meet before high God, and thou
Wilt spring to me, and claim me thine, and know
I am thine husband--not a smaller soul,
Nor Lancelot, nor another. Leave me that,
I charge thee, my last hope. Now must I hence.
Through the thick night I hear the trumpet blow:
They summon me their King to lead mine hosts
Far down to that great battle in the west,
Where I must strike against the man they call
My sister's son--no kin of mine, who leagues
With Lords of the White Horse, heathen, and knights,
Traitors--and strike him dead, and meet myself
Death, or I know not what mysterious doom.
And thou remaining here wilt learn the event;
But hither shall I never come again,
Never lie by thy side; see thee no more--
Farewell!'

And while she grovelled at his feet,
She felt the King's breath wander o'er her neck,
And in the darkness o'er her fallen head,
Perceived the waving of his hands that blest.

Then, listening till those armd steps were gone,
Rose the pale Queen, and in her anguish found
The casement: `peradventure,' so she thought,
`If I might see his face, and not be seen.'
And lo, he sat on horseback at the door!
And near him the sad nuns with each a light
Stood, and he gave them charge about the Queen,
To guard and foster her for evermore.
And while he spake to these his helm was lowered,
To which for crest the golden dragon clung
Of Britain; so she did not see the face,
Which then was as an angel's, but she saw,
Wet with the mists and smitten by the lights,
The Dragon of the great Pendragonship
Blaze, making all the night a steam of fire.
And even then he turned; and more and more
The moony vapour rolling round the King,
Who seemed the phantom of a Giant in it,
Enwound him fold by fold, and made him gray
And grayer, till himself became as mist
Before her, moving ghostlike to his doom.

Then she stretched out her arms and cried aloud
`Oh Arthur!' there her voice brake suddenly,
Then--as a stream that spouting from a cliff
Fails in mid air, but gathering at the base
Re-makes itself, and flashes down the vale--
Went on in passionate utterance:

`Gone--my lord!
Gone through my sin to slay and to be slain!
And he forgave me, and I could not speak.
Farewell? I should have answered his farewell.
His mercy choked me. Gone, my lord the King,
My own true lord! how dare I call him mine?
The shadow of another cleaves to me,
And makes me one pollution: he, the King,
Called me polluted: shall I kill myself?
What help in that? I cannot kill my sin,
If soul be soul; nor can I kill my shame;
No, nor by living can I live it down.
The days will grow to weeks, the weeks to months
The months will add themselves and make the years,
The years will roll into the centuries,
And mine will ever be a name of scorn.
I must not dwell on that defeat of fame.
Let the world be; that is but of the world.
What else? what hope? I think there was a hope,
Except he mocked me when he spake of hope;
His hope he called it; but he never mocks,
For mockery is the fume of little hearts.
And blessd be the King, who hath forgiven
My wickedness to him, and left me hope
That in mine own heart I can live down sin
And be his mate hereafter in the heavens
Before high God. Ah great and gentle lord,
Who wast, as is the conscience of a saint
Among his warring senses, to thy knights--
To whom my false voluptuous pride, that took
Full easily all impressions from below,
Would not look up, or half-despised the height
To which I would not or I could not climb--
I thought I could not breathe in that fine air
That pure severity of perfect light--
I yearned for warmth and colour which I found
In Lancelot--now I see thee what thou art,
Thou art the highest and most human too,
Not Lancelot, nor another. Is there none
Will tell the King I love him though so late?
Now--ere he goes to the great Battle? none:
Myself must tell him in that purer life,
But now it were too daring. Ah my God,
What might I not have made of thy fair world,
Had I but loved thy highest creature here?
It was my duty to have loved the highest:
It surely was my profit had I known:
It would have been my pleasure had I seen.
We needs must love the highest when we see it,
Not Lancelot, nor another.'

Here her hand
Grasped, made her vail her eyes: she looked and saw
The novice, weeping, suppliant, and said to her,
`Yea, little maid, for am I not forgiven?'
Then glancing up beheld the holy nuns
All round her, weeping; and her heart was loosed
Within her, and she wept with these and said,

`Ye know me then, that wicked one, who broke
The vast design and purpose of the King.
O shut me round with narrowing nunnery-walls,
Meek maidens, from the voices crying "shame."
I must not scorn myself: he loves me still.
Let no one dream but that he loves me still.
So let me, if you do not shudder at me,
Nor shun to call me sister, dwell with you;
Wear black and white, and be a nun like you,
Fast with your fasts, not feasting with your feasts;
Grieve with your griefs, not grieving at your joys,
But not rejoicing; mingle with your rites;
Pray and be prayed for; lie before your shrines;
Do each low office of your holy house;
Walk your dim cloister, and distribute dole
To poor sick people, richer in His eyes
Who ransomed us, and haler too than I;
And treat their loathsome hurts and heal mine own;
And so wear out in almsdeed and in prayer
The sombre close of that voluptuous day,
Which wrought the ruin of my lord the King.'

She said: they took her to themselves; and she
Still hoping, fearing `is it yet too late?'
Dwelt with them, till in time their Abbess died.
Then she, for her good deeds and her pure life,
And for the power of ministration in her,
And likewise for the high rank she had borne,
Was chosen Abbess, there, an Abbess, lived
For three brief years, and there, an Abbess, past
To where beyond these voices there is peace.

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Kindle Fire

That kindle fire
Had burned her heart
And I tried to extinguish
That kindle fire

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He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

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Steven Wright

I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums.

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Developed countries and advanced developing countries must open their markets for products from the developing world, and support in developing their export and import capacity.

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I bought a selection of short, romantic fiction novels, studied them, decided that I had found a formula and then wrote a book that I figured was the perfect story. Thank goodness it was rejected.

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In the same period, Polish literature also underwent some significant changes. From social-political literature, which had a great tradition and strong motivation to be that way, Polish literature changed its focus to a psychological rather than a social one.

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