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Here you are again

Here you are again

Back in my memorie
My memory of you
No more lies, no more fights

Time and memory...

Hurst and blames always,
leaving their mark
I dont ever want to remember
That sadden sife of my life.

Memories turn into tears,
Pain and lies only sink,
into grey.

Here you are again,
Back in my memorie tearing
My heart apart.

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Here We Are Again

Here we are again,

And i'm still the same,

Like the first time that we have met.

Here we are again

But you are so far away,

Even i don't know

Who's holding your hands.

Here we are again

Me and the loneliness,

And the shadows of your love

That reminds me your pain.

Here we are again

But you are so far away,

Like never we have met.

Here we are again

Me and your memories,

And you are like a stranger

That one day have passed my way.

Here we are again

But poor heart of mine
Still calling your name.

Here we are again with your painful memories,

As hard as i've tried to escape away to forget your love.

But i never forgot those alluring eyes.

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Here You Come Again

Here you come again
Just when Im about to make it work without you
You waltz right in the door
Just like you done before
And wrap my heart round your little finger
Here you come again
Just when Im about to make it work without you
You look into my eyes
And light those dreamy eyes
And pretty soon Im wonderin
How I came to doubt you
All you gotta do
Is smile that smile
And there go all my defenses
Just leave it up to you
And in a little while
Youre messin up my mind
An fillin up my senses
Here you come again
Lookin better than a body
Has a right to
An shakin me up so
That all I really know
Is here you come again
An here I go
All you gotta do
Is smile that smile
And there go all my defenses
Just leave it up to you
And in a little while
Youre messin up my mind
An fillin up my senses
Here you come again
Lookin better than a body
Has a right to
An shakin me up so
That all I really know
Is here you come again
An here I go
Here I go
An here I go
An here I go
Here you come again
An here I go
Here I go
An here I go

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Here We Are

Here we are agin on this love,
Swimming in the water of love to gain a view;
Moving around and diving around like,
An orange tree of love.
You've got me on now,
true love is better than hate;
The water is warm around us and,
I do feel real in a realm like this.
Lead me on into your arm my sweet one and,
Show me the white love in you;
Here we are again on this love,
Swimming in the water of love to take a view.
This blue water also matches up with the sky,
And that is the way that true love goes;
Love is better than hate.
We are in this water together and,
I always feel better around you.

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Patrick White

Over Here, You See

Over here, you see, this is where I keep
a hospice for the strawdogs and voodoo dolls
that wander in off the road like spiritual emergencies
that have had enough of being used at sacred rituals.
I made peace between my blessings and my curses,
blew the angels off the heads of the pins
they were dancing on like the axes of uninhabitable planets
stuck through my eyes, the splintered glass
of wreckless stars it took more than light years of tears
to wash from my seeing when everything looked so painful
and the angels were grinding reflecting mirrors
to give corneal transplants to the way I looked at things.
Away with the blessings. Away with the curses.
The doves and the crows, the veils and the bars,
and the way some stars burnt like meteor showers,
chimney sparks, with the radiant of a welder's arc
trying to repair the rip in the hull of my heart in drydock
whenever I scuttled it like the moon on a coral reef.

And this is the matrix of the lost and found
of all I've known and seen and couldn't find
any other context for other than the artificial paradise
of this womb in waiting everything that hasn't happened yet.
There are generations of orphans here
with toyboxes full of the enduring relics
their mothers left like endearing fossils
of a love that never came back to claim them.
Petrified butterflies among the sea life of the Burgess Shale.
I keep a place for them in my heart like a pressed flower
until they can root on their own, and bloom
like a star they can follow anywhere, and it's home.

This is the dark closet where I hang my skeletons
like a wardrobe of mannequins that have worn
my skin from time to time like the flying carpets
of world-creating cosmic membranes blowing
shapeshifting bubbles into hyperspace like alternative lives
that occasionally pop on the razorwire of their umbilical cords
like prophylactic thorns on the miscarriage of a rose
as never to have existed, as Sophocles said,
is the best part of life, bar none. Whether you're dressed
like a zodiacal king in the cochineal robes of the universe,
or wear the richer rags of a man who walks naked.

And you don't want to know what's in there,
but over here in this chamber next to where
the picture-music has a sound proof room of its own
when its rehearsing the silence of the mystery that beguiles it
like a lyric of blood in deep irreconcilable exile,
if you look through this little mica window
you can see the dragons glassblowing their tears
as delicate and fragile as the rain that falls
like chandeliers from a lunar watershed just below
the manic desiccations on the sun-baked surface
of a reflected glory that doesn't come
with dedicated flowers devoted to hummingbirds
that showed them the sweetness of life in surreal replication.

And this water palace has a thousand rooms
with great bay windows and walls that can speak
of the great events of tragedy and bliss
they've witnessed discretely in a cosmic context,
hung with heavy velvet curtains of blood
and tapestries of loose ends the moon unweaves at night
into a million separate wavelengths of enlightenment
it will gather on a loom of blood into the narrative unity
of tomorrow when the tide draws back like an arrow on a bow.

But there's one floorless, wall-less windowless room
ageless as eternity and bigger than the abyss
that's lit by the dendritic candelabra of fireflies and stars
coming into blossom nocturnally like an apple tree
on a cold night in spring, I especially want you to see.
This is the doorless niche of my solitude I burn in like a candle.
This is the inexplicable emptiness in my heart
that's learned to cherish the abyss with open arms,
not just as space, though learning that is wisdom,
but as living people and inanimate things, stars,
leaves, ants, wolves and windows expressing forms
to console themselves in the pervasiveness of their isolation
by taking a hidden secret and making it known
as the black waters of earth long for the moon as a companion.
And this is where I have enshrined your dark radiance
like a telescope in an observatory buzzing with stars
at the prolixity of wild flowers opening themselves up
like loveletters they received anonymously in the night.
This is the sacred grove of the silver-tongued silence
where the birds of insight ripen the fruits of their longing
like windfalls of jewels in the ores of the darkness like eyes
that have sweetened and deepened their seeing enough
to orient the Parthenon to the rising of the Pleiades
liberated like a flock of doves flying off everywhere
in the ubiquitous directions of prayer voiced by the light
of the sailing ones nursing the catasterism of the heart
risking a more enlightened suicide
by falling in love from ever greater
mythologically inspired heights in the depths
of my astronomical awareness of the shining that is you
as if you were the only mirror in the room I can look into
and see way more than the eclipse of myself
than I ever expected to.

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To You Whom I Love More Than Myself (Sonnet Redoublé)


You to whom my feelings are obvious,
may God guide you
(even if I am being presumptuous)
through every day, keeping you true,

in everything grant all that’s good,
make you sure
in every day, temper every mood
great and pure

and may He be in everything
that you put your hand to,
giving His greatest blessing,
may you be excelling in all that you do;

once I saw you jolly and free,
I saw you long-legged wading into the sea


I saw you long-legged wading into the sea
the epitome of youthfulness,
with no frivolity
and you were deadly serious without meekness

entering as if approaching a holy living thing
leaving the shallows you were going in deep
and it was if you were searching for something,
something from the deep beyond that you could keep

and not going to plunder, but were hunting for a holy relic
something with great wonder,
not to hang around your neck like a charm or some garlic
not made by man, or from the elements like thunder:

I watched you searching for something beyond man’s affairs,
from our lounge chairs.


From our lounge chairs
across from the fireplace
there was passion on your face
and it was sweet sincerity without putting on airs

where we were living out our lives, our own affairs
with depth and sweetness in every embrace
with love and true grace
in the presence of the One from upstairs

and the firelight sparkled in your hair
while outside it sieved down rain
with a crimson glare and you thought we were being stalked,
with something reflecting against the windowpane
and on the other side something was there;
we went out and we walked.


We went out and we walked
along the lane from oak tree to oak tree
and holding hands we talked
and as far as we could see

the lane ran right into town,
on the little knoll, were only you and I
and we walked down,
were in love and free and above us the sky

and that spring
you had blossoms in your hair,
everything was flowering
and you were past beautiful fair

we were looking at some freshly painted art,
at the restaurant where we greeted to part


At the restaurant we greeted to part
and there was something weird, something touching
as again to you, I had lost my heart
and it was totally amazing

and I am still trying to think
what had happened with our goodbyes?
At what had happened with our last drink?
With your burning, aching-bright sea green eyes.

Still love slumbers on and you have been gone
for more than twenty years
as the true one
and I have cried so many tears

when you broke my heart,
you were my first sweetheart.


You were my first sweetheart
astonishing beautiful and gay,
I had feelings that we would never part
that we had something that could not pass away,

while we walked up into the hill
on a small track meandering,
you following out of love and freewill
and a gentle breeze was whispering

through the trees in the wood
and the forest had a great smell
and life was great, far better than good
and everything was far better than well

while you loved me gaily,
there was sweet serenity.


There was sweet serenity,
at a rock ledge
the feeling of being totally free
and we were almost right on the edge

and passion flared up between you and me.
When I found a disa, a wild orchid,
you were utterly pretty
and the flower’s beauty was quite vivid

being deeply blue hued
and I gave the flower to you and we were together
your eyes glimmered true
and that moment could have lasted forever,

we waited until late saw a white dove;
there was a golden moon in the sky, my love.


There was a golden moon in the sky, my love
and the wind was blowing again
with sparkling stars in the sky above
and later there might have been some rain.

We are far apart, my love,
with more than a thousand miles in between
but in my heart’s alcove
like you another has never been.

I do not know how the night looks, my love,
in the place that you call home
if you also hear the cooing of a dove,
as tonight we are both alone

and somehow my heart is full of pain,
I am wondering if I could do it all again?


I am wondering if I could do it all again
visit you like I did then,
motorbike to you in the rain,
bringing you flowers from a glen?

Through other relationships
that has brought an own meaning
my life have gone with rises and dips
like it did from the very beginning.

Now it’s somewhat strange
to know you and not to know you at all
and our lives are different as if rearranged,
in things big and small

but we can make it up in many ways,
even if we are absent for days.


Even if we are absent for days,
for weeks or months without end
and your loving rays
that folds over me becomes spend,

even if destiny twist our lives
or even a demon’s rage
is all that nature gives
and destruction be our wage

then still in faith, truth and trust
our love can conquer time and space,
past this world of stone and dust,
past the abilities of the human race

with feelings finding a way to pave,
taking a honeymoon, being brave.


Taking a honeymoon, being brave
driving somewhere up through the hills,
while for each other we still crave
experiencing new things and many thrills

might turn things between us back
to what it was supposed to be
if to our lives we find a new track
where you share your life with me.

Time have swept past much too fast
while between us remain great memories
and I know we cannot relive the past,
turn back time, which feels almost like centuries

and maybe your feelings are somewhat wavering,
what’s in the remembering?


What’s in the remembering,
about the first passionate kiss,
about the first time in bliss,
about every single thing

that we were doing
about feelings that we could not dismiss,
that the university tried to make their business
looking eye to eye in the wooing,

but then we were aflame
with something much more
than passion something with sincerity
that hit to the heart, went to the centre core
made us explore the intricacies of love,
but at a time I thought you did not like me.


But at a time I thought you did not like me
while you looked at me in a strange way
and I was more in love than it suited me to say,
to myself I promised to let you be

when at your car we met and you set you long hair free
and I wanted to walk out of your life and away
on that particular day
but sparks in your eyes I did see

and I realised how much I had misread you
before your lips met mine
when I was totally charmed
and the bliss was remarkable and true,
while lips were touching with something divine,
never was I so overwhelmed.


Never was I so overwhelmed
with love so sincere, so complete
and my eyes, body, heart confirmed
my feelings when we did meet

and your face did glow
as if you had experienced the same thing
and then I did not know
if it was a curse or a blessing

and when I lost you the sheer pain
of how much I missed you, wanted to kiss you
made me think that I would not love again,
turned my whole world to being blue

but here we are again the two of us,
you to whom my feelings are obvious.


You to whom my feelings are obvious,
I saw you long-legged wading into the sea,
from our lounge chairs
we went out and we walked.

At the restaurant we greeted to part,
you were my first sweetheart,
there was sweet serenity,
there was a golden moon in the sky, my love.

I am wondering if I could do it all again,
even if we are absent for days,
taking a honeymoon, being brave,
what’s in the remembering?

But at a time I thought you did not like me,
never was I so overwhelmed.

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Older And Older Into More Darkness And Loneliness


Older and older into more darkness and loneliness,
The friends are not here.

Life has so much grief and pain
Will we ever see them again?
Could we have been kinder?

Less without them, we long and go on.

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Here You Are In Need Of A Fix

I've come here to inform you,
I no longer will be taking...
Anymore of your nonsense.
I've decided there is no more need,
I have of it.
None whatsoever!

'That's a relief.
I'm glad you came to my home to tell me that.
I was just about to call you,
To refuse your invitation sent.
Requesting a visit I thought made no sense.
And here you need of a fix.'

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Patrick White

When Rage Broke Down Into Tears

When rage broke down into tears
over the shattered chandeliers of stars
that crashed against your windowpane
before they thawed in the furnace
of a Promethean thief of fire
human enough to burn,
and you cried, yes you did, I was there,
I took the splinter of light out of your eye
with the corner of the sky where Venus
goes down in the west like the crumb
of a radiant dream that wanted to break
loaves and fishes with the masses
only to find you were swimming through glass;
you cried as if all the birds in the world
had died under your windowsill
like the words to the song
you were dancing to at the time.
And you picked them up one by one
and cradled them in your hand
like a midwife with a manger
and stroked their soft bodies with your finger
as if you would give their lives back to them again
by way of apology for being human
in an ice age of rain
that had lost its purpose in life
like the seeds of flowers on the moon.
And that’s when the wind, that’s always
the moment when the wind cools your eyes
like a glassblower dipping crystal blue birds
in the fountains and watersheds of the moon
and strews your path with the flight feathers
of a nightbird that can see beyond a starmap
fireflies shining in the distance.
And you suddenly realize
a thousand and one ways home ahead of you
like a Nazca landing strip
for alien artists blown off course
into the third eye of a spiritual hurricane.
And you can’t help but fly through it
like an open window into your soul
seeking repose and shelter
among the human totems
of more habitable emotions
scratching fish, birds, monkeys, spiders
jaguars, flowers, trees, fallible people out
in the desert plains of coastal Peru.
Zoomorphic geoglyphs of greeting and return
in every conceivable sign of life
as if the whole planet came out
all at the same time to say hello
and welcome back
like a vow they kept for you
until your myth of origin
returned to its fulfilment,
a nightbird singing
in a rootless tree on the moon,
as if love, rage, life, joy,
death, separation and sorrow
were all pilgrims of one voice.
A pageant of medieval notes
bearing the banners of knights
the hoods and habits of monks,
unholy vocables of middle English
on the tip of your tongue
like the wicks
of holy candles at a black mass
where a young girl dances naked
around a pale fire on the moon
as a flower blooms in the flames,
or sparrows on a stave of power lines,
when the music makes its return journey
like Canada geese in the spring
bearing the souls of the underworld back
like the eyes and stars
and new moons of the dead
to the night of the living
making love in the dark.
Pelvis to pelvis,
heart to heart,
crescent to crescent,
two halves of a broken wishbone
conjoined again into one harp,
one cithara, one guitar
in the ashes of a blue moon,
the second harvest of loaves and fishes
at the spring and autumn equinox.
Every year a new zodiac,
the growth rings in a tree.
Something protean about memory.
The dark matrix of the muse.
A wavelength with its tail in its mouth
that doesn’t ricochet off anything else.
Lamentations, bewitchment, rapture,
time in the hold of the abyss
for not mastering your own powers.
You either cast the spell for yourself
or you wind up gilled
in your own sidereal nets,
a firefly in spider webs of dark matter,
and it’s not likely
you’re being hauled into a life boat.
There are realities, there are windows,
some broken, some whole
even the moon won’t dare look through.
And there are rooms in a palace of water
that move like fish on the moon,
and starmaps that are used to start a fire.
Birds that are the sacred syllables of the sky
that nest in chimneys like hash pipes,
every one of them the Rosetta Stone
to a language of your own
only you can learn for yourself
even if you’re the only one
who was ever born to speak it.
Most people sip spit
from other people’s wishing wells
but they’re always two echos shy of an original
and it’s enough if they put a seashell up to their ears
like a hearing aid to listen to the ocean,
a tidal pool dying like a starfish
out of water and sky,
a shore-hugger that’s afraid
to go along with the ebb and neap
of the dream that gives a pulse to the moon,
your own mindstream
returning to its homeless source
to realize that life and death are both redundant.
That whatever passes away, stays.
And that which doesn’t, goes.
And there are places so deeply secret
that everybody thinks they know
what’s happening to them as it unfolds.
But this is just a way of using knowledge
to keep your eyes closed to the world.
Only a fool would build a gate
and live in a guardhouse
of sword swallowers and fire-eaters
to keep the birds out of the garden.
Or a refugee camp for turtles.
True clarity doesn’t know the light
for what it is.
Reality is as blind to its own translucency
as a painted window.
Two blades of stargrass in a hurricane.
But if you were to take them away
like the long and short straws
of something to win or loose
like the luck of the draw
and chew on them like cud
to get to the deeper meaning
you might get a gesture of it,
you might get the flavour of it
like a dry wad of gum
stuck to the bottom
of a school room desk,
but you wouldn’t get the use of it,
for any reason at all
that should or should not concern anyone.
Have you ever noticed
that time might be
an hourglass full to the brim on top
but it always begins at the peak
of an inverted pyramid
stuck like an arrowhead
in a flesh wound of sand that’s bleeding out?
What’s the point of trying
to claw your way up the heap
to the top of the bottom
when even Sisyphus knows
enough about absurdity
to realize the mountain
climbs its own reflection
all the way down like an avalanche
of all those little rocks
you used to roll up a hill
convinced you were getting somewhere.
And it’s true there’s a different universe
in every grain of sand
and every grain of sand is us.
So why go looking
for what’s already been found?
In any universe there’s no up or down.
And everywhere anywhere you are
from the smallest pebble on the beach
to the most radiant star beyond reach
the gates of the lost
are the end of the search.

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Patrick White

It's Writing Me

It’s writing me.
I’m not writing it.
It’s got nothing to do with obedience
and there’s no chance of betraying it
even now that I’m three thousand miles
and forty light years away
and all the fireflies and lightning bolts
in my mystic cloud of unknowing
have turned into a frenzy of fanatical killer bees.
I’m swarmed by anxieties like mental space junk
and snakey wavelengths of yesterday
still trying to shed the sky like sunburnt skin.
Like the mythic names of old lovers
tattooed on our foreheads and firearms forever
and the obsolete starmaps in braille
that we followed like the magi
across this friendless desert of stars
as the signage of something divine.
And it isn’t the ironic sublimity
of the implacable circumstances of fate
that dictate whether the gate to the garden
is shut to me or not
that I fear the most
but the caprice of cornerstones
that turn into quicksand just to preserve the past.
I’ve grown more ruthless with my memories
over the past four decades.
I splash acid in the eyes
of those who are learning to read me like a book.
Others I send into exile
for trying to desecrate the image I have of me.
They write long sad poems
on the shores of the Black Sea in winter
and they’re never coming home again.
There’s more Tristes than Amores in the depth of my pain.
The rest I keep like lighthouses and lightning rods
to remind me what it was once like
when schools of silver fish swam
like poplar leaves when the wind
turns them all in the same direction at once
through warm water on the moon
and I had an atmosphere I could rely on.
Now some days I open my third eye
to the lucidity of the morning
as if it were a security camera
that took the picture of the thief
that stole the moon from my window last night.
But here you come again this morning
despite my priestly efforts
to exorcise your ghost
like an oxymoronic fragrance
of Parisian perfume and whale vomit
or as you would say expurgated ambergris
wearing that violet orchid of a blouse
and those tight black leather pants
that used to drive me so crazy
to see what could bloom
in the shadow of an outhouse
like waterlilies in a reeking swamp.
You’re leaning over a cedar rail fence
rotten with moss and lunar lichen
up to your hourglass waist line
in the sidereal surf of New England asters
and you’re feeding three black horses
gleaming like anthracite with sweat
and one with a star
in the middle of its forehead
that made me think
of the Great Square of Pegasus at the time,
a stranger’s apples from the palm of your hand.
And the wild gypsy mane of your own black hair
in the full glare of the sunlight
that bloodies the flyaway strands
like a hairdo of oracular serpents
wounded by the Bronze Age.
I saw the innocent face of Eve
under the mask of the Medusa
and I don’t believe even now
that I try every other day not to
I could have ever loved you more
than I did in that moment.
The delusions and the deceptions
have long ago been swept off the stairs
of the whirling castle of Arianrhod
in Corona Borealis
like stars that gave up their fixed places
to blossom awhile and fall
by the janitors who came after us.
And the gnostic gospels of the autumn leaves
we used to read together
when the weather got cold
have been buried in urns
deep in desert caves
like the holy books of persecuted outcasts
that had an epiphanous way of looking at things
that are hard to explain.
Very few things are things of beauty
and even fewer joys forever
but it’s ungracious to mourn
that it happens to be the way it is
but even so even so
as Basho would say.
Attachment too is a Buddha activity
and we mourn the flowers passing away.
And the rivers and the stars carry forth into themselves
like light and water and passion.
How little of what we said and did
means much now?
Two actors that have gone on to other plays.
A carnival of hearts on a road tour
with a big finale on closing night in the grave.
I remember you with much more discretion now
than I used to.
Things grow dark and clear in the winter.
The cold night air prunes your lungs with lunar scalpels
and though there’s less heat in them
than there is in the summer when
the stars burn through the thinner veils of the willows
with greater insight
than they did when they shone above us.
It would have been facile and insincere
to have been embittered by the biased juries
that prosecute a broken heart
trying to apply the law to love.
And for the most part I didn’t let
what was tender and enduring about us then
turn into hard evidence
and throw live rabbits into a snake pit
hoping to appeal the sentence.
I’ve done my time standing up
with my mouth shut
and left the snakes and the rabbits
to fend for themselves
as you and I did
when the final judgement came down.
And the truth will out
I still remember you as a window
I once looked through
into the creative genius of God
when she comes down to earth
in all her radiance
to see what charms the sons of men
what lights them up
like new stars in the Pleiades
and blows them out like black dwarfs
that collapse under their own gravity
after the last ray of light
finishes shredding the secret documents
that would have incriminated us
for once having been in love
and escapes its abandoned embassy
in the Great Nebula of Orion.
And even as a muse
as this poem attests
you arise occasionally
into my field of vision
from era to era
like the ghost of a constellation
or a bird in transit across the moon
or the smoking root fires
of stars that haven’t quite gone out.
And I see in you now
as I did way back then
all aspects of lunar women
reflected in these briefly beautiful moments
that seem like notes of frozen music
at a nexus of the temporal and eternal
like jewels in the eye of a diamond cutter
who’s always grateful
for the long red wavelengths of inspiration
that come to him like retroactive love letters
as expansive with farewell
as the widening wakes of the past
but who knows a lot more about shining
than he did way back then
when the light was more obvious
than it is now.
I will always see the mystery of woman
like an ancient wine
brewed from a blood red eclipse of grapes
that ripened in the sun at midnight
on the dark side of the moon
and as every man is bound to drink
from the cup the moon offers him
I drink.
I drink down to the very last dropp of night
in my crystal skull.
And I can still taste the delirium
of lightning and fireflies
all the stars and jewels and chandeliers
all the eerie flavours of your translucency
that once shuddered through me like spears of light.
I drink the wine
as I would have taken the apple years ago
from the open palm of your hand
like any one of those three black horses
and one with a star in the middle of its forehead
you were coaxing to approach you
over a cedar rail fence in the Garden of Eden.
And though it’s sad and beautiful and dangerous
to remember why we were exiled from the ode
I’ve come to see that broken taboos
are just the eggshells of hidden blessings
that take to their wings
like the silhouettes
of waterbirds in the moonlight.
And I’m a better poet now that I live on my own
with all these afterlives for company
who whisper in my ear
like the rustling of autumn calendars
let things go
let things go
like a windfall of storm-shaken apples.
And I have.
I’ve learned to let things go
like blossoms and leaves and starmaps
that used to glow in the dark
inside my head as I slept
dreaming up schemes for my enlightenment.
I take a deep delight
in the winds of transformation
that feather my dinosaurs into dragons.
I can still feel the rapture and the ecstasy
laced like silver threads of lightning
in the disappointment and despair
of watching the changes
without knowing where I’m going
this far from home
and all my starmaps obsolete.
But I’ve still got a great eye
for the mood swings of colour and light
and the subtle spiritual tones
in the emotional life of the night.
And the beauty I saw incarnated in you that day
like an epiphany that wouldn’t be denied a body
has only rooted more deeply
in my memory over the years
and grown like wild grape vines
with musically inclined tendrils
like the wine of an old theme song
so inevitably ripe with joy and sorrow
it refuses to be watered down
from the original miracle
no matter how many tears have been shed
since we left the wedding.
And it’s strange how memories
can arise more like revelations
and prophecies of yesterday
like time-delayed inspirations
when you’re living on your own.
In art and life and love
they’ve taught me
time and time again
how emotions frozen with pain
that calved icebergs like glaciers
into the shipping lanes
of the mindstream
can thaw ice-age mirrors into tears
when they lose a grip on themselves like snow.
That the reasons to stay
are no less relevant than the reasons
to go off into the unknown.
That it doesn’t matter
whether you wash your hands at home
of the things you’ve touched
and in turn have touched you
or take a bath in the stars
to wash off the ghosts that cling
to your skin and hair
like the dust of the road.
We’re all swimming
in the same water clock
against the flow of the stream
like spawning salmon
summoned out of the great sea
of urgent awareness
back to where we were born.
We’re called to love and death
sex and extinction
at the same time.
And one is not to be revered
any less than the other.
Summer’s flawless.
And so’s the winter.
But more than anything else
looking back over
the event horizons
of the people and things I’ve known
reflecting on the timing
of my content
like seasons of my own
nine times out of ten
I know when
to leave perfection
well enough alone.

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Charles Kingsley


Over the sea, past Crete, on the Syrian shore to the southward,
Dwells in the well-tilled lowland a dark-haired AEthiop people,
Skilful with needle and loom, and the arts of the dyer and carver,
Skilful, but feeble of heart; for they know not the lords of Olympus,
Lovers of men; neither broad-browed Zeus, nor Pallas Athene,
Teacher of wisdom to heroes, bestower of might in the battle;
Share not the cunning of Hermes, nor list to the songs of Apollo.
Fearing the stars of the sky, and the roll of the blue salt water,
Fearing all things that have life in the womb of the seas and the livers,
Eating no fish to this day, nor ploughing the main, like the Phoenics,
Manful with black-beaked ships, they abide in a sorrowful region,
Vexed with the earthquake, and flame, and the sea-floods, scourge of
Whelming the dwellings of men, and the toils of the slow-footed oxen,
Drowning the barley and flax, and the hard-earned gold of the harvest,
Up to the hillside vines, and the pastures skirting the woodland,
Inland the floods came yearly; and after the waters a monster,
Bred of the slime, like the worms which are bred from the slime of the Nile-
Shapeless, a terror to see; and by night it swam out to the seaward,
Daily returning to feed with the dawn, and devoured of the fairest,
Cattle, and children, and maids, till the terrified people fled inland.
Fasting in sackcloth and ashes they came, both the king and his people,
Came to the mountain of oaks, to the house of the terrible sea-gods,
Hard by the gulf in the rocks, where of old the world-wide deluge
Sank to the inner abyss; and the lake where the fish of the goddess,
Holy, undying, abide; whom the priests feed daily with dainties.
There to the mystical fish, high-throned in her chamber of cedar,
Burnt they the fat of the flock; till the flame shone far to the seaward.
Three days fasting they prayed; but the fourth day the priests of the
Cunning in spells, cast lots, to discover the crime of the people.
All day long they cast, till the house of the monarch was taken,
Cepheus, king of the land; and the faces of all gathered blackness.
Then once more they cast; and Cassiopoeia was taken,
Deep-bosomed wife of the king, whom oft far-seeing Apollo
Watched well-pleased from the welkin, the fairest of AEthiop women:
Fairest, save only her daughter; for down to the ankle her tresses
Rolled, blue-black as the night, ambrosial, joy to beholders.
Awful and fair she arose, most like in her coming to Here,
Queen before whom the Immortals arise, as she comes on Olympus,
Out of the chamber of gold, which her son Hephaestos has wrought her.
Such in her stature and eyes, and the broad white light of her forehead.
Stately she came from her place, and she spoke in the midst of the people.
'Pure are my hands from blood: most pure this heart in my bosom.
Yet one fault I remember this day; one word have I spoken;
Rashly I spoke on the shore, and I dread lest the sea should have heard it.
Watching my child at her bath, as she plunged in the joy of her girlhood,
Fairer I called her in pride than Atergati, queen of the ocean.
Judge ye if this be my sin, for I know none other.' She ended;
Wrapping her head in her mantle she stood, and the people were silent.
Answered the dark-browed priests, 'No word, once spoken, returneth,
Even if uttered unwitting. Shall gods excuse our rashness?
That which is done, that abides; and the wrath of the sea is against us;
Hers, and the wrath of her brother, the Sun-god, lord of the sheepfolds.
Fairer than her hast thou boasted thy daughter? Ah folly! for hateful,
Hateful are they to the gods, whoso, impious, liken a mortal,
Fair though he be, to their glory; and hateful is that which is likened,
Grieving the eyes of their pride, and abominate, doomed to their anger.
What shall be likened to gods? The unknown, who deep in the darkness
Ever abide, twyformed, many-handed, terrible, shapeless.
Woe to the queen; for the land is defiled, and the people accursed.
Take thou her therefore by night, thou ill-starred Cassiopoeia,
Take her with us in the night, when the moon sinks low to the westward;
Bind her aloft for a victim, a prey for the gorge of the monster,
Far on the sea-girt rock, which is washed by the surges for ever;
So may the goddess accept her, and so may the land make atonement,
Purged by her blood from its sin: so obey thou the doom of the rulers.'
Bitter in soul they went out, Cepheus and Cassiopoeia,
Bitter in soul; and their hearts whirled round, as the leaves in the eddy.
Weak was the queen, and rebelled: but the king, like a shepherd of people,
Willed not the land should waste; so he yielded the life of his daughter.
Deep in the wane of the night, as the moon sank low to the westward,
They by the shade of the cliffs, with the horror of darkness around them,
Stole, as ashamed, to a deed which became not the light of the sunshine,
Slowly, the priests, and the queen, and the virgin bound in the galley,
Slowly they rowed to the rocks: but Cepheus far in the palace
Sate in the midst of the hall, on his throne, like a shepherd of people,
Choking his woe, dry-eyed, while the slaves wailed loudly around him.
They on the sea-girt rock, which is washed by the surges for ever,
Set her in silence, the guiltless, aloft with her face to the eastward.
Under a crag of the stone, where a ledge sloped down to the water;
There they set Andromeden, most beautiful, shaped like a goddess,
Lifting her long white arms wide-spread to the walls of the basalt,
Chaining them, ruthless, with brass; and they called on the might of the
'Mystical fish of the seas, dread Queen whom AEthiops honour,
Whelming the land in thy wrath, unavoidable, sharp as the sting-ray,
Thou, and thy brother the Sun, brain-smiting, lord of the sheepfold,
Scorching the earth all day, and then resting at night in thy bosom,
Take ye this one life for many, appeased by the blood of a maiden,
Fairest, and born of the fairest, a queen, most priceless of victims.'
Thrice they spat as they went by the maid: but her mother delaying
Fondled her child to the last, heart-crushed; and the warmth of her weeping
Fell on the breast of the maid, as her woe broke forth into wailing.
'Daughter! my daughter! forgive me! Oh curse not the murderess! Curse
How have I sinned, but in love? Do the gods grudge glory to mothers?
Loving I bore thee in vain in the fate-cursed bride-bed of Cepheus,
Loving I fed thee and tended, and loving rejoiced in thy beauty,
Blessing thy limbs as I bathed them, and blessing thy locks as I combed them;
Decking thee, ripening to woman, I blest thee: yet blessing I slew thee!
How have I sinned, but in love? Oh swear to me, swear to thy mother,
Never to haunt me with curse, as I go to the grave in my sorrow,
Childless and lone: may the gods never send me another, to slay it!
See, I embrace thy knees-soft knees, where no babe will be fondled-
Swear to me never to curse me, the hapless one, not in the death-pang.'
Weeping she clung to the knees of the maid; and the maid low answered-
'Curse thee! Not in the death-pang!' The heart of the lady was lightened.
Slowly she went by the ledge; and the maid was alone in the darkness.
Watching the pulse of the oars die down, as her own died with them,
Tearless, dumb with amaze she stood, as a storm-stunned nestling
Fallen from bough or from eave lies dumb, which the home-going herdsman
Fancies a stone, till he catches the light of its terrified eyeball.
So through the long long hours the maid stood helpless and hopeless,
Wide-eyed, downward gazing in vain at the black blank darkness.
Feebly at last she began, while wild thoughts bubbled within her-
'Guiltless I am: why thus, then? Are gods more ruthless than mortals?
Have they no mercy for youth? no love for the souls who have loved them?
Even as I loved thee, dread sea, as I played by thy margin,
Blessing thy wave as it cooled me, thy wind as it breathed on my forehead,
Bowing my head to thy tempest, and opening my heart to thy children,
Silvery fish, wreathed shell, and the strange lithe things of the water,
Tenderly casting them back, as they gasped on the beach in the sunshine,
Home to their mother-in vain! for mine sits childless in anguish!
O false sea! false sea! I dreamed what I dreamed of thy goodness;
Dreamed of a smile in thy gleam, of a laugh in the plash of thy ripple:
False and devouring thou art, and the great world dark and despiteful.'
Awed by her own rash words she was still: and her eyes to the seaward
Looked for an answer of wrath: far off, in the heart of the darkness,
Blight white mists rose slowly; beneath them the wandering ocean
Glimmered and glowed to the deepest abyss; and the knees of the maiden
Trembled and sunk in her fear, as afar, like a dawn in the midnight,
Rose from their seaweed chamber the choir of the mystical sea-maids.
Onward toward her they came, and her heart beat loud at their coming,
Watching the bliss of the gods, as they wakened the cliffs with their
Onward they came in their joy, and before them the roll of the surges
Sank, as the breeze sank dead, into smooth green foam-flecked marble,
Awed; and the crags of the cliff, and the pines of the mountain were silent.
Onward they came in their joy, and around them the lamps of the sea-nymphs,
Myriad fiery globes, swam panting and heaving; and rainbows
Crimson and azure and emerald, were broken in star-showers, lighting
Far through the wine-dark depths of the crystal, the gardens of Nereus,
Coral and sea-fan and tangle, the blooms and the palms of the ocean.
Onward they came in their joy, more white than the foam which they
Laughing and singing, and tossing and twining, while eager, the Tritons
Blinded with kisses their eyes, unreproved, and above them in worship
Hovered the terns, and the seagulls swept past them on silvery pinions
Echoing softly their laughter; around them the wantoning dolphins
Sighed as they plunged, full of love; and the great sea-horses which bore
Curved up their crests in their pride to the delicate arms of the maidens,
Pawing the spray into gems, till a fiery rainfall, unharming,
Sparkled and gleamed on the limbs of the nymphs, and the coils of the mermen.
Onward they went in their joy, bathed round with the fiery coolness,
Needing nor sun nor moon, self-lighted, immortal: but others,
Pitiful, floated in silence apart; in their bosoms the sea-boys,
Slain by the wrath of the seas, swept down by the anger of Nereus;
Hapless, whom never again on strand or on quay shall their mothers
Welcome with garlands and vows to the temple, but wearily pining
Gaze over island and bay for the sails of the sunken; they heedless
Sleep in soft bosoms for ever, and dream of the surge and the sea-maids.
Onward they passed in their joy; on their brows neither sorrow nor anger;
Self-sufficing, as gods, never heeding the woe of the maiden.
She would have shrieked for their mercy: but shame made her dumb; and their
Stared on her careless and still, like the eyes in the house of the idols.
Seeing they saw not, and passed, like a dream, on the murmuring ripple.
Stunned by the wonder she gazed, wide-eyed, as the glory departed.
'O fair shapes! far fairer than I! Too fair to be ruthless!
Gladden mine eyes once more with your splendour, unlike to my fancies;
You, then, smiled in the sea-gleam, and laughed in the plash of the ripple.
Awful I deemed you and formless; inhuman, monstrous as idols;
Lo, when ye came, ye were women, more loving and lovelier, only;
Like in all else; and I blest you: why blest ye not me for my worship?
Had you no mercy for me, thus guiltless? Ye pitied the sea-boys:
Why not me, then, more hapless by far? Does your sight and your knowledge
End with the marge of the waves? Is the world which ye dwell in not our

Over the mountain aloft ran a rush and a roll and a roaring;
Downward the breeze came indignant, and leapt with a howl to the water,
Roaring in cranny and crag, till the pillars and clefts of the basalt
Rang like a god-swept lyre, and her brain grew mad with the noises;
Crashing and lapping of waters, and sighing and tossing of weed-beds,
Gurgle and whisper and hiss of the foam, while thundering surges
Boomed in the wave-worn halls, as they champed at the roots of the mountain.
Hour after hour in the darkness the wind rushed fierce to the landward,
Drenching the maiden with spray; she shivering, weary and drooping,
Stood with her heart full of thoughts, till the foam-crests gleamed in the
Leaping and laughing around, and the east grew red with the dawning.
Then on the ridge of the hills rose the broad bright sun in his glory,
Hurling his arrows abroad on the glittering crests of the surges,
Gilding the soft round bosoms of wood, and the downs of the coastland;
Gilding the weeds at her feet, and the foam-laced teeth of the ledges,
Showing the maiden her home through the veil of her locks, as they floated
Glistening, damp with the spray, in a long black cloud to the landward.
High in the far-off glens rose thin blue curls from the homesteads;
Softly the low of the herds, and the pipe of the outgoing herdsman,
Slid to her ear on the water, and melted her heart into weeping.
Shuddering, she tried to forget them; and straining her eyes to the seaward,
Watched for her doom, as she wailed, but in vain, to the terrible Sun-god.
'Dost thou not pity me, Sun, though thy wild dark sister be ruthless;
Dost thou not pity me here, as thou seest me desolate, weary,
Sickened with shame and despair, like a kid torn young from its mother?
What if my beauty insult thee, then blight it: but me-Oh spare me!
Spare me yet, ere he be here, fierce, tearing, unbearable! See me,
See me, how tender and soft, and thus helpless! See how I shudder,
Fancying only my doom. Wilt thou shine thus bright, when it takes me?
Are there no deaths save this, great Sun? No fiery arrow,
Lightning, or deep-mouthed wave? Why thus? What music in shrieking,
Pleasure in warm live limbs torn slowly? And dar'st thou behold them!
Oh, thou hast watched worse deeds! All sights are alike to thy brightness!
What if thou waken the birds to their song, dost thou waken no sorrow;
Waken no sick to their pain; no captive to wrench at his fetters?
Smile on the garden and fold, and on maidens who sing at the milking;
Flash into tapestried chambers, and peep in the eyelids of lovers,
Showing the blissful their bliss-Dost love, then, the place where thou
Lovest thou cities aflame, fierce blows, and the shrieks of the widow?
Lovest thou corpse-strewn fields, as thou lightest the path of the vulture?
Lovest thou these, that thou gazest so gay on my tears, and my mother's,
Laughing alike at the horror of one, and the bliss of another?
What dost thou care, in thy sky, for the joys and the sorrows of mortals?
Colder art thou than the nymphs: in thy broad bright eye is no seeing.
Hadst thou a soul-as much soul as the slaves in the house of my father,
Wouldst thou not save? Poor thralls! they pitied me, clung to me weeping,
Kissing my hands and my feet-What, are gods more ruthless than mortals?
Worse than the souls which they rule? Let me die: they war not with ashes!'
Sudden she ceased, with a shriek: in the spray, like a hovering foam-bow,
Hung, more fair than the foam-bow, a boy in the bloom of his manhood,
Golden-haired, ivory-limbed, ambrosial; over his shoulder
Hung for a veil of his beauty the gold-fringed folds of the goat-skin,
Bearing the brass of his shield, as the sun flashed clear on its clearness.
Curved on his thigh lay a falchion, and under the gleam of his helmet
Eyes more blue than the main shone awful; around him Athene
Shed in her love such grace, such state, and terrible daring.
Hovering over the water he came, upon glittering pinions,
Living, a wonder, outgrown from the tight-laced gold of his sandals;
Bounding from billow to billow, and sweeping the crests like a sea-gull;
Leaping the gulfs of the surge, as he laughed in the joy of his leaping.
Fair and majestic he sprang to the rock; and the maiden in wonder
Gazed for a while, and then hid in the dark-rolling wave of her tresses,
Fearful, the light of her eyes; while the boy (for her sorrow had awed him)
Blushed at her blushes, and vanished, like mist on the cliffs at the sunrise.
Fearful at length she looked forth: he was gone: she, wild with amazement,
Wailed for her mother aloud: but the wail of the wind only answered.
Sudden he flashed into sight, by her side; in his pity and anger
Moist were his eyes; and his breath like a rose-bed, as bolder and bolder,
Hovering under her brows, like a swallow that haunts by the house-eaves,
Delicate-handed, he lifted the veil of her hair; while the maiden
Motionless, frozen with fear, wept loud; till his lips unclosing
Poured from their pearl-strung portal the musical wave of his wonder.
'Ah, well spoke she, the wise one, the gray-eyed Pallas Athene,-
Known to Immortals alone are the prizes which lie for the heroes
Ready prepared at their feet; for requiring a little, the rulers
Pay back the loan tenfold to the man who, careless of pleasure,
Thirsting for honour and toil, fares forth on a perilous errand
Led by the guiding of gods, and strong in the strength of Immortals.
Thus have they led me to thee: from afar, unknowing, I marked thee,
Shining, a snow-white cross on the dark-green walls of the sea-cliff;
Carven in marble I deemed thee, a perfect work of the craftsman.
Likeness of Amphitrite, or far-famed Queen Cythereia.
Curious I came, till I saw how thy tresses streamed in the sea-wind,
Glistening, black as the night, and thy lips moved slow in thy wailing.
Speak again now-Oh speak! For my soul is stirred to avenge thee;
Tell me what barbarous horde, without law, unrighteous and heartless,
Hateful to gods and to men, thus have bound thee, a shame to the sunlight,
Scorn and prize to the sailor: but my prize now; for a coward,
Coward and shameless were he, who so finding a glorious jewel
Cast on the wayside by fools, would not win it and keep it and wear it,
Even as I will thee; for I swear by the head of my father,
Bearing thee over the sea-wave, to wed thee in Argos the fruitful,
Beautiful, meed of my toil no less than this head which I carry,
Hidden here fearful-Oh speak!'
But the maid, still dumb with amazement,
Watered her bosom with weeping, and longed for her home and her mother.
Beautiful, eager, he wooed her, and kissed off her tears as he hovered,
Roving at will, as a bee, on the brows of a rock nymph-haunted,
Garlanded over with vine, and acanthus, and clambering roses,
Cool in the fierce still noon, where streams glance clear in the mossbeds,
Hums on from blossom to blossom, and mingles the sweets as he tastes them.
Beautiful, eager, he kissed her, and clasped her yet closer and closer,
Praying her still to speak-
'Not cruel nor rough did my mother
Bear me to broad-browed Zeus in the depths of the brass-covered dungeon;
Neither in vain, as I think, have I talked with the cunning of Hermes,
Face unto face, as a friend; or from gray-eyed Pallas Athene
Learnt what is fit, and respecting myself, to respect in my dealings
Those whom the gods should love; so fear not; to chaste espousals
Only I woo thee, and swear, that a queen, and alone without rival
By me thou sittest in Argos of Hellas, throne of my fathers,
Worshipped by fair-haired kings: why callest thou still on thy mother?
Why did she leave thee thus here? For no foeman has bound thee; no foeman
Winning with strokes of the sword such a prize, would so leave it behind
Just as at first some colt, wild-eyed, with quivering nostril,
Plunges in fear of the curb, and the fluttering robes of the rider;
Soon, grown bold by despair, submits to the will of his master,
Tamer and tamer each hour, and at last, in the pride of obedience,
Answers the heel with a curvet, and arches his neck to be fondled,
Cowed by the need that maid grew tame; while the hero indignant
Tore at the fetters which held her: the brass, too cunningly tempered,
Held to the rock by the nails, deep wedged: till the boy, red with anger,
Drew from his ivory thigh, keen flashing, a falchion of diamond-
'Now let the work of the smith try strength with the arms of Immortals!'
Dazzling it fell; and the blade, as the vine-hook shears off the vine-bough,
Carved through the strength of the brass, till her arms fell soft on his
Once she essayed to escape: but the ring of the water was round her,
Round her the ring of his arms; and despairing she sank on his bosom.
Then, like a fawn when startled, she looked with a shriek to the seaward.
'Touch me not, wretch that I am! For accursed, a shame and a hissing,
Guiltless, accurst no less, I await the revenge of the sea-gods.
Yonder it comes! Ah go! Let me perish unseen, if I perish!
Spare me the shame of thine eyes, when merciless fangs must tear me
Piecemeal! Enough to endure by myself in the light of the sunshine
Guiltless, the death of a kid!'
But the boy still lingered around her,
Loth, like a boy, to forego her, and waken the cliffs with his laughter.
'Yon is the foe, then? A beast of the sea? I had deemed him immortal.
Titan, or Proteus' self, or Nereus, foeman of sailors:
Yet would I fight with them all, but Poseidon, shaker of mountains,
Uncle of mine, whom I fear, as is fit; for he haunts on Olympus,
Holding the third of the world; and the gods all rise at his coming.
Unto none else will I yield, god-helped: how then to a monster,
Child of the earth and of night, unreasoning, shapeless, accursed?'
'Art thou, too, then a god?'
'No god I,' smiling he answered;
'Mortal as thou, yet divine: but mortal the herds of the ocean,
Equal to men in that only, and less in all else; for they nourish
Blindly the life of the lips, untaught by the gods, without wisdom:
Shame if I fled before such!'
In her heart new life was enkindled,
Worship and trust, fair parents of love: but she answered him sighing.
'Beautiful, why wilt thou die? Is the light of the sun, then, so
Worthless to sport with thy fellows in flowery glades of the forest,
Under the broad green oaks, where never again shall I wander,
Tossing the ball with my maidens, or wreathing the altar in garlands,
Careless, with dances and songs, till the glens rang loud to our laughter.
Too full of death the sad earth is already: the halls full of weepers,
Quarried by tombs all cliffs, and the bones gleam white on the sea-floor,
Numberless, gnawn by the herds who attend on the pitiless sea-gods,
Even as mine will be soon: and yet noble it seems to me, dying,
Giving my life for a people, to save to the arms of their lovers
Maidens and youths for a while: thee, fairest of all, shall I slay thee?
Add not thy bones to the many, thus angering idly the dread ones!
Either the monster will crush, or the sea-queen's self overwhelm thee,
Vengeful, in tempest and foam, and the thundering walls of the surges.
Why wilt thou follow me down? can we love in the black blank darkness?
Love in the realms of the dead, in the land where all is forgotten?
Why wilt thou follow me down? is it joy, on the desolate oozes,
Meagre to flit, gray ghosts in the depths of the gray salt water?
Beautiful! why wilt thou die, and defraud fair girls of thy manhood?
Surely one waits for thee longing, afar in the isles of the ocean.
Go thy way; I mine; for the gods grudge pleasure to mortals.'
Sobbing she ended her moan, as her neck, like a storm-bent lily,
Drooped with the weight of her woe, and her limbs sank, weary with watching,
Soft on the hard-ledged rock: but the boy, with his eye on the monster,
Clasped her, and stood, like a god; and his lips curved proud as he answered-
'Great are the pitiless sea-gods: but greater the Lords of Olympus;
Greater the AEgis-wielder, and greater is she who attends him.
Clear-eyed Justice her name is, the counsellor, loved of Athene;
Helper of heroes, who dare, in the god-given might of their manhood,
Greatly to do and to suffer, and far in the fens' and the forests
Smite the devourers of men, Heaven-hated, brood of the giants,
Twyformed, strange, without like, who obey not the golden-haired Rulers.
Vainly rebelling they rage, till they die by the swords of the heroes,
Even as this must die; for I burn with the wrath of my father,
Wandering, led by Athene; and dare whatsoever betides me.
Led by Athene I won from the gray-haired terrible sisters
Secrets hidden from men, when I found them asleep on the sand-hills,
Keeping their eye and their tooth, till they showed me the perilous pathway
Over the waterless ocean, the valley that led to the Gorgon.
Her too I slew in my craft, Medusa, the beautiful horror;
Taught by Athene I slew her, and saw not herself, but her image,
Watching the mirror of brass, in the shield which a goddess had lent me.
Cleaving her brass-scaled throat, as she lay with her adders around her,
Fearless I bore off her head, in the folds of the mystical goat-skin
Hide of Amaltheie, fair nurse of the AEgis-wielder.
Hither I bear it, a gift to the gods, and a death to my foe-men,
Freezing the seer to stone; to hide thine eyes from the horror.
Kiss me but once, and I go.'
Then lifting her neck, like a sea-bird
Peering up over the wave, from the foam-white swells of her bosom,
Blushing she kissed him: afar, on the topmost Idalian summit
Laughed in the joy of her heart, far-seeing, the queen Aphrodite.
Loosing his arms from her waist he flew upward, awaiting the sea-beast.
Onward it came from the southward, as bulky and black as a galley,
Lazily coasting along, as the fish fled leaping before it;
Lazily breasting the ripple, and watching by sandbar and headland,
Listening for laughter of maidens at bleaching, or song of the fisher,
Children at play on the pebbles, or cattle that pawed on the sand-hills.
Rolling and dripping it came, where bedded in glistening purple
Cold on the cold sea-weeds lay the long white sides of the maiden,
Trembling, her face in her hands, and her tresses afloat on the water.
As when an osprey aloft, dark-eyebrowed, royally crested,
Flags on by creek and by cove, and in scorn of the anger of Nereus
Ranges, the king of the shore; if he see on a glittering shallow,
Chasing the bass and the mullet, the fin of a wallowing dolphin,
Halting, he wheels round slowly, in doubt at the weight of his quarry,
Whether to clutch it alive, or to fall on the wretch like a plummet,
Stunning with terrible talon the life of the brain in the hindhead:
Then rushes up with a scream, and stooping the wrath of his eyebrows
Falls from the sky, like a star, while the wind rattles hoarse in his
Over him closes the foam for a moment; and then from the sand-bed
Rolls up the great fish, dead, and his side gleams white in the sunshine.
Thus fell the boy on the beast, unveiling the face of the Gorgon;
Thus fell the boy on the beast; thus rolled up the beast in his horror,
Once, as the dead eyes glared into his; then his sides, death-sharpened,
Stiffened and stood, brown rock, in the wash of the wandering water.
Beautiful, eager, triumphant, he leapt back again to his treasure;
Leapt back again, full blest, toward arms spread wide to receive him.
Brimful of honour he clasped her, and brimful of love she caressed him,
Answering lip with lip; while above them the queen Aphrodite
Poured on their foreheads and limbs, unseen, ambrosial odours,
Givers of longing, and rapture, and chaste content in espousals.
Happy whom ere they be wedded anoints she, the Queen Aphrodite!
Laughing she called to her sister, the chaste Tritonid Athene,
'Seest thou yonder thy pupil, thou maid of the AEgis-wielder?
How he has turned himself wholly to love, and caresses a damsel,
Dreaming no longer of honour, or danger, or Pallas Athene?
Sweeter, it seems, to the young my gifts are; so yield me the stripling;
Yield him me now, lest he die in his prime, like hapless Adonis.'
Smiling she answered in turn, that chaste Tritonid Athene:
'Dear unto me, no less than to thee, is the wedlock of heroes;
Dear, who can worthily win him a wife not unworthy; and noble,
Pure with the pure to beget brave children, the like of their father.
Happy, who thus stands linked to the heroes who were, and who shall be;
Girdled with holiest awe, not sparing of self; for his mother
Watches his steps with the eyes of the gods; and his wife and his children
Move him to plan and to do in the farm and the camp and the council.
Thence comes weal to a nation: but woe upon woe, when the people
Mingle in love at their will, like the brutes, not heeding the future.'
Then from her gold-strung loom, where she wrought in her chamber of cedar,
Awful and fair she arose; and she went by the glens of Olympus;
Went by the isles of the sea, and the wind never ruffled her mantle;
Went by the water of Crete, and the black-beaked fleets of the Phoenics;
Came to the sea-girt rock which is washed by the surges for ever,
Bearing the wealth of the gods, for a gift to the bride of a hero.
There she met Andromeden and Persea, shaped like Immortals;
Solemn and sweet was her smile, while their hearts beat loud at her coming;
Solemn and sweet was her smile, as she spoke to the pair in her wisdom.
'Three things hold we, the Rulers, who sit by the founts of Olympus,
Wisdom, and prowess, and beauty; and freely we pour them on mortals;
Pleased at our image in man, as a father at his in his children.
One thing only we grudge to mankind: when a hero, unthankful,
Boasts of our gifts as his own, stiffnecked, and dishonours the givers,
Turning our weapons against us. Him Ate follows avenging;
Slowly she tracks him and sure, as a lyme-hound; sudden she grips him,
Crushing him, blind in his pride, for a sign and a terror to folly.
This we avenge, as is fit; in all else never weary of giving.
Come, then, damsel, and know if the gods grudge pleasure to mortals.'
Loving and gentle she spoke: but the maid stood in awe, as the goddess
Plaited with soft swift finger her tresses, and decked her in jewels,
Armlet and anklet and earbell; and over her shoulders a necklace,
Heavy, enamelled, the flower of the gold and the brass of the mountain.
Trembling with joy she gazed, so well Haephaistos had made it,
Deep in the forges of AEtna, while Charis his lady beside him
Mingled her grace in his craft, as he wrought for his sister Athene.
Then on the brows of the maiden a veil bound Pallas Athene;
Ample it fell to her feet, deep-fringed, a wonder of weaving.
Ages and ages agone it was wrought on the heights of Olympus,
Wrought in the gold-strung loom, by the finger of cunning Athene.
In it she wove all creatures that teem in the womb of the ocean;
Nereid, siren, and triton, and dolphin, and arrowy fishes
Glittering round, many-hued, on the flame-red folds of the mantle.
In it she wove, too, a town where gray-haired kings sat in judgment;
Sceptre in hand in the market they sat, doing right by the people,
Wise: while above watched Justice, and near, far-seeing Apollo.
Round it she wove for a fringe all herbs of the earth and the water,
Violet, asphodel, ivy, and vine-leaves, roses and lilies,
Coral and sea-fan and tangle, the blooms and the palms of the ocean:
Now from Olympus she bore it, a dower to the bride of a hero.
Over the limbs of the damsel she wrapt it: the maid still trembled,
Shading her face with her hands; for the eyes of the goddess were awful.
Then, as a pine upon Ida when southwest winds blow landward,
Stately she bent to the damsel, and breathed on her: under her breathing
Taller and fairer she grew; and the goddess spoke in her wisdom.
'Courage I give thee; the heart of a queen, and the mind of Immortals;
Godlike to talk with the gods, and to look on their eyes unshrinking;
Fearing the sun and the stars no more, and the blue salt water;
Fearing us only, the lords of Olympus, friends of the heroes;
Chastely and wisely to govern thyself and thy house and thy people,
Bearing a godlike race to thy spouse, till dying I set thee
High for a star in the heavens, a sign and a hope to the seamen,
Spreading thy long white arms all night in the heights of the aether,
Hard by thy sire and the hero thy spouse, while near thee thy mother
Sits in her ivory chair, as she plaits ambrosial tresses.
All night long thou wilt shine; all day thou wilt feast on Olympus,
Happy, the guest of the gods, by thy husband, the god-begotten.'
Blissful, they turned them to go: but the fair-tressed Pallas Athene
Rose, like a pillar of tall white cloud, toward silver Olympus;
Far above ocean and shore, and the peaks of the isles and the mainland;
Where no frost nor storm is, in clear blue windless abysses,
High in the home of the summer, the seats of the happy Immortals,
Shrouded in keen deep blaze, unapproachable; there ever youthful
Hebe, Harmonie, and the daughter of Jove, Aphrodite,
Whirled in the white-linked dance with the gold-crowned Hours and the Graces,
Hand within hand, while clear piped Phoebe, queen of the woodlands.
All day long they rejoiced: but Athene still in her chamber
Bent herself over her loom, as the stars rang loud to her singing,
Chanting of order and right, and of foresight, warden of nations;
Chanting of labour and craft, and of wealth in the port and the garner;
Chanting of valour and fame, and the man who can fall with the foremost,
Fighting for children and wife, and the field which his father bequeathed
Sweetly and solemnly sang she, and planned new lessons for mortals:
Happy, who hearing obey her, the wise unsullied Athene.

Eversley, 1852.

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The Undying One - Canto II

'YEARS pass'd away in grief--and I,
For her dear sake whose heart could feel no more,
The sweetness and the witchery of love,
Which round my spirit such deep charm had wove:
And the dim twilight, and the noonday sky,
The fountain's music, the rich brilliancy
Of Nature in her summer--all became
To me a joyless world--an empty name--
And the heart's beating, and the flush'd fond thought
Of human sympathy, no longer brought
The glow of joy to this o'er-wearied breast,
Where hope like some tired pilgrim sank to rest.
The forms of beauty which my pathway cross'd
Seem'd but dim visions of my loved and lost,

Floating before me to arouse in vain
Deep yearnings, for what might not come again,
Tears without aim or end, and lonely sighs,
To which earth's echoes only gave replies.
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
And I departed--once again to be
Roaming the desert earth and trackless sea:
Amongst men; but not with them: still alone
Mid crowds, unnamed--unnoticed--and unknown.
I wander'd on--and the loud shout went forth
Of Liberty, from all the peopled world,
Like a dark watch-word breathing south and north
Where'er the green turf grew, or billow curl'd;
And when I heard it, something human stirr'd
Within my miserable breast, and lo!
With the wild struggling of a captive bird;
My strong soul burst its heavy chain of woe.
I rose and battled with the great and brave,
Dared the dark fight upon the stormy wave.--
From the swarth climes, where sunshine loves to rest,
To the green islands of the chilly west,
Where'er a voice was raised in Freedom's name,
There sure and swift my eager footstep came.
And bright dreams fired my soul--How sweet will be
To me the hour of burning victory!

When the oppressor ceaseth to oppress,
And this sad name the tortured nations bless:
When tyranny beneath my sword shall bend,
And the freed earth shall turn and own me for her friend!
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
Where Rome's proud eagle, which is now a name,
Spread forth its wings of glory to the sky;
And young warm hearts, that dreamt of deathless fame,
Woke from that dream to gaze around and die:
Where the pale crescent gleam'd athwart the cloud
Of men array'd to perish in their pride;
And the harsh note of war rang wild and loud
To urge the course of that impetuous tide:
Where Spain's dark banner o'er the castle walls
Heavily floats upon the mournful breeze--
And firmly sad the measured footstep falls
Of him who dreams of home in scenes like these:
Where steep'd in bitter tears and guiltless blood,
The lily flag of France droops sadly down:
Where England's lion o'er the heaving flood
Boastfully flutters in its proud renown:
Ev'n where her sister island dimly rears
(Though all the freshness from its hue be gone)
Her verdant standard from a land of tears,
While there are winds in heaven to waft it on:--

'Neath these, and many more than these, my arm
Hath wielded desperately the avenging steel--
And half exulting in the awful charm
Which hung upon my life--forgot to feel!

'I fought and conquer'd--and when all was done
How fared misfortune's persecuted son?
The dim days pass'd away and left me lone;
The tyrant and the slave alike were gone.
The indignant eyes that flash'd their wrath afar--
The swords that glitter'd through the cloudy war--
The swelling courage of the manly breast--
The iron hand whose strength the weak oppress'd--
The shouting voices in the deadly fray--
The jest and song that made ev'n camps seem gay--
The sounds--the forms--the feelings which had made
Those scenes in which my feet so long had stray'd--
Where and what are they now? a bitter dream
Lit by a meteor-like delusive gleam.
Freedom! thou art indeed a dream! a bright
And beautiful--a vision of pure light,
Pour'd on our earth-clad spirits from above--
Where all are equals, and where all is love:
But yet no less a dream. Where is the land
Which for the ploughshare hath exchanged the brand,

And been at peace for ever? Is there not
A war with all things in our changeful lot?
A war with Heaven, a war with our own souls,
Where stormily the sea of passion rolls--
Wrecking each better feeling, which doth strain
For liberty--and wrings our hearts to pain?
The war of fallen spirits with their sin,
The terrible war which rageth deep within--
Lo! there the cause of all the strife below
Which makes God's world a wilderness of woe.
Ye dream, and dream, and dream from day to day,
And bleed, and fight, and struggle, and decay;
And with high-sounding mockeries beguile
Natures that sink, and sicken all the while.
Whither are the old kings and conquerors gone?
Where are the empires lost--the empires won?
Look--from the classic lands whose fallen pride
Is fain to summon strangers to their side--
Where with weak wail they call themselves oppress'd,
Who, if unchain'd, would still be slaves at best--
To far across the dim and lonely sea
Where the thrice-conquer'd styles herself 'the free:'
How many generations now are past
Since the first war-cry rose, and when will be the last?
Yet is there freedom in a distant clime,
Where freedom dwelleth to the end of time;

And peace, and joy, and ignorance of fear,
And happiness--but oh! not here! not here!
Not in this world of darkness and of graves,
Where the strong govern, and the weak are slaves.
Thou, whose full heart would dream of liberty,
Go out beneath the solitary sky
In its blue depth of midnight--stand and gaze
While the stars pour on thee their gentle rays;
And image, if thou canst, unto thy soul
A little part of the most wondrous whole
Of all that lies beyond--there no dark strife
Destroys the creatures of the God of Life;
There no ambition to be made more great
Turns the pure love of brothers into hate.
Each hath his place assign'd him like the stars
Up in the silent sky, where nothing wars.

''Twas on a battle plain,--here in thine own
Sweet land of sunshine, that I paused to mark
The heaps of slaughter'd heroes now o'erthrown,
Whose helpless corpses lay all stripp'd and stark.
'Twas in the time when Moorish blood first mix'd
With haughty Spain's; and on her spotless name
The dint and brand of slavery affix'd;
And blood was spilt to reap eternal shame.

The useless struggle ended on that day,
And round about Grenada's walls there lay
Many and many a brave young bosom, gored
By the rude spear or deeply thrusting sword.
And silence was upon that fatal field
Save when, to nature's anguish forced to yield,
Some fallen soldier heaved a broken sigh
For his far home, and turn'd him round to die:
Or when the wailing voice of woman told
That her long weary search was not in vain,
And she had found the bosom, stiff and cold,
Where her soft clustering curls had often lain.
'Twas one of these that burst upon my ear
While watching on that field: the wind-harp's tone
Was not more mournful, nor more sweetly clear,
Than was the sound of that sad woman's moan.
Through the dim moonlight I beheld a form--
Her dark brow clouded with grief's passionate storm,
And on her breast an infant calmly slept
Which she would pause to gaze on; and again,
With bitterness renew'd, she loudly wept,
And call'd on its dead father--but in vain!

'My early and my only love, why silent dost thou lie,
When heavy grief is in my heart, and tear-drops in mine eye;

I call thee, but thou answerest not, all lonely though I be:
Wilt thou not burst the bonds of sleep, and rise to comfort me?

' Oh! wake thee--wake thee from thy rest upon the tented field:
This faithful breast shall be at once thy pillow and thy shield;
If thou hast doubted of its truth and constancy before,
Oh! wake thee now, and it will strive to love thee even more.

'If ever we have parted, and I wept thee not as now,
If ever I have seen thee come, and worn a cloudy brow,
If ever harsh and careless words have caused thee pain and woe,
Then sleep, in silence sleep, and I--will bow my head and go.

' But if, through all the vanish'd years whose shadowy joys are gone,
Through all the changing scenes of life, I thought of thee alone;
If I have mourn'd for thee when far, and worshipp'd thee when near,
Then wake thee up, my early love, this weary heart to cheer!

'Awake! thy baby-boy is here, upon whose soft cheek lie
No tears of grief, save those which fall from his sad mother's eye;
How, lingering, didst thou gaze on him when we were forced to part--
Rise up, for he is here again, and press him to thy heart!

' In vain, in vain--I dream of thee and joyous life in vain;
Thou never more shalt rise in strength from off the bloody plain;
Thou never more shalt clasp thy boy, nor hold me to thy breast:
Thou hast left us lonely on the earth, and thou art gone to rest.

'Awake thee, my forsaken boy!--awake, my babe, and weep;
Art thou less wretched that thy brow no trace of woe can keep?
Oh! would through life that thou mightst taste no cup but that of joy,
And I, as now, might weep for both--my boy!--my orphan boy!'

'She paused and raised her dark wild eyes, where bright
In the blue heavens broke the dawning light--

But what to her was day or sunshine now,
All vainly beaming on that pallid brow?
She only felt that never more with him,
In the deep cloudless noon, or moonlight dim,
Her weary feet might wander--that his voice
Should never bid her beating heart rejoice--
That where there had been sunniness and bliss,
Silence and shadows and deep loneliness
Must be her portion--that all days to come
Would rise upon a widow'd heart and home.--
She only felt, while weeping on that spot,
That bright and waking world contain'd him not!
She rose as if to go--yet once again
Turn'd back in tears to gaze upon the slain;
And raised her voice of wail, whose tone might ne'er
Awake an echo in that slumbering ear:--

'We shall meet no more on the sunny hill,
Where the lonely wild flower springs and dies;
We shall meet no more by the murmuring rill,
Where the blue cool waters idly rise.
The sunshine and flowers all bright remain
In their lonely beauty, as of yore;
But to me 'twill never be bright again--
We shall meet no more! we shall meet no more!

'We shall meet no more in the lighted halls,
Amid happy faces and gay young hearts ;
I may listen in vain as each footstep falls,
I may watch in vain as each form departs!
There are laughing voices, but thy young tone
Its cheerful greeting hath ceased to pour;
Thy form from the dancing train is gone--
We shall meet no more! we shall meet no more!'

'Such was the scene where first I saw and loved
Xarifa.--She was beautiful, but not
By that alone my wither'd heart was moved;
But that long days, unwept though unforgot,
Arose before me, freshly to oppress,
And wring my secret soul to bitterness.
Her sorrow was as mine, and every word
She utter'd in her agony did seem
As if a spirit voice I dimly heard
Speaking of Edith in a weary dream.
And so it was--our tearful hearts did cling
And twine together ev'n in sorrowing;
And we became as one--her orphan boy.
Lisp'd the word 'Father' as his dark eyes gazed,
With their expressive glance of timid joy,
Into my face, half pleased and half amazed.

And we did dwell together, calmly fond
With our own love, and not a wish beyond.

'Well, we were happy; and I vainly thought
That happiness so calm might last--but no!
Suns rose, and set, and rose; years came and pass'd,
And brought with them my lot--the lot of woe.
And the boy grew in beauty and in strength,
Rousing my soul to love him more and more--
Till I gazed on that graceful form at length
With a proud worship--and while musing o'er
The happy future, half forgot that fate
Had doom'd me ever to be desolate--
That all I loved had but a life as frail
As the young flower that wooes the summer gale;
And that the hour must come, when they would flee
To that far land of peace where was no place for me!
And ev'n before that hour, upon my home
Dark shadows fell from weary day to day;
And where there had been sunniness, was gloom--
And that boy's mother changed and pined away.
In her unquiet eye from year to year
Rose the expression of a restless fear,
And lines, which time had yet forborne to trace,
Were writ by care upon her fading face.

There would she sit, and steal a fearful glance,
Or fix those Moorish eyes as in a trance
Upon my form; and love dwelt still within
That pure fond heart which suffer'd for no sin.
And she would strive my sorrow to beguile,
And start, and wipe away her tears, and smile,
If, gazing in her waking dream, she caught
My eye, and read therein the master thought.
But never through those years did word or sign
Ask for the secret which was wholly mine.
She faded silently as doth the rose,
Which but in death reveals the secret smart,
And faintly smiling, to the last bestows
A balmy perfume from its withering heart.
How often, when I gazed on her, there came
The earnest wish that trembled through my frame,
To rise--to clasp her to my'swelling breast,
To faulter forth my tale, and be at rest!
When others, whom the laws of Heaven had tied,
Wander'd through this world's sunshine side by side;
Each beaming face bright as their brows above,
With perfect confidence and mutual love--
When I have seen some young heart's feeling rise
And glisten forth from glad and loving eyes;
Or heard the murmur'd words fond lips have spoken
Of faith unchanged and firm, and vows unbroken--

How I have strain'd my clasp'd and quivering hands,
And stretch'd them to the heavens as if in prayer;
Yearning to bow to Nature's strong commands,
And cloud another's life with my despair!
But when I thought of Edith--of that hour
When suddenly, and like a storm-scathed flower
She sank and perish'd, whose dear brightness seem'd
More beautiful than aught my heart had dream'd--
I shrank within myself, and silently
Met the sad glances of her anxious eye.

'Oh Sympathy!--how little do they know,
Who to a fellow heart confide their woe,
Who raise their tearful gaze to see again
Reflected back those drops of summer rain--
How weighs the lid which dares not show its tear,
But weeps in silence, agony, and fear;
And, dying for a glance, must yet disown
The sacred balm of hearts, and writhe alone!
To stifle grief till none but God can see,
Longing the while to say, 'Come, weep with me:
Weep! for the flowers have faded from my path,
The rays of light have left my darken'd sky:
Weep! for thy tear is all the wanderer hath,
Whose lone despair would bid him groan--and die:'

Thus--thus to shrink from every outstretch'd hand,
To strive in secret, and alone to stand;
Or, when obliged to mingle with the crowd,
Curb the pain'd lip which quiveringly obeys--
Gapes wide with sudden laughter, vainly loud,
Or writhes a faint slow smile to meet their gaze--
This--this is hell! The soul which dares not show
The barbed sorrow which is rankling there,
Gives way at length beneath its weight of woe,
Withers unseen, and darkens to despair!

'One eve at spring-tide's close we took our way,
When eve's last beams in soften'd glory fell,
Lighting her faded form with sadden'd ray,
And the sweet spot where we so loved to dwell.
Faintly and droopingly she sat her down
By the blue waters of the Guadalquivir;
With darkness on her brow, but yet no frown,
Like the deep shadow on that silent river.
She sat her down, I say, with face upturn'd
To the dim sky, which daylight was forsaking,
And in her eyes a light unearthly burn'd--
The light which spirits give whose chains are breaking!
And, as she gazed, her low and tremulous voice
In murmuring sweetness did address the earth,

With mournful rapture, which makes none rejoice;
And gladness, which to sorrow doth give birth.

'The spring! I love the spring! for it hath flowers,
And gaily plumaged birds, and sapphire skies,
And sleeping sunshine, and soft cooling showers,
And shadowy woods where weary daylight dies.
And it hath dancing waters, where the sun,
With an enamour'd look at the light waves,
Doth lull himself to rest when day is done,
And sinks away behind their rocky caves.

'I love the spring, for it hath many things
In earth and air that mind reel of old days;
Voices and laughter and light murmurings
Borne on the breeze that through the foliage plays;
And sounds that are not words, of human joy
From the deep bosom of the shelter'd wood;
Woods dimm'd by distance, where, half pleased, half coy,
The maiden chides her broken solitude.

'The spring of youth!--how like to nature's spring,
When its light pleasures all have pass'd away,
Are the dim memories which that word can bring,
Wringing the heart that feels its own decay!

The half forgotten charm of many a scene
Coming confusedly athwart the brain;
The wandering where our former steps have been
With forms that may not wander there again;--

'Murmurings and voices where some single tone
Thrills for a moment, and forgets to sound;
Yearnings for all that now is past and gone,
And vain tears sinking in the mossy ground:--
Oh! this is all, and more than all, which stays
To mock us with the sunshine of past years;
And those spring shadows on our autumn days
Cast their dim gloom, and turn our smiles to tears!

'She paused--and on the river bent her glance,
As if she loved to see the waters dance,
And dash their silver sparkles on the shore
In mockery of Ocean's giant roar.
And a half smile lit up that pallid brow,
As, casting flowers upon the silent stream,
She watch'd the frail sweet blossoms glide and go
Like human pleasures in a blissful dream.
And then, with playful force she gently flung
Small shining pebbles from the river's brink,
And o'er the eddying waters sadly hung,
Pleased, and yet sorrowful, to see them sink.

'And thus,' she said, 'doth human love forget
Its idols--some sweet blessings float away,
Follow'd by one long look of vain regret,
As they are slowly hastening to decay;
And some, with sullen plunge, do mock our sight,
And suddenly go down into the tomb,
Startling the beating heart, whose fond delight
Chills into tears at that unlook'd-for doom.
And there remains no trace of them, save such
As the soft ripple leaves upon the wave;
Or a forgotten flower, whose dewy touch
Reminds us some are withering in the grave!
When all is over, and she is but dust
Whose heart so long hath held thy form enshrined;
When I go hence, as soon I feel I must,
Oh! let my memory, Isbal, haunt thy mind.
Not for myself--oh! not for me be given
Vain thoughts of vain regret; though that were sweet;
But for the sake of that all-blissful Heaven,
Where, if thou willest it, we yet may meet.
When in thy daily musing thou dost bring
Those scenes to mind, in which I had a share;
When in thy nightly watch thy heart doth wring
With thought of me--oh! murmur forth a prayer!
A prayer for me--for thee--for all who live
Together, yet asunder in one home--

Who their soul's gloomy secret dare not give,
Lest it should blacken all their years to come.
Yes, Isbal, yes; to thee I owe the shade
That prematurely darkens on my brow;
And never had my lips a murmur made--
But--but that--see! the vision haunts me now!'
She pointed on the river's surface, where
Our forms were pictured seated side by side;
I gazed on them, and her's was very fair;
And mine--was as thou seest it now, my bride.
But her's, though fair, was fading--wan and pale
The brow whose marble met the parting day.
Time o'er her form had thrown his misty veil,
And all her ebon curls were streak'd with grey:
But mine was youthful--yes! such youth as glows
In the young tree by lightning scathed and blasted--
That, joyless, waves its black and leafless boughs,
On which spring showers and summer warmth are wasted.
The lines upon my brow were those of age;
The hollow cheek might speak of time or woe;
But all the rest was as in life's first stage--
The tangled curls without one touch of snow.
Oh! wherefore do I thus describe old times?
Am I not here--the same accursed thing,
Stamp'd with the brand of darkness for my crimes--
Never to die--but ever withering?

'Yes-yes--it is of her that I would tell.
She turn'd, as from my lips a murmur fell,
Half curse, half groan--and with a gentle look
Of angel love and pity thus she spoke:--

'Isbal, forgive me, if a bitter thought
This first, last time hath to thy heart been brought
By her who loved thee, ev'n in doubt and dread,
Better than ought, save him--the early dead!
Forgive me! for I would not pass from earth
With one dark thought, which may have had its birth
Unknown to thee; nor leave thee till I've said--
(Chide not these tears, which weakness makes me shed)--
Till I have said--and truth is on my tongue--
How fervently my heart to thine hath clung:
How I have shrunk, yet sought thy dear caress;
How I have feared--but never loved thee less:
How I have smiled for thee,--with thee, unbid,
While quivering tears rose 'neath the swelling lid--
And still kept silence when I would have spoken
For fear that seal'd-up fountain should be broken.
How I have--Isbal--Isbal--when I'm gone,
And thou hast nothing left to smile upon;
Remember--'tis a weak, a foolish prayer--
But do remember how I tried to bear

That worst of human pangs, a breaking heart,
And never let thee know how deep the smart!
Remember, that I never sought to know
The secret source of thy mysterious woe;
Nor ask'd why 'midst all changing things--unmoved
Thou--thou--(I tremble--heed it not, beloved!)--
Unmoved thou hast remained--Oh, Isbal, pray;
For dark the fear that clouds my parting day.
And though the word be vain--the time be pass'd,
Remember--I have loved thee to the last!'
She ceased, and strove my hand in hers to keep:
She wept not then--she was too weak to weep--
But with a faint fond gaze, half awe, half love,
Like an embodied prayer,--she look'd above.
And I--I would have told her then--that tale
The dream of which had turn'd her soft cheek pale,
And sent her to her grave--but she refused.
'Isbal, thy confidence is not abused:
If thou art sinful, let me know it not;
If thou hast sorrow'd, let it be forgot:
The past is nothing now, and I would die
Without one thought which may not soar on high.'

And she did droop and die, and pass away,
Leaving her memory, and that youthful son

Who sorrow'd for a while and then was gay,
And spoke in smiles of that lamented one.
Happy! for him the present bore no sting,
The past no agonies:--the future rose,
Bright as the colours of an angel's wing
Too far from earth to darken with its woes.
And he was form'd to love the haunts of men,
And to be fervently beloved again;
Firm, but yet gentle--fearless, but not bold--
Gay with the young, and tender to the old;
Scorning the heart where dark distrust was shown,
Because no treachery ever stain'd his own;
Ardent in love, but yet no-ways inclined
To sue wherever beauty sate enshrined:--
Such was my orphan care, and I became
Proud of Abdallah's father's blessed name.
Glad were the youths in whom fond friends could spy
Abdallah's graceful mien and daring eye:
Fondly the aged hail'd their favourite boy
With faultering words of mingled praise and joy:
Nor less the fair and fairy ones adored
The eloquent of tongue, and swift of sword.
And, from the many beautiful, he chose
One that might share in peace his evening's close;
There might be others fairer--but she was
So young--so meek--so feminine--applause,

And pride, and admiration, and the wild
Half worship which we pay earth's erring child--
All the tumultuous brain and bosom's stir
Sank into tenderness a sight of her.
You could not gaze on her, nor wish to shield
That shrinking form and gentle head from harm.
No borrow'd art could light or lustre yield,
But every bright addition spoil'd a charm.

'Their bridal day--their bridal day--it is
A day to be remember'd, deep within
The gloomy caves where dwells the foe of bliss,
And sends his fiends to tempt man on to sin.
The hall was bright with many-colour'd lamps;
The air was peopled with soft happy sounds;
And, careless of the dewy midnight damps,
Young feet were twinkling in the moonlit grounds:
The purple wine was mantling in the cup,
And flashing its rich hue upon their brows,
Who bent with eager lips to quaff it up,
And add their laughter to the loud carouse:
The merry jest--the superstitious tale--
The random question, and the tart reply,
Rang on in murmurings confused--till pale
The moonlight waned, and left the dawning sky.

The light dance ceased--by lips as sweet as thine
The word of fond farewell was slowly said;
Many departed--many sank supine,
With folded arms beneath each heavy head.
But still, with every lingering tardy guest
The brimming wine-cup circled as before:
And still went round the oft-repeated jest,
Which with impatient glance the bridegroom bore.
There was a traveller, who chanced to be
Invited with this joyous company;
And he was telling of the wondrous sights--
The popular sports--the strange and wild delights
Which in far countries he had heard and seen;
And once in Italy, where he had been,
How in great ruin'd Rome he heard a strange
Wild horrible tale of one who, for a crime
Too deadly to relate, might never change,
But live undying to the end of time:
One who had wander'd sadly up and down
Through every sunny land and peopled town,
With Cain's dark sign deep branded on his brow--
A haggard thing of guilt, and want, and woe!--
Breathings that seem'd like sobs, so loud they came
And chokingly from out my trembling frame,
Fill'd up the awful pause which came at length,
As if to give his words more horrid strength.

And every eye turn'd wonderingly and wild
Upon my face, while shudderingly I smiled,
And said, 'It is a fearful tale indeed;
But one that scare needs daunt ye, since ye are
From the dark fiend whom Heaven such fate decreed,
And Rome's imperial ruins, distant far.'
More had I said, nor heeded their reply,
But that Abdallah met my glance, and rose;--
And on his face I fix'd my wandering eye,
Which glared, and glared, and glared, and would not close.
And o'er his eager brow there shot a gleam,
As if but now remembering some dark dream.
And his lips parted--but he did not speak;
And his hand rose, but languidly and weak
Sank down again; while still we gazing stood
Into each other's eyes, as if for food.
I tried to laugh, but hollow in my throat
The gurgling murmur died; and once again
That young arm rose, and on the table smote,
And the slow words came audibly and plain:
While on all sides they fled and left us there,
Guilt, fear, and anguish, battling with despair.
'Arise, accursed! and go forth in peace!
No hand shall harm thee, and no tongue insult;

But 'neath this roof thy unblest voice must cease;
And thy dark sin must meet its dark result.'
I trembled, but obey'd not; from his face
My eyes withdrew, and sank upon the ground
While standing rooted, helpless, in my place,
I utter'd some half inarticulate sound--
Terms that I scarce remember--all, save one,
Utter'd with agony--it was, 'My son.'
And well I can recall the look, ev'n now,
Of scorn angelic on his lip and brow;
The cold defiance of his alter'd eye;
The tone that bade me wander forth and die:
Like the bright cherub to his home in hell
Dooming the first who sinn'd--the first who fell.

'Thy son! I thank kind heaven, whate'er my lot,
That word is false; my father thou art not!
My father!--back unto thy place of crime,
Dark fiend, who slew my mother ere her time!
Darest thou remind me by the awful sound,
How a mock link to thee that angel bound?
Well can I now explain her gentle look
Of mingled terror, anguish, and rebuke,
As 'neath thy blasting look, from day to day,
Sick of the joyless world, she pined away.

Breathe not the words, she loved thee: true, she loved:
In that her virtue, not thine own, is proved.
She loved, because the purity within
Her gentle heart was ignorance of sin.
Praise be to Heaven, she died! I little thought
Such words should to my secret soul be taught;
But I would howl them to the assembled world:
Praise be to Heaven, she died! nor saw thee hurl'd
From out the haunts of men with fear and hate,
Like a wan leper from the city's gate!
Praise be to Heaven, she died! nor saw thee stand
With shrinking quivering form, and nerveless hand--
The cowardice of guilt within thy heart,
And shaking thee--all devil as thou art!
Go!--The poor leper, scarr'd, and pale, and wan,
And driven groaning from his fellow man;
Trailing his loathsome languid limbs afar,
And gazing back where all his loved ones are--
The loved, who love him not: oh! he is free
From ill or sadness, when compared with thee.
Though all forsake him as he helpless lies,
And, straining his dim eyes, doth wonder where
Are those who should watch o'er him as he dies,
Cool his hot mouth, and soften his despair:
Though in the dust with agony he rolls--
His is the body's plague, and thine, and thine--the soul's!'

'Bitter the truth, and bitterly I spoke,
When from my lip the first deep murmur broke;
And then to that young heart I made appeal--
That heart which seem'd for all but me to feel:
Till like a torrent my pent words found way,
And thus I raved:--

''Happy the cottager! for he hath sons
And blue-eyed daughters made for love and mirth;
And many a child whose chasing footstep runs
Around the precincts of his humble hearth.
Borne on the breeze their light-toned laughter comes,
Making glad music in the parents' ear;
And their bright faces light their humble homes,
Brows all unshaded yet by guilt or fear!
And if at length one rosy head bows low,
And prayers are vain from death's dark power to save,
The lessen'd circle meet in mingled woe
To weep together o'er that gentle grave:
And, gazing through their misty tears, they see
(Like the blue opening through the stormy cloud)
Faces where grief was never meant to be,
And eyes whose joy doth mock the sable shroud.
The one link sever'd from that broken chain
Is lost, and they must cling to what is left;

Back to their many loves they turn again,
And half forget of what they were bereft.
But I--I had but thee! I had but thee!
And thou wert precious to my weary heart:
For thee I bow'd the head and bent the knee--
For thee I toil'd till the strong vein would start.
And thou didst pay me then with many a smile,
And broken words by joy-touch'd lips breathed forth;
And many a little playful infant wile--
Dear to my soul--to others little worth.
The lip that now hath quiver'd forth its curse,
The shuddering hand that bade my form obey--
The trembling limbs that shrink as if from worse
Than death could threaten to his human prey--
All--all have clung to me, with each fond sign:
The tottering feeble step hath sought my aid:
And oft have gently nestled, close to mine,
The clustering curls of that indignant head!
I am but human, though the tale be true
Which curses me with life, while life may last;
And the long future which doth mock my view,
But makes me cling more closely to the past.
Leave me not!--leave me not!--whate'er I be,
Thou surely shouldst not judge me, nor forsake;
If not by ties of nature bound to thee,
Sure there are other ties man may not break.

Leave me not!--leave me not! I am not changed,
Though thou but now hast heard my tale of sin:
I still can love thee, boy, as when we ranged,
Hand link'd in hand, those pleasant bowers within:
I know that other men will gaze and scoff
As the lone desolate one doth journey on;
I know that human things will cast me off--
But thou!--forsake me not--my son!--my son!'

'He shook--the deep sob labour'd in his breast--
Then sprang to me with a convulsive cry;
And, as my head sank on that place of rest,
Mingled with mine hot tears of agony.
And she, his fairy bride--she did not shrink,
But clung to me, as if she wish'd to prove,
When sorrow's cup is brimming to the brink,
How weak is woman's fear to woman's love!
Oh! nought of self is in their gentle hearts.
The things we tempt--and trample when they fall,
Danger and death--the dread that sin imparts,
Sadden, but shake not--they will love through all.
And we return'd, we three, unto our home--
The home that had been ours in peace so long,
And sunshine seem'd upon our hearts to come,
As that young bride pour'd forth her evening song.

'The morning dawn'd, and glad I wander'd out
Where the young flowers hung clustering about:
And a rich wreath I wove for her who slept,
Where nature's pearly drops still freshly wept.
That dark blue morning brighten'd into day--
But none came forth--oh! where, my heart, were they?
I sought them in the little shady grove,
Where their young lips first learn'd to breathe of love;
I sought them by the fountain's playful stream,
Where they were wont of happiness to dream;
I call'd them out to breathe the open day--
But none came forth--oh! where, my heart, were they?
That heart beat thick--I enter'd where the couch
Bedeck'd with flowers had woo'd their fond approach;
I gazed around--no sign of life was there;
My voice unanswer'd died upon the air;
The yet unfaded flowers were blooming gay--
But none came forth--oh! where, my heart, were they?
Where were they?--ay, where were they? once again
I sought them, though I felt the search was vain--
Through every well-known path and sunny spot
I sought those truants--but I found them not;
And when at length the weary day was done,
I sat me down, and knew I was alone.
Oh! had a sob, a sound, but broke my sleep--
Had I but been allow'd to rise and weep--

Convulsively to strain them, ere they went,
To my chill'd breast; to give my anguish vent;
Methought I could have borne it; but to rise
And glad me in the fresh and waking skies--
To greet the sun with joyfulness,--to wait,
Expecting them, and yet be desolate;
To twine those flowers, and see them fade away,
Frail as the hopes that sicken'd with the day;
To groan and listen, and to groan again,
While Echo only answer'd to my pain;
To start from feverish dreams, and breathe unheard
Loud words of welcome to that vision'd pair;
To listen in my sleep some singing bird,
And wake and find it was not Zara there;
To stretch my eager arms those forms to bind,
And with redoubled bitterness to find
The shadowy vision gone I loved to trace,
And darkness where had beam'd each youthful face:--
This was my lot--and this I learnt to bear,
And cursed the human links which bound me still to care.

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To The Floor Until I Roll Into Tears


'Why do you laugh?
And so loudly from your gut? '

I guess it's the ignorance I am attracted to.
And the foolish things people do,
They simply can not give up.

'And this makes you laugh? '

To the floor until I roll into tears.

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Here We Are In The Middle Of The Rain

here we are in the middle of the rain
and we are all wet
and you sing a song for the rain gods
they're crazy
and for a while, i think, i must be convinced,
i change my mind,
there is this point of finally joining
you, in the singing of the song
and the dancing, perhaps...

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Are You Living Again In Heaven?

Are you living again in heaven?
And is that the right place for you?
Because I remember when God took you to heaven
When you left me
So many years ago
Do you think that I am not happy that you are living in heaven?
Of course I am happy for you
Because you had suffered so much here on earth
With your life and your ilness

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Finally...Here We Are

I knew you knew me.
The moment I saw you,
I knew you knew.

I knew you felt my heart.
The passion and compassion.
Here inside...
Wishing for someone to recognize.

I knew you knew me.
The moment I saw you,
I knew you knew.

I knew you too wanted to touch.
And we hungered for that very much.

And finally...
Here we are!
To notice,
And taste this dream.

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Diwali Crakers Creaked In My Heart- Blasting Me Into Tears

Walking down the street
Adorned with lighted candles
Remembered my dearest love,
Who had gone denying me.
Twinkling- winkling Diwali
Once it was, together with you!
Distances glow remind me,
I am cast off!
Nation wide, loads of joy
Citizen play with light.
Without you- ah! This Diwali,
Is just a game of flame!
Love crakers Creaked in my Heart-
Once that you have planted,
And it consumed all my longings;
Blasting me into tears.

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Here you waited too long for me to love you

Here you waited too long
For me to love you and you
Could tell with your trained
Eye that I was longing to be
Held tight and be loved and
Now you have taken my love
You have fled back into
Yourself the house is so
Empty without your pervasive
Presence and the presence
That comes to glare at me in
Sleep is like the tomb of your
Ghost come back to haunt me and
Make me regret why I refused to
Acknowledge the lyric streak
Of the lurid silent evil in you

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Here! Here...You Take The Cheese

Mice like rats and slick napping cats,
Only appear to do as they please...
When it is believed the coast is clear,
To re-energize their determined activities.

Only when they are unmistakably trapped,
Do mice and rats feel the penetrating claws...
Of those one eye opening awakening cats,
With a squealing of their innocence.

'Here! Here...
You take the cheese.
I'm on a diet anyway.
I was only in your neighborhood,
Seeking a way to cement new friendships.'

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Here We Are

When you give your all and youre feeling small, dont you cry
If youre crying loud you wont feel so proud, dont you cry
Theres a place to be, wont you stay with me, you can help us see,
Here we are.
Let yourself go by,
You can touch the sky if you try.
All youve got to show, you may never know, what you are
If you ever try, can you tell me why, why you are
Only you will know, and you picked your show,
Can you tell me though, will you know?
If you feel like me, you cant help but please, who you know
If youre feelin low, will you tell me though, who you are
Only you will know, and you picked your show,
Can you tell me though, will you know?
If you feel like me, you cant help but please, who you know.

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My Memories

Today will be a memory
yesterday is a memory drifting away
memories turn into tears,
tearing us apart.

Fear of moving on, afraid of change,
in a minute this will just be a memory
memories are all pain in vain
memories are like dreams, a reflection of the past.

Memories are vision of what it used to be.
my memories are sadness and struggle
what are yours?
are they sadness and struggle?

You are but a memory
that dwindles as each day passes me by.
and as you slowly vanish
I huddle in my room and cry.

A memory that’s all I have
that’s all that’s left of you
nothing but a mere memory
that still lingers, only for a little while longer in my head.

Don’t forget about the past
without memories there is no yesterday.
make every day one to remember a
memory to move on with no regrets

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