9.12.2010

The North Wind Through Empty Barns

it is addressed thusly:
An elegy.
it reads:
O king that is no king - do hear
I, cold north wind whisper in your ear
You sleep, you sleep! But I do not
Awake man or beast upon his cot.

Here I say I see the wintertime
Of your wealth, by fair or crime
See look at the writhing streets
The rage beneath each face that greets!

O king that is no king - the tower
Of your kingdom totters more each hour
But being a king not it is not yours
Though you dwell within its doors!

The people you say, the people must
Rise up and rebuild the public trust
And idling, sit like fake aristocrats
Stalk like lions, purr like cats.

O king that is no king - we gave
The mitre mild to all the nave
To stop the bishop's abusive ways
We hoped to buy as many days:

But behold the bishop bad was one
And now a pope behind each gun
Thinks himself the royal kind
And is not, even by his mind!

O king that is no king - your hand
Still has its grip upon this land
But being ill-used and oft untaught
Fell will be its victim's lot!

Xerxes of old would have not stood
For this corruption if he could
And call all his horses and his men
Put the sick man at rights again.

O king that is no king - I know
Of Xerxes wealth so long ago
Which would fall in barn and shed
That night his soul would know the dread!

But your wealth is still, cold and inert
Xerxes' rose from his own dirt
Hide it when peace dwindles low
Spend it not, and move it slow.

O king that is no king - look for
Ways to fortify your shore:
But realise your wealth is now
What your enemies allow.

You wait for the people's voice to rise
In your mind you fantasize
This is because you're wiser than
But really more the lesser man.

O king that is no king - my word!
Know that if you truly were a lord
You would see the way to heal the land
And your own wealth would go on your command
And ride the hills and through each stand
Of trees and set right our scattered band

"But you sleep in coins and notice-slips
Which now are reciepts and gambling chips"

I blow and blow and make you cold
And soon too your money will be old
O king that is no king be poor indeed!
And in our land at least -
You may be first to lead.

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