3.16.2012

The Poet's Dream, Final

it is addressed thusly:
And looking upon the verses writ
The poet had had enough of it
Thus from this point did wage
A plan to put them on one page:

A ballad for a world.
it reads:
"Trouble's root sprouts forth in youth
Whose beginning is before remembrance
Unveiled, the heart finds earth uncouth
From whence it first found entrance.

Deep below the roots still grow
Though petrified and dead
And meek of wrath the path I go
Through the tractless and the dread.

A far descent beneath I went
To country hot and burning
Helped who dwelt by whom was sent
Free of desire's yearning.

To dweller deep, did promise keep
And pull him from his prison
Offered he then logic's leap
Which did demand decision.

'A coal that burns against the dark
An arrow that does not miss its mark
A hand that heals and holds to bind
A chill, enshrouding winter wind
An ancient lamp embossed with youth
A mighty arm endowed with ruth
A darkness seeing, searching eye
A flame with dancing sparks that fly
A foot to crush a serpent's head
A word soft-uttered, a breath of dread
A tattered coat worn with merry might
An arc that makes all-bright the night
A spinning band of golden worth
A brazen horn now sounding forth;

Seven and seven, mark them all
Know which of them, which shall fall?
(Spoke the dweller -- against the wall)
Ye who hear me not, to these I call
I need not best you, nor hand stall
Perish the unhearing,
         perish them all!

Listen friend, be loath to ascend
For worse things await than to die
Your world will have a bitter end
It will not be yours; the other does lie!'

And forgetting I, how I did respond
To his fierce and bitter query
My sight arose, and moved beyond
To new vision, a deeper theory.

And gathering to a greatness, I
Found my faculties reach beyond
And saw then these, when did fly
My mind above my memories fond

And drive past war and warring hate
And cut with wisdom's surer course
Found then I the drowning-gate
Onto which all water the ocean pours.

And then my vision came more clear
Past these sunny domes of yore
For I saw a sight so dear
A windswept world, a skylit shore

And these places had to them,
A felicity I leave here undescribed
For above I saw a starry fen
Whose master nary could be bribed.

And now my dream came clearer still
Of seeds seven, whose keepers lie in state
Around me there these heroes fell
These legends true, these kings called great

Now encircle, entombed at rest
All present here, though from time thrown
Called by the eighth, among the best
Held nascent now, but soon be grown.

The seeds I saw, were vices dread
In truth they were not always so
But I had it in my head
To take all seven, and then to go

Unhinge the ancient doors of death
And undo their evil with some good
Be carried then, with the breath
To follow her with purple hood.

Then he, that old totem nose
Whose habitat was for the birds
Told me tale of many woes
Which also sadly was of many words

In shorter form I will recall
The symbols which he wrote for me
In that telling, once and for all
See the end to what will be:

'A mirror which describes the heart
A cup discerned by wisdom's art
A pale sword which broke in two
A winter cat on hunt for you
A city where faith turns to dust
A library overcome with must
A jar of souls and minds to switch
A fair rose wilted black as pitch
A child who seeks but cannot find
A coin whose carrying did bind
A flower which sees only itself
The soulless blue-fire of an elf
A wordless edge to hem the will
A giant's rock upon a hill.

Look upon the suffering soul -
Though his means cannot be ours
For that life is in my bowl
And that soul is none but yours.

Angels all - yes as they say
Angels both meet and right
But dark angels are you today
You must be angels of light.'

A dream within a dream I saw therein
A prophecy dark, this vision thrice
Turning as the mind does within
And wake upon a bed of ice
And find a city gold and golden twice.

Those who may guide could but say
Only that they knew me not at all
And knew not who had sent this way
Myself and down Foundation's wall
And by a starry sea enthrall

And what hill did I climb until
I entered but with golden thread
That place of every wicked will
That place of breath and breathless dread
The wake of every waking dead?

And wake we did the keeper hid
Among the shifting half-lit light
From his tower he bade us rid
Of his charge, and by his might
He tore the tearless twilit night.

And such we were as those aver
The undying ones, they do not lie
Sealed and seared by fire's augur
The pit-thing killed us with its cry
Killed but to life, now ne'er to die.

Twixt night and day I found the bars
Which to my prison bound me
Of wood grown old which poison mars
I knew then did surround me;

Would I wake to find them there
Or alone sleep on in bliss?
In ecstasy I saw fill the air
The seeds of death's cold kiss.

So I took to wandering
   and wondered all the more
Till in holy dread I drank
   upon that mirthful shore

And drew the keeper from his pit
Who hides beneath the rock
And steal from his own bilious spit
The turning of the clock

And actual the prison make
Of wooden fettered sorrow
And from him take, that sallow snake
The memories of tomorrow."

Ephrem Gray, he did one day
Sit down to write a sonnet
But his pen would not obey
From when he set upon it

The day fourteen he then had seen
Proceed from dawn to dusk
Could not tell his lot had been
To sit amid the musk

Stooping, writing and as if his hand
By his choice or by his fate
Wrote the phrase again, again:
It was, "I, grown, await."
a postscript is here written:
This concludes what the poet had composed.

It is dated, in the manner of European dating:

'14/2'

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