Spirits in bondage; a cycle of lyrics

Spirits in bondage; a cycle of lyrics

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Prologue As of old Phoenician men, to the Tin Isles sailingStraight against the sunset and the edges of the earth,Chaunted loud above the storm and the strange sea's wailing,Legends of their people and the land that gave them birth—Sang aloud to Baal-Peor, sang unto the horned maiden,Sang how they should come again with the Brethon treasure laden,Sang of all the pride and glory of their hardy enterprise,How they found the outer islands, where the unknown stars arise;And the rowers down below, rowing hard as they could row,Toiling at the stroke and feather through the wet and weary weather,Even they forgot their burden in the measure of a song,And the merchants and the masters and the bondsmen all together,Dreaming of the wondrous islands, brought the gallant ship along;So in mighty deeps alone on the chainless breezes blownIn my coracle of verses I will sing of lands unknown,Flying from the scarlet city where a Lord that knows no pity,Mocks the broken people praying round his iron throne,Sing about the Hidden Country fresh and full of quiet green.Sailing over seas uncharted to a port that none has seen.

Part I The Prison House

I. Satan Speaks I am Nature, the Mighty Mother,I am the law: ye have none other.I am the flower and the dewdrop fresh,I am the lust in your itching flesh.I am the battle's filth and strain,I am the widow's empty pain.I am the sea to smother your breath,I am the bomb, the falling death.I am the fact and the crushing reasonTo thwart your fantasy's new-born treason.I am the spider making her net,I am the beast with jaws blood-wet.I am a wolf that follows the sunAnd I will catch him ere day be done.

II. French Nocturne (Monchy-Le-Preux) Long leagues on either hand the trenches spreadAnd all is still; now even this gross lineDrinks in the frosty silences divineThe pale, green moon is riding overhead.The jaws of a sacked village, stark and grim;Out on the ridge have swallowed up the sun,And in one angry streak his blood has runTo left and right along the horizon dim.There comes a buzzing plane: and now, it seemsFlies straight into the moon. Lo! where he steersAcross the pallid globe and surely nearsIn that white land some harbour of dear dreams!False mocking fancy! Once I too could dream,Who now can only see with vulgar eyeThat he's no nearer to the moon than IAnd she's a stone that catches the sun's beam.What call have I to dream of anything?I am a wolf. Back to the world again,And speech of fellow-brutes that once were menOur throats can bark for slaughter: cannot sing.

III. The Satyr When the flowery hands of springForth their woodland riches fling,Through the meadows, through the valleysGoes the satyr carolling.From the mountain and the moor,Forest green and ocean shoreAll the faerie kin he ralliesMaking music evermore.See! the shaggy pelt doth growOn his twisted shanks below,And his dreadful feet are clovenThough his brow be white as snow—Though his brow be clear and whiteAnd beneath it fancies bright,Wisdom and high thoughts are wovenAnd the musics of delight,Though his temples too be fairYet two horns are growing thereBursting forth to part asunderAll the riches of his hair....