April 6th, 2009

bullwinkle

National Poetry Month continues

            Songs from an Evil Wood

                          I.

            There is no wrath in the stars,
                They do not rage in the sky;
            I look from the evil wood
                And find myself wondering why.

            Why do they not scream out
                And grapple star against star,
            Seeking for blood in the wood,
                As all things round me are?

            They do not glare like the sky
                Or flash like the deeps of the wood;
            But they shine softly on
                In their sacred solitude.

            To their happy haunts
                Silence from us has flown,
            She whom we loved of old
                And know it now she is gone.

            When will she come again
                Though for one second only?
            She whom we loved is gone
                And the whole world is lonely.

            And the elder giants come
                Sometimes, tramping from far,
            Through the weird and flickering light
                Made by an earthly star.

            And the giant with his club,
                And the dwarf with rage in his breath,
            And the elder giants from far,
                They are the children of Death.

            They are all abroad to-night
                And are breaking the hills with their brood,
            And the birds are all asleep,
                Even in Plugstreet Wood.

                          II.

            Somewhere lost in the haze
                The sun goes down in the cold,
            And birds in this evil wood
                Chirrup home as of old;

            Chirrup, stir and are still,
                On the high twigs frozen and thin.
            There is no more noise of them now,
                And the long night sets in.

            Of all the wonderful things
                That I have seen in the wood,
            I marvel most at the birds,
                At their chirp and their quietude.

            For a giant smites with his club
                All day the tops of the hill,
            Sometimes he rests at night,
                Oftener he beats them still.

            And a dwarf with a grim black mane
                Raps with repeated rage
            All night in the valley below
                On the wooden walls of his cage.

                          III.

            I met with Death in his country,
                With his scythe and his hollow eye
            Walking the roads of Belgium.
                I looked and he passed me by.

            Since he passed me by in Plug Street,
                In the wood of the evil name,
            I shall not now lie with the heroes,
                I shall not share their fame;

            I shall never be as they are,
                A name in the land of the Free,
            Since I looked on Death in Flanders
                And he did not look at me.

                -- Lord Dunsany