aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

For irishaggie

Taliessin's Song of the Unicorn

Shouldering shapes of the skies of Broceliande
are rumours in the flesh of Caucasia; they raid the west,
clattering with shining hooves, in myth scanned --
centaur, gryphon, but lordlier for verse is the crest
of the unicorn, the quick panting unicorn; he will come
to a girl's crooked finger or the sharp smell
of her clear flesh -- but to her no good; the strum
of her blood takes no riot or quiet from the quell;
she cannot like such a snorting alien love
galloped from a dusky horizon it has no voice
to explain, nor the silver horn pirouetting above
her bosom -- a ghostly threat but no way to rejoice
in released satiation; her body without delight
chill-curdled, and the gruesome horn only to be
polished, its rifling rubbed between breasts; right
is the tale that a true man runs and sets the maid free,
and she lies with the gay hunter and his spear flesh-hued,
and over their couch the spoiled head displayed --
as Lesbia tied horned Catullus -- of the cuckold of the wood;
such, west from Caucasia, is the will of every maid;
yet if any, having the cunning to call the grand beast,
the animal which is but a shade till it starts to run,
should dare set palms on the point, twisting from the least
to fell the sharper impress, for the thrust to stun
her arteries into channels of tears beyond blood
(O twy-fount, crystal in crimson, of the Word's side)
and she to a background of dark bark, where the wood
becomes one giant tree, were pinned, and plied
through hands to heart by the horn's longing: O she
translucent, planted with virtues, lit by throes,
should be called the Mother of the Unicorn's Voice, men see
her with awe, her son the new sound that goes
surrounding the City's reach, the sound of enskied
shouldering shapes, and there each science disposed,
horn-sharp, blood-deep, ocean and lightning wide,
in her paramour's song, by intellectual nuptials unclosed.

-- Charles Williams

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