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

  • Time Warp

    I’ve been researching old tunes to match the lyrics of “The Wife of Usher’s Well,” an old British ballad about a woman whose three sons who were lost…

  • The Eccentric and the Weirdo

    Many years ago, I read an essay in TIME magazine by Pico Iyer called, “The Eccentric and the Weirdo.” This followed upon some outrage committed by…

  • The diagnosis is the easy part

    A world dominated by China will be an uglier world. To keep China from bullying other nations, the US and our friends and allies need to decide where…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.