03 December 2012

Seemingly Revelatory

"All I want is some pea soup an' a good bed."
--The Tattered Soldier

It is best to avoid
the beginnings of evil.

Since he had turned his back
upon the fight his fears
had been wondrously magnified.

A house standing placidly
in distant fields had to him
an ominous look.  (If
ever I be worth a house
again, I'll build all inward)

The shadows of the woods
were formidable. He
was certain that in this
vista lurked fierce-eyed hosts
(not a light shall ope the
common out-way)

It was all a trap and
for earthly greatness they
were all going to be
sacrificed.  (Generals
were stupids.) The enemy
would presently swallow
the whole command.

But raise all plain
and rudely, like a rampier,
and all light,
like ancient Temples,
let in at the top.

One window,
glowing a deep murder red,
shone squarely through the leaves.
From the edifice a tall
leaning tower of smoke
went far into the sky.

Let it be, in fact
(I must abide the
actual scene),
a white cottage,
embowered with flowering
shrubs, so chosen
as to unfold
a succession of
and clustering
round the windows

Seemingly revelatory…
the true nature of his
agitation...was infinite;
his mind tossed and surged
with the ocean, the sea
appeared paved with innumerable
faces upturned to the
heavens—faces imploring,
wrathful, despairing, surged
upwards by thousands,
by myriads, by generations,
by centuries:

that which he had called
the tyranny of the human
face began to unfold itself,
now it was that upon the rocking
waters of the ocean the human
face began to appear;

The human face had mixed
often in his dreams,
but not despotically
nor with any special
power of tormenting.

When he thought of it later,
he conceived the impression
that it is better to view
the appalling than to
be merely within hearing.
This were to turn one's back
to all the world and
only look at heaven
(but shall my eyes be set
to see outwards?); no,
instead put a sky-light
on top of his head to
illuminate inwards
for there were no gazers
to shut out but the sun
and moon, and he was
willing that they should look in.

(excepting an agitated
conscience, my Eumenides
were at my bed-feet, and
stared in upon me through
the curtains. Curtains.  Drawn
to the floor, Tightened,
affixed, Folded, rollingly
folded but watching by
my pillow, sate my
Electra, about to thrust him
between the shoulder blades)

And now came a tremendous
change, which, unfolding itself
slowly like a scroll through
many months, promised
an abiding torment...

far more dreadful than death
about to smite one between
the eyes.

All reason piece-meal
and all light, like ancient
Temples, let in only
at top.

Against the false society of men,
the materials used
might have been better unfolded,
and much not used
might have been added with effect.

still, fold to sleep
(out of my seeing)
and only look at heaven.

enough has been given.

---(I will) stand no more
On others' legs,
nor build
one joy without

No comments:

Post a Comment