Sunday, May 08, 2016

A Poem Draft and a Poem Re-Draft

For more about the ode of Horace I am non-translating, see here.

Non-Horace, Odes Book I, Carmen V

What stripling, blossomed in roses,
liquid and scenting, urges himself on you
in sweet grotto, Pyrrha golden-tressed,
your hair dressed in wreaths,

artfully simple? Cry he will
of changeful faith and gods, wondering,
astonished, by roughening seas,
by black wind of tempest,

who tastes of you in golden now, credulous,
ever-open and ever-friendly
hoping you, not knowing the gale
of treachery. Hapless are they

who heedless are blinded. And I? My votive,
my still-dripping clothes,
on temple wall hangs, pendant,
to the god who rules the sea.

Susan Pevensie

We once saw beyond the thing to the Thought
in the Mind of the Maker of all,
and visions of light in snow-laden wood
almost came at our bidding and call.
And the light of the gods was bright in all things
and their songs on the wind were still heard
while mer-people chanted the music that rang
in the echo of water and bird.
Doors we would find that, more than mere doors,
were the gates to the gardens of grace,
and paintings could lead to ships that were fair:
on the storm-laden waves they would race.
The horn of a train might call us to war,
where we valiantly took up our sword:
of Thoughts in the One we yet were aware,
and of power that fell from the Word.

(And that was the thing that made us mature,
giving freedom of thought to the child;
and that was the thing that God made to endure,
the thing that preserved us from guile.)

But children are free in their thought, not their will;
our paths by the world were then ruled,
and we all were then bound to wishers who wished
but the best; but some wishers are fools.
And now? We are grown; our wills are our own,
but our minds have no vision to see,
and dreams are all dreamed in the darkness alone
with a thought that is no longer free.
Now all of our graces are dollars and names,
all our worries are cold and mundane,
and words are just marks; no Pentecost flame
gives them power to brighten the brain.

(But once all the marks were emblems of truths,
like a language the world itself spoke,
and once we saw through the thing to the Thought
that the angels in morning invoked.)

And Susan was there! Her eyes were our own,
but more gentle, like soft summer sea.
She was crowned in bright gold, and on her fair throne
she was utterly, perfectly free.
And Susan saw through the thing to the Thought
in the Mind of the Maker of all.
She passed through the door, with the darkness she fought,
and her horn with salvation would call.

But now? No sign can capture of her
in the realms of the Upward and In;
of Susan the dryads still carry no word
of the paths where her footsteps have been.
But you and I went in days long ago
on this path of the burden of men,
and a Susan behind this face that I know
in the mirror reminds of my sin,
how I, who had seen past the thing to the Thought
in the Mind of the Maker of all
and felt the desire for goodness from God
(to which all this creation still calls),
now toil in the dust from which we all came,
with sweat and with thorns in my side,
and slave for a mark made of gold from which comes
the one freedom in which I have pride.

(But you, once when you with a suddenness wept --
in your face I saw Susan return.
Her sadness was there, and tears in the depths
that are liquid, but nonetheless burn.)

As Susan is lost, so we too are lost,
and her loss is the loss that we bear --
but Susan may find the pearl of great cost
and a chance beyond courage to dare
to see through the thing to the glorious Word
that is spoken by He who made all;
and the horn of salvation may someday be heard
as Susan sounds out the great call!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.