The trees, which once were thick as waves
upon a spirit-laden sea,
are gone; the sea is like to glass;
no memory of storm remains,
of march of oak and elm and yew,
of tangle dark and forest thick.
No magic wells of fairy times
remain, no ghost of Merlin bound;
Melissa has long left the shrine
where Bradamante heard future tales.
No Questing Beast remains to hunt,
no Corrigan with wicked wiles
leads men to doom; no Fairy Time
now runs with forelock men may seize.
Wace wept beneath woods desolate,
but longer still has earth revolved
since Norman days; the ancient lays
are silent like forgotten tombs.
The myth passed into legend's song,
the legend into fairy tale,
the tale into a rumor's breeze,
and rumor became a picture
in travel brochures for tourists,
or names for new five-star hotels.
But still in some such pilgrimage
a tourist may yet learn to dream
of Merlin by a magic well
beneath thick boughs of mystery,
and plant one tree, one little drop
that years may grow to forest-sea.
Blessed Joan Roig i Diggle
The men with guns are all about,
the blood shed by militia
is crying from the ground,
but I fear nothing;
I take the Master with me.
The men with guns have come;
I take communion swiftly
that bloodied hands may not defile
the sacred Host; I fear nothing,
I take the Master with me.
They take me and they bind me,
they take me out to shoot me,
five times do they shoot me.
May God forgive you as I forgive you!
Long live Christ the King.
North wind, north wind, where is your going?
Beyond the ice caverns the chill streams are flowing,
the ices in layers, above a great snowing,
and you a cold vision the seer-witch are showing.
Alas and away, on the bitter sea-road
a destiny calls and a life-debt is owed.
South wind, south wind, with wise, wistful moaning
you rush through bare lands beyond human owning;
what song from the witches is your mellow voice loaning,
away in the southlands for shadows' enthroning?
Alas and away, in the deserts will wait,
like a beast in the night-hunt, a merciless fate.
East wind, east wind, what words are you praying,
what truths are your angels in ecstasy saying,
what song do you carry from hell-houndlings baying,
with what trollish monsters in robber-lands playing?
Alas and away, a reverberant call
constrains every lifeline, encompasses all.
West wind, west wind, where are you flowing?
In Soria Moria is joy beyond knowing,
dawn beyond splendor where roosters are crowing,
where good life is had at the end of hard rowing.
Alas and away, away I must go
to desolate end in ice, storm, and snow.
Cleansing the TempleThe merchants of my senses sell
to cheat the hunger to do well
and turn to profit due to hell
even things of God.
With a whip of cords, with conscience, Lord,
cleanse the temple that is me;
undo, unmake, this den of thieves,
restore to godly purity
my heart; and to Your Father's house
Spirit send in sanctity.
The real Olympus is a Garden,
splendor in interstices
endure, converse, recline,
unworried by the troubles of the worlds.
of reason and not desire,