DREAMS OF ICARUS
Un idyl magique
Strikes, in the autumn’s swell,
Victim, to her rigid law;
As if thundered by some astral bell,
That booms, from shore to shore!
Glistens, under Neptune’s guide,
In fields of deathly tones;
Shows, his passionate bride,
His love, amongst the stones.
Stops, and waits by the gate,
Guarded by rambling vine;
At the vaults of some family estate
That shows, monumental decline.
In the wingless beat – white flames:
Alas! shalt heavens weep...
That fires, her dumb veins
And lapses into sapphire’s sleep.
Stirs silently, down tree-lined track,
Chased by wild hunters, wailing;
Too scared to turn and look back
At the quickening beasts, ever trailing.
Awoke, in the morn air, and kissed her,
His eyes fixed pale on his queen;
Tears through long winding vista
Where a wisp of white gown is seen!
Rings, in the calm air – they march
Down ivy paths... sweet sorrow, fast
Upon our souls beneath the arch
That shook to a disappearing past.
Glides in the dark of the woodland
Like a lamp on some weary trail,
Carried by an unseen hand:
The lantern of Jenny Burntail!
Hooded, the burnt mounds of the wood;
A canopy of black-boned trees...
Fungi, flourish in the moulding mud
And circles all it sees.
Hidden in the gloom of smoky halls
Where the wild fowl scream at night,
A deep nocturnal sadness calls
Near a glowing candle light.
And rain is hard upon the window pane
Of the witche’s house, so black.
Folk pass quickly down the lane
Through the willow-haunted track.
And the inhabitants of woodland shade
Come out from stumpy bole;
To weave through the leafy glade
And the emptiness of the soul!
Water, still and calmed
That reflected the colourful flowers;
In the mystical mist, thought they’d charmed
Great willows that loom like towers.
And out of the wood, a green light
Spills from some distant beam,
To wander through the loathsome night
Like a phosphorescent stream;
Where a wise old croaking toad,
Spys out from under the weeds;
In the dense mist, leapt and showed
Where the narrow pathway leads.
Burns, in the bright of the sky;
Stoops, and is summoned, and gone;
In fear of the mortal eye –
Out! Out all! where light shone!
In memory, of those past, she cries
By the fire in the dark of her room;
Hears, her lover’s sighs
Fade, in the midnight gloom.
In the kiss and embrace, floats away;
His voice, lingers soft to the tread
Of idle feet, by some moon-struck bay –
A ferry for the dead!
And stars are held firm by moonshine
As hearts are retreating together...
Into a realm of wisdom and wine
Down the fearful flow of the river!
And yes, her poor mind is blackened
In love and lust, life and lore
Of sweetness unfathomable, awakened
From a thousand years, or more!
Lights are searching the dark air,
Mirroring her sacred rite;
A silk-spun sadness on her features, fair
Is a whispered prayer by night;
Torn between the tide and the moon
With its thunderful rays of gold;
She casts her spell – a dark rune
Foretells what will be foretold!
The raging sky turned deep red
As the light beams cut the night;
A madness and a menacing dread
Came to her fearful sight!
Two stars that cross in their orbit
Shook the stormy sky
As ghost sails blown hard before it
Is drawn upon rocks and drawn high;
To sway beneath madder night skies
In the urgent salt-washed air;
Sail on as the sea-world cries
At the helm, smothered in prayer.
Sails its course through the night
On waves of shifting sands;
Its ghostly deck in the guiding light
Of time where dream expands;
A flash from some distant nova
Re-kindles old thoughts of home
To scramble like a shameful wild rover
That dreams he’s not alone!
Screams fill the silence of night
To break the air with piercing wails;
To rip at the heart of the sight
Of her death-blown windless sails.
And waves crashed on the shore;
The surf rolled over the rocks... The way
Through inlet and bay was once more
Where dreams and ghosts of dead men lay.
Wrecked, on some desolate isle
To bleach on the rocks in the sun;
Comes ashore, by the reef, for a while
When the battle’s nearly won!
Masks his glory in the light, that’s curled,
Where man, the disciple and teacher tread;
Steps back to a radiant, braver world:
All gone! – Nothing! – All fled!
Born O mother, lest I tried,
In my search, all but in vain (though I found)
Was not an endless realm, but a limitless void,
In the blackness, the conqueror, crowned!
Shelters in the welcoming glade
Where he burns with a joy, divine;
Where the natives are fooled and displayed
To a baser mind, in decline!
Comes a wooing by the eternal spring,
By the light of a rolling moon;
Sinks and tires at what life may bring
When next, the roses bloom!
Whispers her name as some fool –
No words can bring her from death;
Like a wandering tombless ghoul
That stretches to grasp its last breath!
Earth, a speck in the space of time:
Some god, dreaming or praying...
The musical sphere’s in its prime
Or maybe a bored child playing!
A jet of pure white, spirals the air;
Bursts from the banks of a blossoming spring;
Sails on rocketing, a distant flare
In the heavens brightens everything!
And lo! the violent sky was still,
Stilled by a summoning staff,
That in the echoed trumpets’ trill
Went bounding down the left hand path!
A frantic wave of his almond wand;
Cuts his marks with virgin steel.
His love that hath no greater bond
Can break – this holy seal!
Strides, back into the night,
Though figures appear from afar;
The breasted cluster grows to sight
And bows, O superior star!
‘Thy name? thy name? O maid of white!’
Her hair streaked with gold, flecked with flame;
Her breasts full and round, radiant with light
Brought the morning into frame!
‘It is our father the sun that nourishes;
We are born of the myriad maidens, bright
In the forest of remembrance that flourishes
And yearns for life, love, liberty and light!’