Wednesday, 9 December 2015
The new moon rode you with her meyny
Don't worry I'm done now. Here's everything gothic and weird from Masefield. There's not much because he's a sunny motherfucker, but what there is, is good.
A wall of nothing at the world's last edge,
Where no life came except defeated life.
The Dauber felt shut in within a hedge,
Behind which form was hidden and thought was rife,
And then a blinding flash, a thrust, a knife
Would sweep the hedge away and make all plain,
Brilliant beyond words, blinding the brain.
So the night past, but then no morning broke-
Only a something showed that night was dead.
A sea-bird, cackling like a devil, spoke,
And the fog drew away and hung like lead.
Like mighty cliffs it shaped, sullen and red;
Like glowering gods at watch it did appear
And sometimes drew away , and then drew near.
Like islands, and like chasms, and like hell,
But always mighty and red, gloomy and ruddy,
Shutting the visible sea in like a well;
Slow heaving in vast ripples, blank and muddy,
Where the sun should have risen it streaked bloody.
The day was still-born; all the sea-fowl scattering
Splashed the still water, mewing, hovering, clattering.
The Polar snow came down little and light,
Till all the sky was hidden by the small,
Most multudinous drift of dirty white
Tumbling and wavering down and covering all-
Covering the sky, the sea, the clipper tall,
Furring the ropes with white, casting the mast,
Coming on no known air, but blowing past.
And all the air seemed full of gradual moan,
As though in those cloud-chasms the horns were blowing
The mort for gods cast out and overthown,
Or for the eyeless sun plucked out and going.
Slow the low gradual moan came in the snowing;
The Dauber felt the prelude had begun.
The snowstorm fluttered by; he saw the sun
Show and pass by, gleam from one towering prison
Into another, vaster and more grim,
Which in dull crags of darkness had arisen
To muffle-to a final door on him.
the gods upon the dull crags lowered dim,
The pigeons chattered, quarreling in the track.
In the south-west the dimness dulled to black.
Then came the cry of "Call all hands on deck!"
The Dauber knew its meaning; it was come:
Cape Horn, that tramples beauty into wreck,
nd crumples steel and smites the strong man dumb.
Down clattered flying kites and staysails: some
Sang out in quick, high calls; the fairleads skirled,
And from the south-west came the end of the world.
Under the earth those heroes are;
Those Englishmen, slow, stubborn, kind,
Farm-labourers, time out of mind,
Who, with odd gurgles, growls and clicks,
Stacked the lain Summer into ricks
Who tamed the great beasts' strength, and beat
Earth's red rebellious clay to meat.
Each full of fancies, dark and odd
From when the devil has been god,
Knowing the rite, with seed of muck,
Without which 'Twoulden have no luck':
Knowing how fatal 'twas to plough
Ere Earth and Heaven has said 'Now';
And how the blood of bird or mouse
Would bring the crop or guard the house;
And how, unless you turned the penny,
The new moon rode you with her meyny.
The young men, with their swords, would dance
Our pagan blood's inheritance,
Or, strangely dressed, with helms and swords,
And uncouth, half-forgotten words,
(And bladders upon sticks to beat
Spectators back) in market street
Would act that age-old play of Corn
Cut down by Death and then reborn.
And other touching graces stayed
From times ere pageant had decayed.
Men are burning the gorse on the don's shoulder;
A drift of smoke
Glitters with fire and hags, and the skies smoulder,
And the lungs choke.
Once the tribe did thus on the downs, on these downs, burning
Men in the frame,
Crying to the gods of the downs till their brains were turning
And the gods came.
And today on the downs, in the wind, the hawks, the grasses,
In blood and air,
Something passes me and cries as it passes,
On the chalk downland bare.
Terrible tales, that made the blood run cold,
But not the worst, for these, they said, obeyed
The righteous heart and did what they were told,
Or could, by parish priest, be truly laid.
What scared me worse were stories of a Nation
Seldseen, unholy, vexing human lives,
Stealing men's children, or new-married wives.
'They were revengeful,' people said, 'unkind...'
Dreadful to people if their wills were checked -
With spies abroad to tell what men maligned,
And all maligners had their projects wrecked:
Wakened at night with screams of execration,
Pelted from markets or their cows made dry,
Or the year's cheeses such as none would buy.
These were the Fairy people who had danced
Those browner rings upon the scanty grazing,
Where Jane, our cook, had seen them as it chanced
Dancing in reels to pipings most amazing,
All bright with jewels in some celebration
For their great Queen, whose face Jane could not see;
She said, 'I looked into eternity.'
She said, 'It was vouchsafed: a something given,
I know they are, but not in life like ours;
If human life is hell, theirs is not the Heaven;
Men may have mind, the fairies other powers.
They have no sin, no sorrow, no salvation,
We have the two and struggle for the third.
Leave them in quiet...not another word.'
Ah, then indeed, I knew that the Night teemed
With evil powers many as a Nation,
More, and more awful that we mortals dreamed,
A loveless and inhuman generation
That from a midnight kingdom somehow streamed
Out from a nowhere never seen nor mapped
To hurry human beings to damnation.
So in the empty sky the stars appear,
Are bright in heaven marching through the sky,
Spinning their planets, each one to his year,
Tossing their fiery hair until they die;
Then in the tower afar the watcher sees
The sun, that burned, less noble than it was,
Less noble still, until by dim degrees,
No spark of him is specklike in his glass.
Then blind and dark in heaven the sun proceeds,
Vast, dead and hideous, knocking on his moons,
Till crashing on his like creation breeds,
Striking such like a constellations swoons.
From dead things striking fire a new sun springs,
New fire, new life, new planets with new wings.
They called that broken hedge The Haunted Gate.
Strange fires (they said) burnt there at moonless times.
Evil was there, men never went there late,
The darkness there was quick with threatened crimes.
And then one digging in the bloodies clay
Found, but a foot below, a rotted chest.
Coins of the Romans, tray on rusted tray,
Hurriedly heaped there by a digger prest.
So that one knew how, centuries before,
Some Roman flying from the sack by night,
Digging in terror there to hide his store,
Sweating his pick, by windy lantern light,
had stamped his anguish on that place's soul,
So that it knew and could reherse the whole.
There was an evil in the nodding wood
Above the quarry long since overgrown,
Something which stamped it as a place of blood
Where tortured spirit cried from murdered bone.
Then, after years, I saw a rusty knife
Stuck in a woman's skull, just as 'twas found,
Blackt with a centuried crust of clotted life,
In the red clay of that unholy ground.
So that I knew the unhappy thing had spoken,
That tongueless thing for whom the quarry spoke,
The evil seals of murder had been broken
By the red earth, the grass, the rooted oak,
The inarticulate dead had forced the spade,
the hand, the mind, till murder was displayed.