The Wild Knight and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 48 pages of information about The Wild Knight and Other Poems.

I grasped the axe with shaking hands,
  I stared at the grass I trod;
For I feared to see the whole bare heavens
  Filled with the face of God.

I struck:  the serpentine slow blood
  In four arms soaked the moss—­
Before me, by the living Christ,
  The blood ran in a cross.

Therefore I toil in forests here
  And pile the wood in stacks,
And take no fee from the shivering folk
  Till I have cleansed the axe.

But for a curse God cleared my sight,
  And where each tree doth grow
I see a life with awful eyes,
  And I must lay it low.


On must we go:  we search dead leaves,
  We chase the sunset’s saddest flames,
The nameless hues that o’er and o’er
  In lawless wedding lost their names.

God of the daybreak!  Better be
  Black savages; and grin to gird
Our limbs in gaudy rags of red,
  The laughing-stock of brute and bird;

And feel again the fierce old feast,
  Blue for seven heavens that had sufficed,
A gold like shining hoards, a red
  Like roses from the blood of Christ.


Lo! very fair is she who knows the ways
  Of joy:  in pleasure’s mocking wisdom old,
The eyes that might be cold to flattery, kind;
  The hair that might be grey with knowledge, gold.

But thou art more than these things, O my queen,
  For thou art clad in ancient wars and tears. 
And looking forth, framed in the crown of thorns,
  I saw the youngest face in all the spheres.


The wasting thistle whitens on my crest,
The barren grasses blow upon my spear,
A green, pale pennon:  blazon of wild faith
And love of fruitless things:  yea, of my love,
Among the golden loves of all the knights,
Alone:  most hopeless, sweet, and blasphemous,
The love of God: 
        I hear the crumbling creeds
Like cliffs washed down by water, change, and pass;
I hear a noise of words, age after age,
A new cold wind that blows across the plains,
And all the shrines stand empty; and to me
All these are nothing:  priests and schools may doubt
Who never have believed; but I have loved. 
Ah friends, I know it passing well, the love
Wherewith I love; it shall not bring to me
Return or hire or any pleasant thing—­
Ay, I have tried it:  Ay, I know its roots. 
Earthquake and plague have burst on it in vain
And rolled back shattered—­
        Babbling neophytes! 
Blind, startled fools—­think you I know it not? 
Think you to teach me?  Know I not His ways? 
Strange-visaged blunders, mystic cruelties. 
All! all!  I know Him, for I love Him.  Go!

Project Gutenberg
The Wild Knight and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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