So, with the wan waste grasses on my spear,
I ride for ever, seeking after God.
My hair grows whiter than my thistle plume,
And all my limbs are loose; but in my eyes
The star of an unconquerable praise:
For in my soul one hope for ever sings,
That at the next white corner of a road
My eyes may look on Him....
Hush—I shall know
The place when it is found: a twisted path
Under a twisted pear-tree—this I saw
In the first dream I had ere I was born,
Wherein He spoke....
But the grey clouds come down
In hail upon the icy plains: I ride,
Burning for ever in consuming fire.
THE WILD KNIGHT
A dark manor-house shuttered and unlighted, outlined against a pale sunset: in front a large, but neglected, garden. To the right, in the foreground, the porch of a chapel, with coloured windows lighted. Hymns within.
Above the porch a grotesque carved bracket, supporting a lantern. Astride of it sits CAPTAIN REDFEATHER, a flagon in his hand.
I have drunk to all I know of,
To every leaf on the tree,
To the highest bird of the heavens,
To the lowest fish of the sea.
What toast, what toast remaineth,
Drunk down in the same good wine,
By the tippler’s cup in the tavern,
And the priest’s cup at the shrine?
[A Priest comes out, stick in hand, and looks right and left.]
The brawler ...
He has vanished
To the stars.
[The Priest looks up.]
What would you there, sir?
Give you all a toast.
[Lifts his flagon. More priests come out.]
I see my life behind me: bad enough—
Drink, duels, madness, beggary, and pride,
The life of the unfit: yet ere I drop
On Nature’s rubbish heap, I weigh it all,
And give you all a toast—
[Reels to his feet and stands.]
The health of God!
[They all recoil from him.]
Let’s give the Devil of the Heavens His due!
He that made grass so green, and wine so red,
Is not so black as you have painted him.
REDFEATHER [hurls the flagon among them.]
Howl! ye dumb dogs,
I named your King—let me have one great shout,
Flutter the seraphim like startled birds;
Make God recall the good days of His youth
Ere saints had saddened Him: when He came back
Conqueror of Chaos in a six days’ war,
With all the sons of God shouting for joy ...
And you—what is your right, and who are
To praise God?