But if there be a bottomless abyss
It is a woman’s valour: such as I
Can only bow the knee and hide the face
(Thank God there is no God to spy on me
And bring his cursed crowns).
No, there is none:
The old incurable hunger of the world
Surges in wolfish wars, age after age.
There was no God before me: none sees where,
Between the brute-womb and the deaf, dead grave,
Unhoping, unrecorded, unrepaid,
I make with smoke, fire, and burnt-offering
This sacrifice to Chaos. [Lights the papers.] None behold
Me write in fire the end of the romance.
Burn! I am God, and crown myself with stars.
Upon creation day: before was night
And chaos of a blind and cruel world.
I am the first God; I will trample hell,
Fight, conquer, make the story of the stars,
Like this poor story, end like a romance:
[The paper burns.]
Before was brainless night: but I am God
In this black world I rend. Let there be light!
[The paper blazes up, illuminating the garden.]
I, God ...
THE WILD KNIGHT [rushes forward].
God’s Light! God’s Voice; yes,
it is He
Walking in Eden in the cool of the day!
LORD ORM [screams].
Damned screeching rat in a hole!
[Stabs him again and again with his sword; stamps on his face.]
THE WILD KNIGHT [faintly].
Earth grows too beautiful around me: shapes
And colours fearfully wax fair and clear,
For I have heard, as thro’ a door ajar,
Scraps of the huge soliloquy of God
That moveth as a mask the lips of man,
If man be very silent: they were right,
No flesh shall look upon the Lord and live.
LORD ORM [staggers back laughing].
Saved, saved, my secret.
REDFEATHER [rushing in, sword in hand].
The drawn sword at last!
Guard, son of hell!
[They fight. ORM falls. OLIVE comes in.]
He too can die. Keep back!
Olive, keep back from him! I did not fear
Him living, and he fell before my sword;
But dead I fear him. All is ended now;
A man’s whole life tied in a bundle there,
And no good deed. I fear him. Come away.
Between a meadow and a cloud that sped
In rain and twilight, in desire and fear.
I heard a secret—hearken in your ear,
‘Behold the daisy has a ring of red.’
That hour, with half of blessing, half of ban,
A great voice went through heaven, and earth and hell,
Crying, ’We are tricked, my great ones, is it well?
Now is the secret stolen by a man.’
Then waxed I like the wind because of this,
And ran, like gospel and apocalypse,
From door to door, with new anarchic lips,
Crying the very blasphemy of bliss.