“God’s heart! the antics, as they toil and shove!
One grabs a coin, one life, another love.
All shriek, ‘The prize is mine!’ as men possessed.
I was not fooled at anything thereof.
Rather I hated them, and scorned for slaves;
‘Fools! all your treasure is at last the grave’s!'” [via]
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- “Yes, yes! let fancy sup That grislier banquet than old Atreus planned! Mind cannot fathom, nor the brain conceive, Nor soul assimilate, nor heart believe The horror of that Thing without a Name. Full on me, boasting, like Death’s hand it came, And struck me headlong.”
- “The king did start, Gripped my strong hands, and held me to his heart, And could not speak a moment. Then he set A curb of sorrow and subdued its dart. ‘Go! and the blessing of high God attend Thy path, and lead thee to the doubtful end. No tongue that secret ever may reveal. Thy soul is god-like and thy frame is steel; Thou mayst win the quest–the king, thy friend, Gives thee his sword to keep thee–Gereth, kneel! ‘I dub thee Earl; arise!’ And then there rings The queen’s voice: ‘Shall my love not match the king’s? Here, from my finger drawn, this gem of power Shall guard thee in some unimagined hour. It hath strange virtue over mortal things. I freely give it for thy stirrup’s dower.’ I left the presence. Now the buffeting wind Gladdens my face–I leave the court behind. Am I Stark mad? My face grows grim and grave; I see–O Mary Mother, speak and save! I stare and stare until mine eyes are blind– There was no jewel in the ring she gave!”
- “Mine eyes had fixed them on the sphinx, the sky. ‘Is then this quest of immortality?’ And echo answered from some unseen caves: Mortality! I shrink, and wonder why. Strange I am nothing tainted with this fear Now, that had touched me first. For I am here Half-way I reckon to the field of salt, The pillar, and the bones—it was a fault I am cured of! praise to God!”
- “‘King, you are touched!’ ‘Fight on, Earl Lecherer!’ I cursed him to his face–the added spur Sticks venom in my lunge–a sudden thrust! No cry, no gasp; but he is in the dust, Stark dead. The queen–I hate the name of her! So grew the mustard-seed, one moment’s lust.”
- “I too was wounded: shameful runs the song. She nursed me through that melancholy long Month of despair: she won my life from death. Ah God! she won that most reluctant breath Out of corruption: love! ah! love is strong! What waters quench it? King Shalomeh saith.”