Cento VI

There is no armour against fate.
You are near me once more,
A corpse with streaming hair,
A graveyard shudder,
Dread, unwearable fire.
His shadow falls on mine.
Nought stands but the valiant heart to face pain.
There is no armour against fate.

Scarlet banners rush through the sadness of maples.
In the dusk of eternity meet,
Gaunt the shadow,
Disciplined in the school of hard campaigning,
Discovered new and strange.
There is no armour against fate.

A mightier pain nourishes this hot flame of the spirit.
The butcher-bird sings,
Doom is sealed in gold and blood,
Caught in the snare of the bleeding air.
There is a war between the mind and sky,
Such tasty honey oozing from the heart.
I am afraid to lose you.
There is no armour against fate.

Last night like moths burned on the moon,
The whole sky turned too hot.
Courage was mine and I had mystery.
First war resembles a beautiful mouth,
On the sacred, dolorous way.
Soldiers never do die well.
Hide that red wet –
Of ancient glory sweetly told.
All the dead kings came to me.
There is no armour against fate.

Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon.
I hear the great drums pounding:
Death’s red sickle is reaping tonight.
I bled for You.
Conferring crimson shades
Set dead lips to talking.
Victor and vanquished are a-one.
When the burning moment breaks,
There is music in the midst of desolation.
There is no armour against fate.

A storm stopped on the place of tombs.
Somber the night is.
Good fury He may feel
Hallows a phantom ground,
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
The darkness crumbles away
What heart aghast
Helpless among the living and the dead.
Its silence I hear and obey.
It will be spoken of among half-forgotten,
Whished-to-be forgotten things:
There is no armour against fate.

cemetery

[With respect to James Shirley, Guillaume Apollinaire/A. Hyde Greet, Edwin Muir, Georg Trakl/John Hollander, Homer/Tennyson,7th C. Arabic anonymous/Charles Lyall, Francis Miles Finch, Herman Melville, Horace, Milton, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Charles Causley, Wallace Stevens, Robert Graves, Yvor Winters, Richard Wilbur, Keith Doublas, Wilfred Owen, Shmuel Ha-Nagid/Peter Cole, May Sinclair, John Cornford, Carl Sandburg, Ernest Hemingway, Ivor Gurney, Francis Ledwidge, Edward Thomas, Walt Whitman, Mark R. Slaughter, Robert William Service, Alice Corbin, Charles Hamilton Sorley, Julian Grenfell, Robert Laurence Binyon, G.K. Chesterton, Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, Henry Newbolt.]

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Posted on March 31, 2016, in Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. If you keep this up, you may need to publish a compilation of these poems.

    Liked by 1 person

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