Posted by: Peadar Ban | March 14, 2011

The Vain Assault of the Wrong In Heart

The Vain Assault of the Wrong In Heart
(A Daytime Fantasy)

Just over there, where that squirrel makes a chair
of a knob of horny root at the old oak tree’s foot,
the one leaning aged over the neighbor’s fence.
Just there the giant’s foot was planted, and he
standing, with the trees in all their bare waiting beauty
drawn against the unmarked sky, held a man-thick shaft
in the great fist of his right hand; the arms of him
thick themselves as trunks of trees, so dark
with hair as green as leaves he could have been
a tree himself, forest Lord and friend of all that he was.
Looking up who could tell if he or sun, it was
that high as height itself, shone that day;
if the light was his smile,
his laughing breath bird song wind borne
across the face of all the waiting world.

And creeping along like an ooze of cripples
a black cloud of change from world’s edge
came slow and sure against day’s bright
hero, sly and sneaking like from the south
so the world’s captain couldn’t tell shadow
was come from beyond beyond to terrify
and tear away peace from everywhere.

There’s the weakness of the wrong in heart;
the bent ones and besotted with themselves
who have a hate for high places, the sound of piping
and the roll of drums, tears and laughter
in the middle of the day and long, long after
day’s gone away; they hate the sun, and bright
blue sky; they hate, too, the stars at night
that hang like little lanterns, small and steady
friends alongside the pure white Lady Moon;
they hate all light and peace and blinded be
to seeing anything but what they want to see.

The dark blight above the world did not see
Light’s hand rise nor Light’s arm hurl easy, strong,
swift, deadly from the center of brightness
to its dark prowling presence the polished
bolt of power held ready in his steel hard hand;
not hear the rush of air follow its sure ascent
beyond the brace of woods in whose pleasant shade
he stood waiting like the world was surely his;
not chart or plot the course that streaking shaft took
to its black center, so blind was it to all.

It struck with power and precision where
it had been meant to strike, and shock sent
through the evil mass menacing the day
which burst across the sky, peeling and revealing
emptiness at its heart shrinking and soon gone;
the falling fragments screaming eerily
as they disappeared in its absence
leaving nothing of what had nothing been.

Then he moved who had been still as dawn’s
first light over water before breath stirred
a sleeping thing, and spanned the space between
the leaning oak where squirrels now take the sun
and contemplate with nervous joy the pleasures
of the day, to where his sturdy walking
staff had fallen and waiting lay at peace;
bent with easy grace in mid-stride, lifting
it high above his bright face, himself smiling
and turning, striding away beyond the hills
that ring the world with the sun his pet on
his shoulder and all the fine colors of the
end of day spread out in their sweet glory.

Evening’s heart’s White Lady was waiting
in night’s growing peace, all her company
gathering around her pale mist veiled face.
So when the last light from the edge of day
had gone Evening’s soft song of sleep began,
and all around the chatter of little
ones settled down to silence and deep peace.




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