Rumor of War

Bright the way was overlaid
Fame and rumor still attend
And we, we mark were aforesaid
To make of things a proper end;
Lion-heart of Titan-born
With Ycsion of Ares found
The Thing beneath the Funeral Mound
Which deep was of his heart outworn;
Ycsion his friend forsook
Upon the thing he would not look!
But saw the Lion alone instead
And from him his word it took;

In rumor, Master Alanov
Had made of man a man-and-god
And he we might be speaking of
Were he not interred in sod;
By Ycsion, whose sibling he
Knew the secret and told it to
That thing of which he firstly knew
But dared not now to look and see;
So Lion-Heart instead he sent
To Hades alone, alone he went
And without eyes, the sad Mati
Her life for him she spent;

But Lion-Heart made not the thing
Which brought the graying face forlorn
Of Hades himself upon the wing
To see the great one, Unicorn
Pierce the heavens at the bite
Of the Wolf, who working slow
His poisoned seed to subtly sow
His cunning deep, his movement slight;
At first uncertain of his plan
To wait and see, to glimpse the span
Of what could yet become his might
Withal he was like us, a man;

Shall I say the dreadful threats
Which Unicorn, in his rage
Such things which pride alone begets
Cast upon this thankless age?
That the Moon-Setter had sadly stood
Between him and every soul
Without hope, and filling full
In herself what lacked the rood?
Past death fighting the Superman
That Unicorn was: understand
She who is of purple hood
Did in that hour what she can;

Shall I say the Bowl of Tears
That the Star-Crosser shed
For herself, solaced not fears
But past reason monsters bred?
Shall I tell of Europa’s night
Where a mysterious rod
Brought forth the doe-eyed god
Sun-Shadow who ends-all-light?
That the storm of her shattered heart
Tore ever-turning sky apart
Flowers dancing before our sight
Of the City which man did start;

That Ycsion, to crush her neck
That dying she would die for good
Brought that way in call, in beck
Lion-Heart in deadly mood?
Shall I speak of the stolen disk
Of star-dust made whose timely husk
Spoke secret in the light of dusk
The Testament of every risk?
Of Asterix and Artemis
Who no one ever thought to miss–
Lost forever, sad Asterix
Who slept ere in childhood bliss?

Of the sleepers Sun-Shadow made
Escaping prison in a dream
To kill in sleep, in quiet fade
To the night without a scream?
That Asterix would not wake up
Did not wake up; comedy died
With tragedy — I have not lied
To make an end she drank that cup?
That Sun-Shadow yet lived on in death
To see the Lion-Heart she left
She who on despair did sup
And made an end to every breath?

Shall I speak of the fiery edge
Set at Eden’s gate – which all beheld
With fear – as fear at that hedge
Between life and death upwelled?
That Titan last was brought to life
As it was when  old Saturn, young
The starry bough upon it hung
Yggdrasil, grafted with a knife?
Did the Lion-Heart falter at the last
And fail at his Funeral-task
Did the Unicorn and his only wife
Get what they had only ask?

Was Wolf-Bite crushed within his cave
Though Determination he found
He fought and died– who forgave
Ever-Young, Beneath-the-Mound?
Youth died there, by fearsome horn
And Time and Courage died of course
Leaving nothing save naked Force
The force which was the Unicorn;
All was broken, funeral-clad
Bleeding black; ruined and sad
All forsook; all were forsworn–
But I speak as one that’s mad;

We children nine, born of earth
First the strongest, the last a fool;
Each of might, of different worth
Made by man to be his tool
Atlas Primus, Apollos Secondus
Urania Tertia, Vulcanus Quartus
With Epimetheus Quintus
Twin Prometheus Sextus
Erata Septima, Tritonus Octavius
And Thalia Nona the last of us
Silence seal the path we made:
Bright the way was overlaid.


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