Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Strange is the night where black stars riseCassilda's Song in "The King in Yellow," Act i, Scene 2.

Soft black stars in the strangest night,
Lambent with sleep
tall towers scrape the moon
a crab, a mad dog howling
The city dreaming doubled on the poison lake

The hierophantic king, in tatters
His pallid mask , the stone chair in the dew
The pitiful, the merciful ghouls in the rank rose wood
Play at ninepins, indolent and waxen

Ripe gallow’s fruit are whispering of
Smoke on the wind and the whale’s road
The brass men choke, the wheels are mired in sand

The king of sparrows has a bloody breast
Parson rooks blot the suns
Here, beyond the dusty lane
Where the engines rust

Forth go the banners
The dead gnaw their shrouds
plague-breath of a poisoned well
wet mouths ragged promise

cold and copper light
is risen, false morning in
the secret wood

I have read in the book of might
What sleeps in the hollow mountain
I have dreamed the laughing man,
And seen his marvels

He has bound the babies in the dark
To unravel the tongues of Babel
To the pure all things are pure
He has cut open the hunter and the sleeper
To set the blackbirds free, singing
From their guts

It is a ten penny wonder, a miracle of the age
Yet we wander among the thorns and briers

From the oak in Carmarthen
I heard the whisper
Of the kingmaker, triply dead
Who said before the winter comes again
Blood in the alabaster house

And from her one cracked bottle with no label on
dry as dust the she said
“When he comes
Fire shall be darkness in the midnight black
Madness of wolves and the tenth race
And bloody signs from heaven shall descend”
Soft black stars

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