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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree


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The dead queen

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When joy was full, more full than heart’s desire,
and man had never known a mountain higher
that that his soul was set upon in peace,
and death had never come to give him cease -
two things came quick and envied all he had;
the serpent and the prostitute, shame-clad,
of which we know the game the former played -
how every hope of man was lost or stayed -
but she who gave him shame remained unseen,
going instead by many names unclean;
still seeming to be love,
or victory, or power;
a glad and finest hour,
of ecstasy above;
her face has not been shown –
her purpose never known –
confusion is her cloak.
If ever we awoke
from dreams of Babylon, then happy hour,
wherein the son of Eve should end her power.

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