To The Genius Of Africa

O thou who from the mountain's height
Roll'st down thy clouds with all their weight
Of waters to old Niles majestic tide;
Or o'er the dark sepulchral plain
Recallest thy Palmyra's ancient pride,
Amid whose desolated domes
Secure the savage chacal roams,
Where from the fragments of the hallow'd fane
The Arabs rear their miserable homes!

Hear Genius hear thy children's cry!
Not always should'st thou love to brood
Stern o'er the desert solitude
Where seas of sand toss their hot surges high;


You, Andrew Marvell

And here face down beneath the sun
And here upon earth's noonward height
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night:

To feel creep up the curving east
The earthy chill of dusk and slow
Upon those under lands the vast
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange
The flooding dark about their knees
The mountains over Persia change

And now at Kermanshah the gate
Dark empty and the withered grass


When Your Pants Begin to Go

When you wear a cloudy collar and a shirt that isn't white,
And you cannot sleep for thinking how you'll reach to-morrow night,
You may be a man of sorrows, and on speaking terms with Care,
And as yet be unacquainted with the Demon of Despair;
For I rather think that nothing heaps the trouble on your mind
Like the knowledge that your trousers badly need a patch behind.

I have noticed when misfortune strikes the hero of the play,
That his clothes are worn and tattered in a most unlikely way;


The Traveller in Africa

A Dramatic Sketch


A Forest. Night.


Alone, amidst the interminable forest!—
Where shall I seek for aid! my weary limbs,
Torn by the briars, and wasted with fatigue,
Refuse to bear me further.
Horrid night!
Black, rayless, midnight reigns; and the thick dew
Distils its baleful drops upon my head.


And, hark! the topmost branches of the trees,
With dismal moan, now louder and more near,


The Song of Los

AFRICA

I will sing you a song of Los. the Eternal Prophet:
He sung it to four harps at the tables of Eternity.
In heart-formed Africa.
Urizen faded! Ariston shudderd!
And thus the Song began

Adam stood in the garden of Eden:
And Noah on the mountains of Ararat;
They saw Urizen give his Laws to the Nations
By the hands of the children of Los.

Adam shudderd! Noah faded! black grew the sunny African
When Rintrah gave Abstract Philosophy to Brama in the East:
(Night spoke to the Cloud!


The Pity of It

I. In South Africa

Over the lonesome African plain
The stars look down, like eyes of the slain.

A bumping ride across gullies and ruts,
Now a grumble and now a jest,
A bit of profanity jolted out,
--Whist!
Into a hornet's nest!
Curse on the scout!
Long-bearded Boers rising out of the rocks,
Rocks that already are crimson-splashed,
Ping-ping of bullets, stabbings and cuts,
As if hell hurtled and hissed,
--Then, muffling the shocks,
A sting in the breast,
A mist,


The Negatives

On March 1, 1958, four deserters from the French Army of North Africa,
August Rein, Henri Bruette, Jack Dauville, & Thomas Delain, robbed a
government pay station at Orleansville. Because of the subsequent
confession of Dauville the other three were captured or shot. Dauville
was given his freedom and returned to the land of his birth, the U.S.A.

AUGUST REIN:
from a last camp near St. Remy

I dig in the soft earth all
afternoon, spacing the holes
a foot or so from the wall.


The Book of Urizen Chapter IX

1. Then the Inhabitants of those Cities:
Felt their Nerves change into Marrow
And hardening Bones began
In swift diseases and torments,
In throbbings & shootings & grindings
Thro' all the coasts; till weaken'd
The Senses inward rush'd shrinking,
Beneath the dark net of infection.

2. Till the shrunken eyes clouded over
Discernd not the woven hipocrisy
But the streaky slime in their heavens
Brought together by narrowing perceptions
Appeard transparent air; for their eyes


The Black Virgin

One in thy thousand statues we salute thee
On all thy thousand thrones acclaim and claim
Who walk in forest of thy forms and faces
Walk in a forest calling on one name
And, most of all, how this thing may be so
Who know thee not are mystified to know
That one cries "Here she stands" and one cries "Yonder"
And thou wert home in heaven long ago.

Burn deep in Bethlehem in the golden shadows,
Ride above Rome upon the horns of stone,
From low Lancastrian or South Saxon shelters


The Battle of Shina, in Africa, Fought in 1800

King Shuac, the Giant of Mizra, war did declare
Against Ulva, King of Shina, telling him to prepare
And be ready for to meet him in the fight,
Which would commence the next morning before daylight.

When King Ulva heard the news, he told his warriors to prepare,
Then suddenly the clatter of arms sounded in the night air;
And the pale beams of the moon shone on coats of mail,
But not one bosom beneath them with fear did quail.

And bugles rang out their hoarse call,


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