Ares

by AE
I saw in dream our mighty hunter ride
Like one distraught, and maddening where he trod,
Trampling to dust the cities of our pride,
And yet he seemed a god.

He gloomed above me with his famished eyes,
With thorns, a fiery circlet, round his head.
His robes had broken hearts for broideries
And trailed in liquid red.

And on my fear he cast a scornful gaze:
" I, once the King, am outcast of the soul.
A thing of dread, I follow on your ways
Till time has made you whole.

" I was the fire that sped you forth to hunt
The monstrous life that coiled in fen or wave,
The fearless joy that went with you to front
The dragon in its cave.

" I was the might that made you unafraid,
Will that upheld you till the earth was won,
That met the wild colossi undismayed,
Mammoth or mastodon.

" Mine was the strength laid bare the treasures hid
Beneath the bones of earth; and builded wide,
Blazoned with gold, the huge squat pyramid
For Kings I deified;

" And speared the sky with heaven-assailing towers,
Pointing the starry thrones we yet might win;
But that you turned and chose the easeful powers
To dwell with you therein.

" In lovely idleness the days were sped
With Beauty in her garden murmuring low.
I was outcast, and to the desert fled
To raise the whirlwind so:

" And hurled against your gates the desert folk
Whose sceptre was the scourge, their law a chain,
That you might yet, stung by the bitter yoke,
Grow unto power again.

" King have I been and foe in ages past.
None may escape me. I am foe until
There shall be for the spirit forged at last
The high unshakeable will.

" My kindred are they, beauty, wisdom, love;
But without me are none may dare to climb
To the Ancestral Light that glows above
Its mirrored lights in Time.

" Fear! I will rend you. Love! I make you strong.
Wed with my might the beautiful and wise,
We shall go forth at last, a Titan throng,
To storm His Paradise. "
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