The Winged Beetle


I Dedicate this Collection
of Poems


Out of the East, out of the East
Didst thou flame forth, O Son of Man,

The chainless champion of the Beast!
A warrior comet, thy plumes fan

The shuddering air's black wildernesses

To fiends' insatiate caresses.


Thou camest crowned and helmed and armed,
Sworded, a mighty man of war:

Swayed all the stars, aghast, alarmed
As at the Thunderbolt of Thor!

The very aethyr rocked and shook

At thine indomitable look!


[Here must we utterly restrict

Our theological remarks.

One whom not Heaven could contradict
Says: Now, Sir, if you please, no larks!

Hence for third stanza (with a curse)

I write instead this sorry verse.]


Yea, with one song of starry flame
In brilliance of immortal youth

Didst thou stand stedfast and proclaim
Freedom and Ecstasy and Truth,

Erect amid the wreck of Things

Poised on inexorable wings!


So much the universe may see
When its bat's-eyes may endure the sun:

This secret rests my prize to me,
That I knew thee, surpassed of none,

Fighting and faithful to the end,

A Perfect knight, a perfect friend.


[typed insert over bottom verse p. v. See p. 229.

Yea! God himself upon his throne

Cringed at thy torrid, truculence;

Tottered and crashed, a crumbled crone,

At thy contemptous {sic} 'Slave, Get hence'

Out flickered the Ghost's marish tongue,

And Jesus wallowed in his dung.


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