The Message of Thuba Mleen

Far beyond Utnar Vehi, far beyond

The Hills of Hap,

Sits the great Emperor crowned with diamond,

Twitching the rosary in his lap —

The rosary whose every head well-conned

With sleek unblinking bliss

Was once the eyeball of an unborn child of his.

He drank the smell of living blood, that hissed

On flame-white steel.

He tittered while his mother’s limbs were kissed

By the fish-hooks on the Wheel

That shredded soul and shape, more fine than mist

Is torn by the bleak wind

That blows from Kragua and the unknown lands behind.

As the last flesh was flicked, he wearied; slaves

From bright Bethmoora

Sprang forward with carved bowls whose crimson craves

Green wine of hashish, black wine of datura,

Like the Yann’s earlier and its latter waves!

These wines soothed well the spleen

Of the Desert’s bastard brother Thuba Mleen.

He drank, and eyed the slaves. “Mwass, Dragicho,


Saddle your mules!” he whispered, “ride full slow

Unto Bethmoora

And bid the people of the city know

That that most ancient snake,

The Crone of Utnar Vehi, is awake.”

Thus twisted he his dagger in the hearts

Of those two slaves

That bore him wine; for they knew well the arts

Of Utnar Vehi—what the grey crone craves —

Knew how their kindred in the vines and marts

Of bright Bethmoora, thus accurst,

Would rush to the mercy of the Desert’s thirst.

I would that Mana-Yood-Sushai would lean

And listen, and hear

The tittering, thin-bearded, epicene

Dwarf, fringed with fear,

Of the Desert’s bastard brother Thuba Mleen!

For he would wake, and scream

Aloud the Word to annihilate the dream.

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