jueves, 27 de marzo de 2008

Poems

(Poems by Voltairine de Cleyre)


GERMINAL
(The last word of Angiolillo.)

GERMINAL!--The Field of Mars is plowing,
And hard the steel that cuts, and hot the
breath
Of the great Oxen, straining flanks and bowing
Beneath his goad, who guides the share of Death.
GERMINAL!--The Dragon's teeth are sowing,
And stern and white the sower flings the seed
He shall not gather, though full swift the growing;
Straight down Death's furrow treads, and does not
heed.
GERMINAL!--The Helmet Heads are springing
Far up the Field of Mars in gleaming files;
With wild war notes the bursting earth is ringing.

* * * * * * * * *

Within his grave the sower sleeps, and smiles.

LONDON, October, 1897.

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SANTA AGUEDA
(Where the torturer Canovas breathed his last.)

SANTA AGUEDA, thou that wast accursed
With presence of a demon dressed in Man,
Blessed art thou, for on thy stones there ran
The vampire blood from bitter torture nursed;
Along thy streets there flashed the lightning -burst,
"Delivered!" flaming on from eye to eye,
Though lips said "killed," and all thy gateways
hearsed
In lying black, made mourning mockery.
Blessed art thou! From thee went forth the cry,
"Vengeance yet loves, Renunciation hates,
And justice smites: the torturer shall die;"
Across his path the steel-nerved slayer waits
"And both shall burn together,"--one in light
Of unconsuming hell and reddened night;
And one with feet on hell and brow dawn-rayed, pure
white.

PHILADELPHIA, August, 1898.


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THE FEAST OF VULTURES
(As the three anarchists, Vaillant, Henry and Caserio, were led to
their several executions, a voice from the prison cried loudly, "Vive
l'anarchie!" Through watch and ward the cry escaped, and no man
owned the voice; but the cry is still resounding through the world.)


AMOAN in the gloam in the air-peaks heard--
The Bird of Omen--the wild, fierce Bird,
Aflight
In the night,
Like a whizz of light,
Arrowy winging before the storm,
Far away flinging,
The whistling, singing,
White-curdled drops, wind-blown and warm
From its beating, flapping,
Thunderous wings;
Crashing and clapping
The split night swings,
And rocks and totters,
Bled of its levin,
And reels and mutters
A curse to Heaven!
Reels and mutters and rolls and dies,
With a wild light streaking its black,
blind eyes.
Far, far, far,
Through the red, mad morn,
Like a hurtling star,
Through the air upborne,
The Herald-Singer,
The Terror-Bringer,
Speeds--and behind, through the cloud-rags torn,
Gather and wheel a million wings,
Clangiug as iron where the hammer rings
The whipped sky shivers,
The White Gate shakes,
The ripped throne quivers,
The dumb God wakes,
And feels in his heart the talon-stings--
The dead bodies hurled from beaks for slings.
"Ruin! Ruin!" the Whirlwind cries,
And it leaps at his throat and tears his eyes;
"Death for death, as ye long have dealt;
The heads of your victims your head shall pelt;
The blood ye wrung to get drunk upon,
Drink, and be poisoned! Ott, Herald, on!"

Behold, behold,
How a moan is grown!
A cry hurled high 'gainst a scaffold's joist!
The Voice of Defiance-the loud, wild Voice!
Whirled
Through the world,
A smoke-wreath curled
(Breath 'round hot kisses) around a fire!
See! the ground hisses
With curses, and glisses
With red-streaming blood-clots of long-frozen ire,
Waked by the flying
Wild voice as it passes;
Groaning and crying,
The surge of the masses
Rolls and flashes
With thunderous roar-
Seams and lashes
The livid shore ---
Seams and lashes and crunches and beats
And drags a ragged wall to its howling retreats!
Swift, swift, swift,
'Thwart the blood-rain's fall,
Through the fire-shot rift
Of the broken wall,
The prophet-crying,
The storm-strong sighing,
Flies-and from under Night's lifted pall,
Swarming, menace ten million darts,
Uplifting fragments of human shards
Ah, white teeth chatter,
And dumb jaws fall,
While winged fires scatter
Till gloom gulfs all
Save the boom of the cannon that storm the forts
That the people bombard with their comrades' hearts;
"Vengeance! Vengeance!" the voices scream,
And the vulture pinions whirl and stream!
"Knife for knife, as ye long have dealt;
The edge ye whetted for us be felt,
Ye chopper of necks, on your own! your own!
Bare it, Coward! On, Prophet, on!"


Behold how high
Rolls a prison cry!

PHILADELPHIA, August, 1894.





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THE HURRICANE
("We are the birds of the coming storrn."-August Spies.)


THE tide is out, the wind blows off the shore;
Bare burn the white sands in the scorching sun;
The sea complains, but its great voice is low.

Bitter thy woes, 0 People,
And the burden
Hardly to be borne!
Wearily grows, 0 People,
All the aching
Of thy pierced heart, bruised and torn
But yet thy time is not,
And low thy moaning.
Desert thy sands!
Not yet is thy breath hot,
Vengefully blowing;
It wafts o'er lifted hands.


The tide has turned; the vane veers slowly round;
Slow clouds are sweeping o'er the blinding light;
White crests curl on the sea,-its voice grows deep.
Angry thy heart, 0 People,
And its bleeding
Fire-tipped with rising hate!
Thy clasped hands part, 0 People,
For thy praying
Warmed not the desolate!
God did not hear thy moan:
Now it is swelling
To a great drowning cry;
A dark wind-cloud, a groan,
Now backward veering
From that deaf sky!

The tide flows in, the wind roars from the depths,
The whirled-white sand heaps with the foam-white
waves;
Thundering the sea rolls o'er its shell-crunched wall!

Strong is thy rage, 0 People,
In its fury
Hurling thy tyrants down!
Thou metest wage, 0 People.
Very swiftly,
Now that thy hate is grown:
Thy time at last is come;
Thou heapest anguish,
Where thou thyself wert bare!
No longer to thy dumb
God clasped and kneeling,
Thou answerest thine own prayer.

SEA ISLE CITY, N. J., August, 1889.