Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Misty Path

A walker faded down a misty path.
At dawn I left White Emperor City.
The pack-ice cracked, the weather turned to steel.
I met a traveller from an antique land.

I met a pilgrim in the jungle steam,
beneath the canopy of jewelled birds
where syrup-songs dripped guano cool as bells.
Death watches me from the towers of Córdoba.

As my soul bent towards the East, I met
a lady in the meads, who made sweet moan.
I've seen the starry archipelagos;
the beast that bears me plods dully on.

In Southwark, at the Tabard as I lay,
a friend showed me the way to Hell or Heaven:
her locks were yellow gold, her looks were free.
I met three witches on the heath near Forres.

There's a killer nel cammin di nostra vita:

his mind is squirming; countless roads diverge.
I heard twa corbies making mane; I met
a wanderer on Ilkley Moor baht 'at:
I have no way, and therefore want no eyes.

Twice, gloriously, across the Achéron,
I met a pieman, going to the fair,
a man upon the stairs who wasn't there,
and he hath led me through the watery maze.

I walked into Charleroi, to the Green Inn,
and met myself returning to myself:
hence is it, that I'm carried to the west,
late surfer on the last wave to shore.

As I came over Windy Gap, I rode
the King's Highway, Baby, wandered lonely
as a cloud to where there ain't no snow.
Who is it who can tell me where I am?

—Chevalier du Fleuve-Merdique


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