Swags Up!

Beauty and Hate

J. Le Gay Brereton

I HAVE sought and followed you, drunk with your sacred wine;
    Led out by a laughing wind on a tumbling sea,
    On crags amid clouds, in cups that allure the bee,
And deep in the gem-lit gloom of the tortuous mine,
And on widespread wings where the great worlds dance and shine
    I have sought by the golden light; but have bent the knee
    At last where you lie, a humble goddess and free,
Naked and flushed in the warmth of a crimson shrine.

The hordes of hate have trampled your blooms in mire,
    And cackle and roar as their mockery priests blaspheme,
        And sing the marching hymn of a wingless might.
They forge their god in the heat of unholy fire
    —The squat strong incubus born of an evil dream;
        And it shrinks and crumbles away in the golden light.

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