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Apr. 16th, 2013

The Douglas Tragedy

Rise up, rise up, now, Lord Douglas,” she says,
“And put on your armour so bright,
Let it never be said that a daughter of thine
Was married to a lord under night.

“Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
And put on your armour so bright,
And take better care of your youngest sister.
For your eldest’s awa the last night.”

He’s mounted her on a milk-white steed,
And himself on a dapple grey,
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
And lightly they rode away.

Lord William lookit oer his left shoulder,
To see what he could see,
And there he spy’d her seven brethren bold,
Come riding over the lee.

“Light down, light down, Lady Margret,” he said,
“And hold my steed in your hand,
Until that against your seven brethren bold,
And your father I mak a stand.”

She held his steed in her milk-white hand,
And never shed one tear,
Until that she saw her seven brethren fa,
And her father hard fighting, who lovd her so dear.

“O hold your hand, Lord William!” she said,
“For your strokes they are wondrous sair;
True lovers I can get many a ane,
But a father I can never get mair.”

O she’s taen out her handkerchief,
It was o the holland sae fine,
And aye she dighted her father’s bloody wounds,
That were redder than the wine.

“O chuse, O chuse, Lady Margret,” he said,
“O whether will ye gang or bide?”
“I’ll gang, I’ll gang, Lord William,” she said,
“For ye have left me no other guide.”

He’s lifted her on a milk-white steed,
And himself on a dapple grey,
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
And slowly they baith rade away.

O they rade on, and on they rade,
And a’ by the light of the moon,
Until they came to yon wan water,
And there they lighted down.

They lighted down to tak a drink
Of the spring that ran sae clear,
And down the stream ran his gude heart’s blood,
And sair she gan to fear.

“Hold up, hold up, Lord William,” she says,
“For I fear that you are slain;”
“’Tis naething but the shadow of my scarlet cloak,
That shines in the water sae plain.”

O they rade on, and on they rade,
And a’ by the light of the moon,
Until they cam to his mother’s ha door,
And there they lighted down.

“Get up, get up, lady mother,” he says,
“Get up, and let me in!
Get up, get up, lady mother,” he says,
“For this night my fair lady I’ve win.

“O mak my bed, lady mother,” he says,
“O mak it braid and deep,
And lay lady Margret close at my back,
And the sounder I will sleep.”

Lord William was dead lang ere midnight,
Lady Margret lang ere day,
And all true lovers that go thegither,
May they have mair luck than they!

Lord William was buried in St. Mary’s kirk,
Lady Margret in Mary’s quire;
Out o the lady’s grave grew a bonny red rose,
And out o the knight’s a brier.

And they twa met, and they twa plat,
And fain they wad be near;
And a’ the warld might ken right weel
They were twa lovers dear.

But bye and rade the Black Douglas,
And wow but he was rough!
For he pulld up the bonny brier,
And flang’t in St. Mary’s Loch.

Mar. 4th, 2013

I Have A Young Sister

Destiny - Waterhouse

I have a young sister, far beyond the sea
Many be the dowries that she sente me

She sente me the cherry withouten any stone
And so she did the dove withouten any bone

She sente me the briar withouten any rind
She bade me love my leman withouten longing

How sholde any cherry be withouten stone
And how sholde any dove be withouten bone

How sholde any briar be withouten rind
How sholde I love my leman without longing

Whan the cherry was a flower then it hadde no stone
Whan the dove was an egg then hadde it no bone

When the briar was unbred then it hadde no rind
When the maiden hath that she loveth then she is withouten longing

~Anon (circa early 15th century England)~

Jan. 31st, 2013

It Might Be Moot

Phonebooth in the rain

"It might be moot
to meet today"
you said
from a payphone
and I could hear in the background
the hissing of wet pavement
and vivid guilt - 
even as I reached out to wrap you
in a Hudson's Bay blanket
tainted with measles

I offer to be the existential hero for you

But you've seen what entertainment clout can do.
It's an empty, drunken threat of absentia.
A punch thrown in a dream
that elicits only laughter

The first casualty of skill? 
"Mirth," I answer for you.
What follows is a silence
that is so obviously not the ocean.
A silence whose tone seems to say,
Take me off your sucker list

"Listen," you say,
"we've got a lifetime supply of batteries
until a decision's required on this."

It might be moot
to meet today.
The day's first certainty.
Which can only mean
another long day
of uncertainty.  

Jan. 15th, 2013

Noah's Raven

Why should I have returned?
My knowledge would not fit into theirs
I found untouched the desert of the unknown,
Big enough for my feet. It is my home.
it is always beyond them. The future
Splits the present with the echo of my voice.
Hoarse with fulfillment, I never made promises.

 - W.S. Merwin

Dec. 18th, 2012


QT Luong 
In love they wore themselves in a green embrace.
A silken rain fell through the spring upon them.
In the park she fed the swans and he
whittled nervously with his strange hands.
And white was mixed with all their colours
as if they drew it from the flowering trees.

At night his two finger whistle brought her down
the waterfall stairs to his shy smile
which like an eddy, turned her round and round
lazily and slowly so her will
was nowhere—as in dreams things are and aren't.

Walking along avenues in the dark
street lamps sang like sopranos in their heads
with a voilence they never understood
and all their movements when they were together
had no conclusion.

Only leaning into the question had they motion;
after they parted were savage and swift as gulls.
asking and asking the hostile emptiness
they were as sharp as partly sculptured stone
and all who watched, forgetting, were amazed
to see them form and fade before their eyes.

 - PK Page

Dec. 14th, 2012

A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July;

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear;

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die,
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream,
Lingering in the golden gleam, 
Life, what is it but a dream?

lewis_chessmen afterparty