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The Show

The Show

My soul looked down from a vague height with Death, As unremembering how I rose or why, And saw a sad land, weak with sweats of dearth1, Gray, cratered2 like the moon with hollow woe3, And fitted with great pocks and scabs of plaques4.

Across its beard, that horror of harsh wire, There moved thin caterpillars5, slowly uncoiled. It seemed they pushed themselves to be as plugs Of ditches, where they writhed6 and shrivelled, killed.

By them had slimy paths been trailed and scraped Round myriad7 warts8 that might be little hills.

From gloom's last dregs these long-strung creatures crept, And vanished out of dawn down hidden holes.

(And smell came up from those foul9 openings As out of mouths, or deep wounds deepening.)

On dithering feet upgathered, more and more, Brown strings10 towards strings of gray, with bristling11 spines12, All migrants from green fields, intent on mire13.
Those that were gray, of more abundant spawns14, Ramped15 on the rest and ate them and were eaten.

I saw their bitten backs curve, loop, and straighten, I watched those agonies curl, lift, and flatten16.

Whereat, in terror what that sight might mean, I reeled and shivered earthward like a feather.

And Death fell with me, like a deepening moan. And He, picking a manner of worm, which half had hid Its bruises17 in the earth, but crawled no further, Showed me its feet, the feet of many men, And the fresh-severed head of it, my head.

Category :[Culture][Literature]
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