by Steven "Prometheus" Hoey
But thou, false infidel! shalt writhe
Beneath avenging Monkir's scythe;
And from its torment 'scape alone
To wander round lost Eblis' throne;
And fire unquench'd, unquenchable --
Around -- within -- thy heart shall dwell,
Nor ear can hear, nor tongue can tell
The tortures of that inward hell! --
But first, on earth as Vampire sent,
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent;
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race,
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corse;
Thy victims ere they yet expire
Shall know the demon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers are wither'd on the stem.
. . . .
Then stalking to thy sullen grave --
Go -- and with Gouls and Afrits rave;
Till these in horror shrink away
From spectre more accursed than they!
(from "The Giaour", lines 747-776; 783-786)
He walks in darkness past yon College Blessed of the Three,
An inky blackness whose tongue licks the last light over a cold sea
Squelching any theme upon which the muse might soar.
Yet who thundering comes on blackest steed knocking on Hell's door?
So deft of foot, so sleight of hand, touched with effacing grace,
The Fiend he cometh clad in scholarly gown, spectacles and lace;
And only I know as one such as I can know
The thing most foul cloaked in mists, its coming announced by the crow;
The fearsome peril those here assembled might face.
On, on -- on he hastened -- and he drew
My gaze of wonder as he flew:
Though like a daemon of the night
He passed and vanished from my sight.
My head did swim and from my lips a cry did flee:
He hath come my lords, my ladies; he hath cometh for thee!
Ah, but you ask what cruel hoax I doth execute here at your door
That I should bring such images black and foul to the fore.
'Tis not your brave and Byronic company I seek to disgrace,
Nay, 'tis the Dark One's wicked curse I endeavour to erase!
Like our patron; the Dark One schooled at Harrow,
Did feast on angel-faced lambs and sucked at their marrow.
When hath defilement borne such a sinister face?
Though the sweet and unpromiscuous Lady Dragowicz doth pale, this tale once begun I must continue,
Lest upon these hallowed grounds his wickedness might be wrought anew!
For 'twas in a Grove ere ancient Egypt where Eve took her first bite,
And gave to Adam (sweet, innocent Adam!) the first fleshly delights.
Oh so cruel that from a fair maiden's advance such Blackness did spree!
'Though in modern times we art protected: 'tis Durex for Lords Henrey, Harington, and me!
And on this chill night I charge we secure yon door [pointing],
Pass port, snuff snort, rigor mort as I spin this fetid lore.
For was it not Lady Pam in pages august now filmed with dust, who fell from Grace?
'Twas she who with her ancient summons did bring the Prince of Metaphysics to this place!
Foolish woman like Eve before her unto us his curse bestow,
That we may be plagued, drained dry, and at last brought low!
Honourable assembled, conventional arms will nay suffice; not garlic nor mace,
Neither the Cross nor streams coldly coursing; nay, none of these does our villain eschew.
In fear of malefaction I give prayer in a church pew;
In darkest night with heart contrite,
I make my pledge to you, and take up the fight!
'Tis said indifference marks the present time.
Alas, if that the case be I quit here my verse and rhyme,
For 'twould be upon ears of the deaf that my plea would fall;
And all the while the Fiend climbs grinning upon yon stone wall [point West]
Hear me, my lords! 'Tis All Souls damned their secrets keep
Known to none but the Genii of the deep
Which trembling in their coral caves,
They dare not whisper to the waves.
In the cesses of Codrington all hidden secrets sleep.
But prithee, the corse is loosed and our ramparts made low!
Balliol is ascending -- their mean stern uncaressed by our men that row
As our esteemed Lord Henrey asserts, "We live in dark days."
Days when one new to our company, of wide grin and steadfast devotion,
Is sadly incognizant of the One so Dark lurking about the hallways.
Has he not felt the icy presence whilst on his intrepid climb
To Rawlinson 36 in search of pleasures so sweetly sublime?
Yet can one chasten a man who heeds Venus' call?
Nay, prithee my lord, hasten to thy warming flesh in hope of averting the bespectacled pall!
And young Simon, whilst thou art entwined, on the stairs a phantome does creep;
Silent and merciless, besotted with the lust to take us in our sleep.
But fear not, fair Gilly, for 'tis the soul of another he craves!
Not here tonight for by the light of yon silvered moon she is his slave
And woe is mine! Though unrighteous tears I doth weep.
Yet beneath warm bed and entwined forms an admiration secret doth grow.
Larger than life (rahther) yet close to the gene - a Byronic consummation? 'Tis yet unknown,
But what is proof of this sordidness of soul but proud Apollo's rays
Spilling over the blush of Aurora's vermillion cheeks as does love's milk twixt two lovers groping in a warm summer's hay.
Ah, but you fear my intentions crude, my morals enslimed;
But my lords and ladies, I assure thee, I beseech thee, lend to me your aids 'fore the clock's midnight chime!
'Tis evil's path I aim to forestall!
Hell's Bells to ring, fair Aurora's clarion to call.
Like the insect-king in his waxy keep
Inviting the young pursuer nearer in a trance-like sleep
To hear the song of so many honeyed notes hung upon false staves.
Beware my Bonnie lass lest the apocryphal pandemonia fix thee in a rave
Mindless and ravening; dreamless in sleep!
Ah, but I weaken -- my own vampiric nature Lord Hector well knows
For upon a lager's wager my mind's silence I did sow.
And my man George - 'though he be 'Yankee-lass horned' - I ne'er betray,
For 'tis his kind help and stalwart heart I require to enter the fray!
Dark and unearthly is the scowl
That glares beneath his dusky cowl --
The flash of his dilating eye
Reveals too much of times gone by.
'Twas an age of lingua et acta vulgaris eloquentia;
Man with Woman, Man with Man, Man with Beast - these Three and more in sequentia!
Noble Henrey, cher Brother mine - fair lord thine, tread with me Magdalen's mossy slate
Tempting all manner of ghostly retribution for thoughts of crimes small and great.
Calling down to cloistered prats and squeaking rats from heights further elevated by post-Vl'Hurgian poetical dementia!
And he who be Emperor in his own court at the end of the universe:
He with frame so great, mind so ingenuous, wit so nimble, tool so terse,
Sits among our noble company awaiting his moment of Byronic ejaculation
God Emperor Oakley, whose potency is arid as the surface of Dune would be wise to seed his ration!
But I am unkind to mon liege, beg his forgiveness, and ask him to take
up the trowel
In quest of unearthing the spectre through which to drive our dowel.
But generous is my needle, for 'tis to Lord Anthony I turn - to chivvy, to prick, to pry!
My gracious Lord, thy pale countenance o'er past week suggests to me that 'tis the sun from which thee shy!
I press thee my most excellent Lord-elect to answer as to why from the day's happy brightness thou art found in absentia.
Acquit thyself or not before your fellow lords and ladies (non deferentia)
Impassion thyself not, fair Anthony, for thy face is to me as polished palladium plate.
Thou art chaste (though Marxist); in our good company you have no need to explicate.
Not missing my vision are the sins of our Dark Lord - you will forgive me for treatment non-preferentia;
'Tis upon numerous women doth he the Wicked Willie Deed perpetrate!
In taverns and inns (and outs!) does he pursue pleasures so profane and perverse;
Stopped at times and then only infrequently by the curse.
Fie, you think me foul and base, yet is it not said that a woman's blood is the Devil's libation?
What say you, Lord Leffall, to my telling accusation?
Nay, he need not speak, nor dare I his good name foul.
'Though blessed not by innocence and most certainly not with grace, his intent is far from that of the Hellion's bowel.
No, I leave Lord Leffall to stew in his own sweet-sour sauce of despair and my man Robert the young lovers above his chamber to spy.
I leave you also our good Lord Hector, his fist full of condoms - the intent of a gift only Susan's father can answer why.
As to the rest of our noble assembly, I take an attitude indifferentia,
With exception perhaps to our high lord Henrey who broods at table's head in anal retentia.
Ah, my friends! I am here to lash, to encite, to cajole, and finally to propitiate.
We must unite to put down the Dark One, for I alone am not yet plenipotentiate.
I implore thee, my ladies, lords, do not let these impassioned words befall the fate of a voce inconsequentia!
'Tis near the close of this windy, phantasmagorical, and triplicate verse
The one of nicotine fang, and darkest dressage bears a smile like a claret-stained curse.
He is amongst us and none are safe - sadly for some of ye bonnie lasses there is no salvation.
Thus in close I entreat you to take up thy glass and give paean to our Lord Byron:
May the Joy of Life, the Hope of Love, and the Heat of Coupled Exultation be our Sustaining Life Libation!!!