[Byron Society home page] [Other works by Steve]

Ode to Childe Harold's Day

by Steven "Prometheus" Hoey

The hour foretold was nigh
Night’s heavy blackness pressed hard upon the stone
Of Mount Hemel’s summit scratching the sky.
Krykos, the Watcher awaited upon his aerie, his throne,
For the crossing, patient and silent he fixed his eye
Far below, miles beneath on the Hampstead plain.
As a ribbon of vermillion swathed the land in blooded stain.

Band of green, strip of violet, line of orange, align
One upon the other each to each their hues enfold
In a manner unforeseen Aurora spun her spectral sign,
In announcement of his passage, ‘Behold! Behold,
Awaken sweet Terra, rejoice! Let flow the harvest wine!
For unto you this day a Childe is borne,
Hark the herald, young man-god, greet the morn. ’

The plain glistened in the new day’s dew
Each blade laden heavy refracted the warming rays
A fawn ventured from the forest, its head held askew
As it gazed upon the figure wrapped in the haze
The fog lifted and his shadow cut its umbral path
There he stood tall and strapping, man of science, god of maths.

Childe Harold crossed from the realm of demigods
Born motherless on earth to bring caprice, to set them straight,
On the laws of physics mucked up by the quantum clods;
But Harold was a puckster and no angel from heaven’s gate
He had appetites and ambitions, he was one to savour
The forms of mankind and his beasts, to sample their flavour.

The man-children, deer and sheep around him flocked
Drawn inexorably by his piercing eyes set neath bushy brows.
They sat on his knee, his lap — careful! Don’t go off half-cocked!
But caution was tossed to the zephyrs as he groped for a sow
A squeal cut the plain and the rhythms the land rock’d.
Not all was fun and games, for Harold was a true genius,
Of words, rhyme, multi-dimensional n-space, and er ...Venus!
The earth did celebrate and chanted
The coming of the Childe that summer day
A feast was laid out and wine decanted
Hope sprang eternal and the man-children begged him stay
He regarded them coolly with one brow slanted
‘No my b-beautiful man-boys and beasts, I have great works to write
I’ve Byron’s song to sing, God’s universe to figure. ’
With this he left the plain for Oxford out of sight.