When the dust of diamond falls from the sky
And dances with the angels round the leavings of mankind,
The towers of heaven embrace the gates of hell
And mighty trumpets of peace and war shout anthems
To the clouds rimmed with the patient lace of ghostly hue.
When from the star dust soldiers fall and ringlets make
In pools where songs are born to clatter down the tumbled stairs
And heap against the pillared light drawn with nibs of pain
The stops of silent organs burst upon the god-deaf ears
And spin the webs of pale deceit to cast upon soul’s reef.
When sparkling hate makes symphony for grace and ruin
Amidst the sun-spread afternoons and want not’s aria becomes the waste
In depths so dreadful and so pure that none save the cloven-hoofed may tread
Where the statues of inequity fall purposeless at last
The glistening monsters beat out chests of need.
Beneath the skull-bound snow the mourners laugh
At deeds heroic and obscene, blade-true, the beams
Of sheltering steeds prance on holy desecrate’s offerings
Laid on the altar of never known and little dreamed
To rise in smoke and vouched-safe prayers muttered in the dark
To gods and goddesses who weep for truth unfound
And love ungained. By righteous pillaging the cottages of youth fall down.