Silvenes by William A. Bazzell

Seek not, lest pride distend thy voice, to qualm
With words the beating of immeasured hearts
When thoughts remind of days of tranquil calm
Which only thought of Silvenes imparts.
Seek not, oh lowly poet, any word
Of ill towards the Al-Fontina, sing
But of the many graces you have heard,
Which greater voices forth from hope did bring.
Oh minstrel me, my voice doth dedicate
Itself to images of that which fell
When shadows fled from light to consecrate
A greater shadow then mere words may tell.
For in the jewel, the garden of Desire,
Two former men made passage to the seat
Of ancient knowledge, and to there retire
From life the man who paupered such entreat.
The caliph fell, his blood spilt forth in grief,
Not for his life, but for the name that he
Usurped- some said-, or earned by true belief
In things which are beyond man’s mystery.
Now all is sleep, a sleep beyond life’s tears,
Beyond the misery that life entails,
While Guadiara washes us from fears
And Silvenes returns from past assails.
This is a dream, the dream of many who
Put pen to page to proffer honeyed lines
Of poesy. But who to proffer to
When modesty on simple pleasure dines?
So many kings arise, if kings we call
The petty men who prey on any chance
That may arise, and dare to hold in thrall
Through power but divined from circumstance.
But these must fall, but Silvenes shall stand
Forever in the words of those who stood
Within her, and who know the still demand
In heart to see again this purest good.
But to return in form to such a place
Is but a mockery of what we knew,
And thus we seek a better type of grace-
To never see again in lesser hue.
So memory I have, and I shall sail
To fair Tudesca, and beyond the stars,
And hope that beauty might at last prevail
O’er those who conquer beauty in their wars.

– William A. Bazzell 3/3/02

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