The Blind Bug


BEYOND the path of the outmost sun, through utter darkness hurled—
Further than ever comet flared or vagrant star dust swirled—
Live such as sailed and fought and ruled and loved and made our world.
They are purged of pride because they died, they know the worth of their bays;
They sit at wine with the Maidens Nine and the Gods of the Elder Days;
It is their will to serve or be still as fitteth Our Father’s praise.
'Tis theirs to sweep through Azrael’s keep, where the clanging legions are,
To buffet a path through the Pit’s red wrath when God goes forth to war,
Or hang with the reckless Seraphim on the rein of a red—maned star.
They take their mirth in the joy of the Earth, they do not grieve for her pain;
They know of toil and the end of toil; they know God’s Law is plain;
So they whistle the Devil to make them sport who know that sin is vain.
And oft—times cometh our wise Lord God, Master of every trade,
And tells them tales of his daily toil, of Edens newly made;
And they rise to their feet as He passes by, gentlemen unafraid.
To those who are cleansed of black Desire, Sorrow, and Lust, and Shame—
Gods for they knew the heart of men, men for they stooped to Fame—
To these, a peer ‘mid his courtly peers, the Curate of Meudon came.
’ I have fished for frogs in the stagnant dark, and here is my catch ‘ quoth he,
’ The Soul of a little Lawyer Clerk that whines like an angry bee,
'Brethren all’ –and they saw it crawl in the open palm released –
‘ This bug hath flown from a New Sorbonne to call me a filthy priest.
’ Yea, it must turn to a guild to learn the nature of right and wrong,
And wear its Soul at its buttonhole, and finger it all day long,
And lose its Soul if a gypsy troll the catch of a lewd old song. '
He flipped the Blind bug into the dark, and grinned Gargantua’s grin:
The Great Gods heaved them back, and laughed till Heaven shook to the din —
And O, to have heard the Great Gods laugh, I had sinned the Blind Bug’s sin.
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