Friday, February 26, 2010

"A lover with disaster in his face"

Ancient History

Adam, a brown old vulture in the rain,
Shivered below his wind-whipped olive-trees;
Huddling sharp chin on scarred and scraggy knees,
He moaned and mumbled to his darkening brain;
‘He was the grandest of them all—was Cain!
‘A lion laired in the hills, that none could tire;
‘Swift as a stag; a stallion of the plain,
‘Hungry and fierce with deeds of huge desire.’

Grimly he thought of Abel, soft and fair—
A lover with disaster in his face,
And scarlet blossom twisted in bright hair.
‘Afraid to fight; was murder more disgrace?...
‘God always hated Cain’ ... He bowed his head—
The gaunt wild man whose lovely sons were dead.

Siegfried Sassoon, 1920

Cain and Abel, Gaetano Gandolfi (1734-1802)


dissed said...

Beautiful. Heartbreaking.

BitterGrace said...

Sassoon was a wonderful poet. A shame he's not read much anymore.