i’ve a mile hundred more to ride
and tunes to carry on—
stories mating soon as meet
the rain and falling song—
and i’ve a hundred mile more to write
the wedding hymn, the dirge
‘neath chutes of luting rain they come:
the dalliance and purge—
—but if i be song, and rain the stave,
what do i with a narkish knave—?
and when the silence breaches foes
do I dance like raindrops on their toes—?
and should the dark consume the light
ought i sing from dusk to night—?
what then if stave is stubborn sun
and rain no more has canvas won—?
oh tell me! chords whose friends convene
and tunes unravel in a fevered dream!
tell me! what the devil wants of me—
to pious prophet or a nothing be—?
tell me! whose untangled song must alway fly
from this unwitting minstrel’s ply—?
oh hell hath no greater fury
than words without a fire—
empty things that play for pleased,
that conjure from a lyre!
—but i’ve a mile hundred more to ride
and tunes to crest and wane,
give life to death and witness fine
the quiet Celt and thane.
what matter is a minstrel, me
in all these fearful fumes—?
I’m but a messenger alone, I am—
a troubadour and tunes.