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Dagonet Makes a Song for the King

Ay, ay O ay, if love be lean in the halls of the jewelled years,
Why set a dish of blood for the King, spiced with wine and tears.
     Let honor fly to the Witch's Moon,
     While Death comes by on velvet shoon,
Ay, ay O ay, men laugh at fools when wisdom disappears.

Ay, ay O ay, red lips are salt, and the silver cups hang low.
The world strains hard at a leash of hate, where green song-fountains flow.
     Throw dreams for dust in the Jester's eyes,
     Love walks in a Fool's proud paradise,
Ay, ay O ay, if death be life, then all things dead men know.

Ay, ay O ay, in a cloud of prayers time swings to a hidden key.
A glad today means a sad tomorrow, but the worm picks out its tree.
     The stars are woven of angels' hair –
     Good friends are few, O King, beware!
Ay, ay O ay, for a morsel of truth, and the Lord-God pity me!
Additional Information:
Poem first printed in 1923 in Voices.