Friday, October 27, 2017

The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse), Albert Pinkham Ryder, Sonnet #376

Here the devil Death exults
(Pale horse drums the circle),
Flays the exhausted beast
With the flat of a scythe.
The racetrack's bet results
A dusty miracle:
Riding from west to east
The new dead cry and writhe.
The race they run is bound
By broken wooden fence,
Gray, imperfectly round,
And guarded by serpents.
All search for the end sign,
But there’s no finish line.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

St. Michael (Raphael), Sonnet #375

St. George wounded his dragon with a lance
Then harnessed it with a lady’s girdle.
He slew the beast to force an alliance
Of the faithful; its blood did not curdle.
A spring of healing water spurt instead.
Some say death is evil, but evil’s dead —
Michael dispatched the devils with a sword,
Detachment in his face, without a word.
Today, evil walks this world with big eyes,
With boots of lambskin and silken drawers,
Laughing with untruths while telling no lies,
Without even a passion for lawyers.
Save us, Michael Archangel, from ourselves,
Haul back hiding Satan from where he delves.