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"Scatter the horror"

The last post from George MacDonald's "The Haunted House"...

IX. Is there no help--none anywhere,
Under the earth, or above the air?
--Come, come, sad woman, whose tender throat
Has a red-lipped mouth that can sing no note!
Child, whose midwife, the third grim Fate,
Shears in hand, thy coming did wait!
Father, with blood-bedabbled hair!
Mother, all withered with love's despair!
Come, broken heart, whatever thou be,
Hasten to help this misery!
Thou wast only murdered, or left forlorn;
He is a horror, a hate, a scorn!
Come, if out of the holiest blue
That the sapphire throne shines through;
For pity come, though thy fair feet stand
Next to the elder-band;
Fling thy harp on the hyaline,
Hurry thee down the spheres divine;
Come, and drive those ravens away;
Cover his eyes from the pitiless moon;
Shadow his brain from her stinging spray;
Droop around him, a tent of love,
An odour of grace, a fanning dove;
Walk through the house with the healing tune
Of gentle footsteps; banish the shape
Remorse calls up, thyself to ape;
Comfort him, dear, with pardon sweet;
Cool his heart from its burning heat
With the water of life that lakes the feet
Of the throne of God, and the holy street.


X. O God, he is but a living blot,
Yet he lives by thee--for if thou wast not,
They would vanish together, self-forgot,
He and his crime:--one breathing blown
Stronger than anguish, deeper than sin?

XI. Why do I tremble, a creature at bay!
'Tis but a dream--I drive it away.
Back comes my breath, and my heart again
Pumps the red blood to my fainting brain
Released from the nightmare's nine-fold train;
God is in heaven--yes, everywhere;
And Love, the all-shining, will kill Despair.
To the wall's blank eyeless space
I turn the picture's face.

XII. But why is the moon so bare, up there?
And why is she so white?
And why does the moon so stare, up there--
Strangely stare, out of the night?
Why stand up the poplars
That still way?
And why do those two of them
Start astray?
And out of the black why hangs the gray?
W hy does it hang down so, I say,
Over what house, like a fringed pall
Where the dead goes by in a funeral?
--Soul of mine,
Thou the reason canst divine:--
Into thee the moon doth stare
With pallid, terror-smitten air:
Thou, and the Horror lonely-stark,
Outcast of eternal dark,
Are in nature same and one,
And thy story is not done!
So let the picture face thee from the wall,
And let its white moon stare.

The End.


from "The Haunted House" by George MacDonald

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
fungus_files
Oct. 22nd, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
I know you're as busy as a busy thing right now, A, and just wanted to say that I've loved catching up on your October postings. Most excellent fun and even lots of brain food (amazing - fun AND learning! :P ).

With pallid, terror-smitten air

That sounds like me at the top of the Duomo dome in Florence. It feels v odd to be discovering a fear of heights at 35. Perhaps the notion of mortality is only just now getting into this thick head of mind.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 24th, 2005 12:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO much for checking out the Halloween-fest! :) I haven't been anywhere high recently - I sort of wonder if maybe I transferred my fear to you somehow via cyberspace! I've always had a terror of heights, which led to some funny (in retrospect, not at the time) moments when we were having our house built, and the contractors wanted me to check out things on the second floor, when the staircase was only roughed out and there was no handrail. My knees locked and I couldn't move. Pathetic, eh? I fly by sitting away from the window and willing myself to believe temporarily that I'm on a train. LOL.
fungus_files
Oct. 25th, 2005 07:04 am (UTC)
I couldn't believe how sweaty-palmed and inching-along-the-wall I was in that cathedral. I've never been that bad before, or I get over it in a few moments. this time, man, the phobia was there to stay!

and I find it deliciously silly that we can both be terrified of heights and fly around in as many hollow metal tubes as we do. my partner was telling me about a recent episode of mythbusters where they were testing out whether the brace position on planes would really help in a crash...does he not know the meaning of the phrase "feeding one's fears"?!
melissagay
Oct. 23rd, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, jeez! That's just horrifying! Er, nice job. :)

Wish I'd gotten to see you more this weekend. o babysitter, yet again, and Brendan is not what you'd classify as a calm child who can sit through a presentation without trying to help. ;-)
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 24th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! I'm so sorry I didn't get to see more of you, but soon! :) Thanks so much for the hand-off, by the way. :) It was good to see Brendan for a moment, too - that handsome young lad is getting so grown up!
vaklam
Oct. 23rd, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC)
Nice poem. I've really enjoyed reading it. And to think I'd never even heard of the poet.

It was great seeing you briefly this weekend. I wish Melissa and I could have both seen the presentation but, as she said above, our boy is what the childcare books call "spirited". =)

Well, at least he's fun to hang out with.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 24th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
We need more "spirited" people in this world. It was great to see him - and you! Thanks so much for coming by the presentation, too. I really appreciate it.

I'm so glad to hear you liked the poem! Halloween rules!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )