"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiger, tiger, with apologies to William Blake

Sorry William, this is too good to pass up.

By Terry M. Clark

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
Tiger, tiger, such a fright
In the forests of the night,
In the rooms of the night
What immortal hand or eye
What immoral hand and eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Could ruin thy stupid vanity?
In what distant deeps or skies
On what distant greens and thighs
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
Burnt the lust of thine lies?
On what winds dare he aspire?
On what putts did you then sire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
What the hand playing with fire?
And what shoulder and what art
And what flesh and what tart
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
Could shank the trust for a start?
And when they heart began to beat,
And when thy wood began to heat
What dread hand and what dread feet?
What dread sheet and what dread meat?
What the hammer? What the chain?
What the par? What the claim?
In what furnace was thy brain?
In what hole was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
What the bed? What dread gasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp
Dare its costly comings rasp?
When the stars threw down their spears
When the star threw down his beers
And water'd heaven with their tears
And water'd wenches with his leers,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did he come so he could be?
Did He who made the lamb make there?
Did he who made one maid, make three?

Tiger, tiger, what a fright
Would that your wood would see the light?
What blonde wife would not cry?
What part of thee she'd like to fry!

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