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To still the wind, beware the child,
Though he in garments barely clad,
Bereft of tears, of conscient guilt
Quite innocent, makes promise plague;
Seems vainglory a very gain
To counteract the cataract appeared
In glaciers that, once-flawless planes,
Were flaunted as a certain guarantee
Of greed's achievement sheathed with flame.
Now grief in curtains quenches lust
And taints the salty tears with dust,
Taste traced in tracks that grapeless rack
The wine of ruin soured with age,
Whilst dreams of rhymers slow and stop
And schemes of wise men ever to the grave
Pass one foot for the other.
Yet the infant's painted spinning top,
Twisting remorseless towards centre stage,
Defies restraint, its colours blur
Beyond distinction; none may tell
Whether its course by malice or by spite
Is laid down, or by gossamer spell
Ensnared. Time, you capricious sprite!
Into your vortex belly mortals plunge,
Ignorant sacrifices – there is no escape
From the stolid, girdered Reason. Wait!
If an hour's a lifetime, why, it's all the same,
For we may wrap ourselves in chains
And war while demagogues declaim,
And blustering winds may buffet us too late.
composite by Stephen Alsford
adapting photos in public domain (clouds), and by Stephen Alsford (eye)

beware the child
photo: Stephen Alsford

Created: November 17, 2014. Last modified: July 22, 2015 © Stephen Alsford