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Experiment 4


page 4


Some kinder season when magnolia
Burdened the tree limbs we all set foot
On these Arcadian shores, glad to be here,
But the hopes we sowed in that season have not taken root.

After a time those who were here before us,
Who cannot understand our love for the mountains,
Came in the night and spilled the blood of our lambs,
And now they would turn us out in the winter rains.

What are we to do, oh what can we do,
For our children are crying, faces chapped by the wind,
And the ground beneath the hedges is heavy with snowdrift
And no other country comes in to the heart and mind?

Are we to loiter chill by the winter roadside
Crouched by our shattered cartwheel damp and numb,
Murmuring empty prayers to the iron earth
At each stopping of breath and stiffening of limb?

We must do this, or creep away in the darkness
With no farewell for friend nor snatch of a song
To warm us on our way, and with unwilling feet
Trudge after a broken king.