by Michael Fantina


Come now svelte haunter,
Come prancing, saunter,
Though I grow gaunter
With each dark tryst.
Nothing will daunt her,
This flagrant flaunter
This Siren taunter,
By many kissed.
Now I will haunt her,
Perhaps will daunt her,
Then I will taunt her
Through fog and mist.
So ghostly and gaunter
No lover may daunt her,
She is but vapor cool breezes twist.


"Yes," I said, "I'll love you eternally,
Until the Sun dies out and then grows cold
Or till the drowned rise from the Zuider Zee."

Indeed I do await you breathlessly,
And gladly wait until the meek grow bold.
"Yes," I said, "I'll love you eternally."

And I pursue your love relentlessly,
Climb Heaven's tapestry bright fold on fold,
Or till the drowned rise from the Zuider Zee.

Upon a barge we'd dream so listlessly,
A river barge laid out in whitest gold.
"Yes," I said, "I'll love you eternally."

"I love you, yes, though not hysterically,
Wait till all prophecies have been foretold,
Or till the drowned rise from the Zuider Zee."

And if I die beneath the raging sea,
Where titan waves a thousand years have rolled.
"Yes," I said, "I'll love you eternally,
Or till the drowned rise from the Zuider Zee."


Here on oak branches drifting,
I sit, the sorcerer's spy,
My bird eyes looking, sifting
What lies beneath the sky.
He's charged me now to find her,
To see her, view her, mind her,
He claims her love is kinder,
Her love is not a lie.

Across pools near the palace,
Under the aspens in Spring,
Offered a silver chalice,
As well as a golden ring.
Who is it who now holds her,
Kisses, touches and scolds her ,
Loves her and grooms her, molds her,
So this bird will not sing?

Sweet talk of new tomorrows,
Comes between sigh and a kiss,
Their love will banish sorrows,
Lead to eternal bliss.
My mage will die in knowing,
That days of love spent sowing,
Are dead as chill gales blowing.
Ah, death must be like this!

Her hair like crimson billows,
Like tides from her regal head,
Her lover she now pillows
In combers of flaming red.
My heart recoils with chilling,
With dread at this base killing,
Of love once sweet and willing,
Now fickle love and dead.

I fly as the clouds move faster,
Land by her sandaled feet,
Here I can sense disaster
Ah, love, so bittersweet!
Rose leaves she plucks, is piling
While cooing, laughing, smiling,
Her face is so beguiling,
Here where we two now meet.

Up from the grass I hover.
"Winged friend, I know who you are,
Eyes of my jilted lover
Whose soul is as black as tar.
So now be done with spying,
With hiding, flitting, prying,
For I am done with lying,
All that may hurt or mar."

"How I hate you golden bird!
Fly back to your master's place,
Then squawk out each telling word,
Kill us and our hearts erase.
These shells he will dismember,
In some cold dark December,
In hopes that none remember
Death cannot Love efface..."

Past long enshrouded islets,
Where there dwells no witch or mage,
We sailed with rebel pilots,
Beyond vengeance and his rage.
New worlds we will discover,
Small bird and man and lover,
Where I yet sing and hover,
Quite happy in my cage.

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