Enchiridion XVIII


When a raven happens to croak unluckily, be not overcome by appearances, but discriminate and say, “Nothing is portended to me, either to my paltry body, or property, or reputation, or children, or wife. But to me all portents are lucky if I will. For whatsoever happens, it belongs to me to derive advantage therefrom.”


          The men of the East may spell the stars,
          And times and triumphs mark,
           But the 
men signed of the cross of Christ
           Go gaily in the dark.

          "The men of the East may search the scrolls
           For sure fates and fame,
          But the men that drink the blood of God
          Go singing to their shame.

          "The wise men know what wicked things
         Are written on the sky,
         They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
         Hearing the heavy purple wings
         Where the forgotten seraph kings
          Still plot how God shall die.

          "The wise men know all evil things
          Under the twisted trees,
          Where the perverse in pleasure pine 
         And men are weary of green wine 
         And sick of crimson seas.

          "But you and all the kind of Christ         
          Are ignorant and brave,
          And you have wars you hardly win
          And souls you hardly save.

          "I tell you naught for your comfort,
          Yea, naught for your desire,
          Save that the sky grows darker yet
          And the sea rises higher.

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