Treasure Island

George Borrow

(1803-1881 / England)

Madness


What darkens, what darkens?—’t is heaven’s high roof:
What lightens?—’t is Heckla’s flame, shooting aloof:
The proud, the majestic, the rugged old Thor,
The mightiest giant the North ever saw,
Transform’d to a mountain, stands there in the field,
With ice for his corslet, and rock for his shield;
With thunder for voice, and with fire for tongue,
He stands there, so frightful, with vapour o’erhung.
On that other side of the boisterous sea
Black Vulcan, as haughty as ever was he,
Stands, chang’d to a mountain, call’d Etna by name,
Which belches continually oceans of flame.
Much blood have they spilt, and much harm have they done,
For both, when the ancient religions were gone,
Combin’d their wild strength to destroy the new race,
Who were boldly beginning their shrines to deface.
O, Jesus of Nazareth, draw forth the blade
Of vengeance, and speed to thy worshippers’ aid;
Beat down the old gods, cut asunder their mail—
Amen!—brother Christians, why look ye so pale.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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