The Last Hero
The wind blew out from Bergen, from the dawning to the day
There was a wreck of trees, a fall of towers, a score of miles away
And drifted like a livid leaf I go before the tide
Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride
The heavens are bowed about my head, raging like seraph wars
With rains that might put out the sun, and rid the sky of stars
Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above
The roaring of the rains of God, none but the lonely love
Feast in my halls, O Foemen! O eat and drink and drain!
You never loved the sun in heaven, as I have loved the rain!
The tide of battle changes, so may all battle be
I stole my lady bride from them; they stole her back from me
As I wrenched her from her red roofed halls, I rose and saw arise
More lovely than the living flowers, the hatred in her eyes
She never loved me, never wept, never was less divine
And sunset never knew us, her world was never mine
Was it all for nothing that she stood, imperial in duresse
Silence itself made softer with the sweeping of her dress
O you who drain the cup of life! O You who wear the crown!
You never loved a woman's smile as I have loved her frown!
The wind blew out from Bergen to the dawning of the day
They ride and race with fifty spears to break and bar my way
I shall not die alone, alone, but kin to all the powers
As merry as the ancient sun, and fighting like the flowers!
How white their steel! How bright their eyes! I love each laughing knave
Cry high and bid him welcome to the banquet of the brave
Yea, I will bless them as they bend, and love them where they lie
When upon their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky
That hour when death is like a light, and blood is as a rose -
You never loved your friends, my friends, as I will love my foes!
Know you what you shall lose this night, what rich uncounted loans
What heavy gold of tales untold you bury with my bones
My loves in deep dim meadows, my ships that rode at ease
Ruffling the purple plumage of strange and secret seas
To see this fair earth as it stands, to me alone was given
The blow that breaks my brow tonight shall break the dome of heaven
The skies I saw, the trees I saw, after, no eye shall see
Tonight I die the death of God - the stars shall die with me!
One sound shall sunder all the spears, and break the trumpet's breath -
You never laughed in all your life, as I shall laugh in death!