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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


The Hanging Tree

Who is that hanging lifelessly in the shadow of the tree?
The glittering, twitching one -- that is me.
                       I pluck and give away my glistening eyes,
                       I am sly and sightless, but not blind,
                       Bold in this ghastly surrender, cruel but wise;
                       Red blood of the world stains my cunning mind.

Who is that swaying mercilessly on the tree?
The icy, fluttering one -- that is me.
                       My corpse is beckoning in the silver glare
                       Above pale crossroads running east and west;
                       Flickering ghostly men gather and stare,
                       I lead them by Death who guards my naked breast.

Who is that swinging ruthlessly from a branch of the tree?
The gasping, dancing one -- that is me.
                       Black carrion-birds are sweeping high and low,
                       Crouched in the writhing heart of Death;
                       I pluck in pitiless talon what men hope to know,
                       I see it in the mist of my breath.

Who is that twisting ceaselessly on the tree?
The laughing, bloodless one -- that is me.
                       I cut the strangling rope and sink in the dark,
                       Burnt in Death till his power is robbed of flame;
                       On the border I am branded by the death-mark,
                       Dread prophecy gushes through my name.

Cameron La Follette

- License: This poem may be freely distributed, provided
it remains unchanged, including copyright notice and this License -

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