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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,
it remains unchanged, including copyright notice and this License -
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