A Lesson In Vengeance- Sylvia Plath


In the dour ages

Of drafty cells and draftier castles,

Of dragons breathing without the frame of fables,

Saint and king unfisted obstruction’s knuckles

By no miracle or majestic means,

But by such abuses

As smack of spite and the overscrupulous

Twisting of thumbscrews: one soul tied in sinews,

One white horse drowned, and all the unconquered pinnacles

Of God’s city and Babylon’s

Must wait, while here Suso’s

Hand hones his tack and needles,

Scouraging to sores his own red sluices

For the relish of heaven, relentless, dousing with prickles

Of horsehair and lice his horny loins;

While there irate Cyrus

Squanders a summer and the brawn of his heroes

To rebuke the horse-swallowing River Gyndes:

He split it into three hundred and sixty trickles

A girl could wade without wetting her shins.

Still, latter-day sages,

Smiling at this behavior, subjugating their enemies

Neatly, nicely, by disbelief or bridges,

Never grip, as the grandsires did, that devil who chuckles

From grain of the marrow and the river-bed grains



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