Patrick Kavanagh

Untitled (The world seeks to destroy)

The world seeks to destroy 
That serenity
The moralising sphinx
That is never softened by drinks
That seems so near and yet
Far away as a sunset
That seems as sweetly kind
As a loving woman's mind
Exciting the lust of power
Break the neck and remove the flower
And claws reach out - then voices
Scream helpless prejudices
At the monstrous chaste unchaste
In a veil of mystery cased.

Questions roar in the road
Tell us are you God
And the smile that is queerly obscene
Sneaks near the serene
Watching an opening to touch
That which they fear so much
Which if 'twere destroyed their fame
Would not be an inner shame
In failure's desperation
They swear by the sacred nation
Or as fans of a football team
Organised to defeat the dream
And the devil their master driver
Without mercy their baseless lives.

And the serene with its pity close hidden
Laments for the forbidden
Who cannot for worldliness see
The Mosaic wand on the tree
Humility that makes the rock spout
Bloody tears from Compassion's redoubt
On his face he would lie this erstwhile
Sphinx of remoteness and guile
Beg of the earth for permission
To act - like a muscular Christian
Let the world know
He's not to be trifled with so.
No more to be dedicated,
Aloof, alone, hated.
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