VOLUME I NO. 5 JUNE, 1944
When the one-eyed man appeared at the door and stopped
The hiccuping feast, and some guests dropped
Meat in the salt pr to the waiting dogs,
And the king opened astounded mouth but did not invite,
And each sword shook on the wall
And the fiddles died in the music stall,
What did those large-fisted heroes think?
Who offered sacred welcome, and the first drink?
Their feet stirred the dogs, and their minds stirred
Before the one-eyed man in the cape had spoken a word.
Now did they guess, in their stupid, muscular way.
What rich horizon suddenly lay
In that sealed eye? And staring, did they find
That they, with two eyes apiece were blind,
While he, in his grey, single-knowing bull's eye look
Had already replaced their swords with a book,
Had rusted their armor, neglected the hardened thigh
And put their savage rewardable virtues by?
Did they guess from his widening iris that hordes
Of their cultured descendents, clever, affectionate, bored,
Hesitant soldiers made sad by conscripted heroics,
Ambitious of God yet accepting death as mere stoics,
Did they guess that those children, in spite of faltering hearts
Would construct a meaningful universe out of meaningless parts?
Did they guess? And was culture a too painful gift
That they did not immediately lift
The cup of welcome and praise the bringer?
Illiterate, rough-skinned, did they linger
Safe in barbarity, leaning
Away from the door and the one-eyed man and his meaning?
He had one good eye
For looking above, below, where real things lie,
But behind the dropped lid
What sky lay hid?
Then the dogs barked, the men rose
With the king's voice they chose
A place of honor and brought a full cup,
Then filled their own and drank up.