Robert Stein

Scotland Dead

The ratchety raven comes and caws
Its plaintive mother-seeking note
I stamp my feet to shoo. In my craw
The names of two dreary, long-fingered English Lords
Of such rank and note
I thought it a crime against the blood to fail .

What is there left?
My portrait Mary, Our Victorious Queen ?
A scant pibroch with the sea's shadow-black drone.
So is this the resting music before I'm gone
A piper's tripping dance against a ground?
I want the moment, I want
The white dagger and beyond.
I want the stars to press
The gates open, the crowd agape
Against what I have made of my distress,
Agape and astonished, waiting for the word.
Then slice and crash!

All wealth and gold spilled.
Pierce me again in the sleet-battered shower.
I dash through the castle,
I hurtle through plumes doffed in grave respect
I am crowned with blood.
I do this, I do this,
See me this once shimmer among the elect.


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