Poems— Volume 2

Contents:
Author: George Meredith

XV

Passion on one hand, on one,
Destiny led forth the Hun.
Heard ye outcries of affright,
Voices that through many a fray,
In the press of flag and spear,
Warned the king of peril near?
Men were dumb, they gave him way,
Eager heads to left and right,
Like the bearded standard, thrust,
As in battle, for a nod
From their lord of battle-dust.
Attila, my Attila!
Slow between the lines he trod.
Saw ye not the sun drop slow
On this nuptial day, ere eve
Pierced him on the couch aglow?
Attila, my Attila!
Here and there his heart would cleave
Clotted memory for a space:
Some stout chief’s familiar face,
Choicest of his fighting brood,
Touched him, as ’twere one to know
Ere he met his bride’s embrace.
Attila, my Attila!
Twisting fingers in a beard
Scant as winter underwood,
With a narrowed eye he peered;
Like the sunset’s graver red
Up old pine-stems. Grave he stood
Eyeing them on whom was shed
Burning light from him alone.
Attila, my Attila!
Red were they whose mouths recalled
Where the slaughter mounted high,
High on it, o’er earth appalled,
He; heaven’s finger in their sight
Raising him on waves of dead,
Up to heaven his trumpets blown.
O for the time when God’s delight
Crowned the head of Attila!
Hungry river of the crag
Stretching hands for earth he came:
Force and Speed astride his name
Pointed back to spear and flag.
He came out of miracle cloud,
Lightning-swift and spectre-lean.
Now those days are in a shroud:
Have him to his ghostly queen.
Make the bed for Attila!

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Chicago: George Meredith, "XV," Poems— Volume 2, ed. Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Poems—Volume 2 (New York: George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892), Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L29SBFQ1CSU6V96.

MLA: Meredith, George. "XV." Poems— Volume 2, edited by Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Poems—Volume 2, New York, George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L29SBFQ1CSU6V96.

Harvard: Meredith, G, 'XV' in Poems— Volume 2, ed. and trans. . cited in ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Poems—Volume 2, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L29SBFQ1CSU6V96.