Hymn to Kerberos

Cerberus 1824-7 by William Blake 1757-1827

O black-wingéd carrion
Serpent-maned lord
O mist-cloaked companion
Guideth thine horde

Star-gleamed are thine muzzles
And nail-sharp thine teeth
O Three-headed bloodhound
Who dwells underneath
Where Hecate’s torches
Illumine thy sight
Till pale moon of Juno
Doth brighten the Night.

O black-wingéd carrion
Tomb-thronéd lord
Orion’s companion
Guideth thine horde

Thy tongue laps the Waters
Of Acheron’s flow
Which guardeth the secrets
Of treasures below
Where gem-crusted caverns
Reflecteth the skies
Where all of us travel
When Death’s Raven flies

O black-wingéd carrion
Bone-crownéd lord
O Charon’s companion
Guideth thine horde

Insatiate eater
Of clay-curséd meats
Brought into the sunlight
By Herakles’ feats
To roam midst the people
In iron-clad binds
Thy breath a miasma
That troubled their minds

O black-wingéd carrion
Viper-tailed lord
O Orthros’ companion
Guideth thine horde

I offer a sweet cake
Of honey to thee
In thanks for the doorways
Thou openst for me
O glorious Cerb’rus
Of Sirius Star
And Scarab-jewelled Moonlight
No mortal can mar

O black-wingéd carrion
Sepulchre lord
O Hades’ companion
Guideth thine horde

Naberius

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

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And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down
And death shall have no dominion.

– Dylan Thomas

My Grave

 

Theodor_Kittelsen_-_Fattigmannen,_1894-95_(The_Pauper)
The Pauper – Theodor Kittelson

No, dear God, do not let me be deceased
under blankets and sheets
and at my bedside all that crying.
Let me be struck down one day unexpected
and fall in the forest someplace neglected,
where no one can find me while I lay dying.

As a son of the forest who knows it well,
it will not deny my humble request to dwell
at long last upon some mossy mound.
There will I give back to all its animals thus,
my great corpse without speeches or fuss,
and by the crows, the rats and flies so found.

Yes, I will host a grand meal when I am deceased
for those beaks and claws and teeth a feast,
for one and all a generous serving.
And from above a squirrel will look on askance
watching with eyes alert from his branch,
almost human eyes, so unnerving.

An ample portion for each to feed,
enough to satisfy an army in need
and at the table they pick me apart.
An eagle to strip my bones bare,
staying until no more is there,
and then with talons drawn in depart.

And into late evening and all night long
the glorious sounds of a corpse in song
as lovely as when bells are rung.
Then in tribute to me a final word,
from the owl herself it is heard,
hooted as a simple oath is sung.

When the little left of me the earth receives
and at dawn is hidden under a grave of leaves,
the end of this joyous night will be near.
My friends! I have fed you all! Goodbye!
— But all these leaves about me, why?
It must be the wind that swept them here.

– Knut Hamsun

(Translated by Moraline Free)

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The Plague on the Stairs