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HENRY BESTON "The Outermost House" - 1928

"We need a newer and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical sense of the animal.  Remote from Universal Nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization regards the animals through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby, a feather greatly magnified and the whole image in distortion.  We patronize them for their incompleteness, their tragic fate of having been formed so far below ourselves; and thereby we err.

"For they shall not be measured by man...  In a world older than ours, they move more finished and complete, gifted with senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.  They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are Other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."

(This beautiful sentiment was the prime inspiration for the novel "Other Nations" by T and P Marsh). 

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MATTHEW ARNOLD - FOUR POEMS 1822-1888 (Poems 1 & 2 are very HPLian)

1. The Forsaken Merman

Come, dear children, let us away;
Down and away below!
Now my brothers call from the bay,
Now the great winds shoreward blow,
Now the salt tides seaward flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
Children dear, let us away!
This way, this way!

Call her once before you go -
Call once yet!
In a voice that she will know:
'Margaret! Margaret!'
Children's voices should be dear
(Call once more) to a mother's ear;
Children's voices, wild with pain -
Surely she will come again!
Call her once and come away;
This way, this way!
'Mother dear, we cannot stay!
The wild white horses foam and fret.'
Margaret! Margaret!

Come, dear children, come away down;
Call no more!
One last look at the white-walled town,
And the little grey church on the windy shore;
Then come down!
She will not come though you call all day;
Come away, come away!

Children dear, was it yesterday
We heard the sweet bells over the bay?
In the caverns where we lay,
Through the surf and through the swell,
The far-off sound of a silver bell?
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,
Where the winds are all asleep;
Where the spent lights quiver and gleam,
Where the salt weed sways in the stream,
Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round,
Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground;
Where the sea-snakes coil and twine,
Dry their mail and bask in the brine;
Where great whales come sailing by,
Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
Round the world for ever and aye?
When did music come this way?
Children dear, was it yesterday?

Children dear, was it yesterday
(Call yet once) that she went away?
Once she sate with you and me,
On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,
And the youngest sate on her knee.
She combed its bright hair, and she tended it well,
When down swung the sound of a far-off bell.
She sighed, she looked up through the clear green sea;
She said: 'I must go, for my kinsfolk pray
In the little grey church on the shore today.
'Twill be Easter-time in the world -ah me!
And I lose my poor soul, Merman! here with thee.'
I said: 'Go up, dear heart, through the waves;
Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves!'
She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay.
Children dear, was it yesterday?

Children dear, were we long alone?
'The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan;
Long prayers,' I said, 'in the world they say;
Come,' I said; and we rose through the surf in the bay.
We went up the beach, by the sandy down
Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-walled town;
Through the narrow paved streets, where all was still,
To the little grey church on the windy hill.
From the church came a murmur of folk at their prayers,
But we stood without in the cold blowing airs.
We climbed on the graves, on the stones worn with rains,
And we gazed up the aisle through the small leaded panes.
She sate by the pillar; we saw her clear:
'Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here!
Dear heart,' I said, 'we are long alone;
The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.'
But, ah, she gave me never a look,
For her eyes we sealed to the holy book!
Loud prays the priest; shut stands the door.
Come away, children, call no more!

Come away, come down, call no more!
Down, down, down!
Down to the depths of the sea!
She sits at her wheel in the humming town,
Singing most joyfully.
Hark, what she sings: 'O joy, O joy,
For the humming street, and the child with its toy!
For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well;
For the wheel where I spun,
And the blessed light of the sun!'
And so she sings her fill,
Singing most joyfully,
Till the shuttle drops from her hand,
And the whizzing wheel stands still.
She steals to the window, and looks at the sand,
And over the sand at the sea;
And her eyes are set in a stare;
And anon there breaks a sigh,
And anon there drops a tear,
From a sorrow-clouded eye,
And a heart sorrow-laden,
A long, long sigh;
For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaiden,
And the gleam of her golden hair.

Come away, away children;
Come children, come down!
The hoarse wind blows coldly;
Lights shine in the town.
She will start from her slumber
When gusts shake the door;
She will hear the winds howling,
Will hear the waves roar.
We shall see, while above us
The waves roar and whirl,
A ceiling of amber,
A pavement of pearl,
Singing: 'Here came a mortal,
But faithless was she!
And alone dwell for ever
The kings of the sea.'

But, children, at midnight,
When soft the winds blow,
When clear fall the moonlight,
When spring-tides are low;
When sweet airs come seaward
From heaths starred with broom,
And high rocks throw mildly
On the blanched sands a gloom;
Up the still, glistening beaches,
Up the creeks we will hie,
Over banks of bright seaweed
The ebb-tide leaves dry.
We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
At the white sleeping town;
At the church on the hillside -
And then come back down.
Singing: 'There dwells a loved one,
But cruel is she!
She left lonely for ever
The kings of the sea."

2. Reverie

Forest bound glens powdered lightly with moonlight
Retreat to my back.  I walk - it is midnight.

Wind blowing through moon-blanched land is sighing
As if to recall from whence it came flying.
Murmuring secluded as woodlands surrender
To low shapeless mounds, and sky decked in splendor:
Trillions of bright stars alone in the darkness
Suspended in time:  aloof, cold and voiceless.
Breaking the sky, stark, shining and bold:
The Barque of the Moon, a crescent of gold
Marked in its course, steers its way through the sky,
Adrift in the night:  a sky-ship on high.
Humming on winds, softly muffled through distance:
The Song of the Sea calls out in insistence.

Vanished the fields, now the sand becomes master;
The sky is refreshed, the wind rushes faster.
Waves crash to shore, and rejoicing in motion
Wantonly smite the edge of the ocean.
Surf roaring forth, swiftly thundering shoreward;
The path of the waves sends shells fleeing forward,
Cleaving a path and festooning its borders
In millions of patterns, but ever reorders:
Soon as the art that has settled on shore,
The artist returns and adds to them more.

Damp, heavy winds that now whistle across
An ancient rock jetty, in whitecaps awash.
Long is the jetty, its leeward protected
From wind, and from wave the moon is reflected.

On it I stand, while the ocean is dancing,
Its rhythm, steady, sets wavelets to prancing.
Bowels of the deep that lie black and forsaken
In fathomless sleep.  My dreams now awaken! 

Strange looking sea-creatures of phosphoric hue,
In darkness they pass in spectral review;
Coursing, cavorting, then gracefully hover
In ghostly repose, and glow to each other.

Oh! Sea of Faith - the dryland is weighted
With billions of forms who struggle unsated.
That you cast their forms, they do not remember,
Nor when they first crawled, and cast off your splendor.
Were you to reveal all that you have hidden, 
What treasures untold would awe the unbidden
Of depths far below, where teeming life started? 

What happened to those who stayed when we parted?
Where are they now, my lost kin of old? 
What are they now?  What shape?  What mold?
Cast forth from the sea, to change and to wander,
But what of the ones the seas did not squander?

Drifting in dreams, I then wake in your presence.
For eons you've dreamt, asleep in my essence.
I gaze at your sight. I move through your places.
I see through your eyes. I look on your faces.

Beckoned, I move on through mystic directions
Where color and form are fluid inflections,
Blending, unwinding, in whirling confusion,
Emotion a hue and thought an illusion;
Dream-landscape view of sights all ashimmer,
And light that refracts:  now brighter, now dimmer;
Ether of green where all sound seems to flow,
Where mood alters tone:  now high, now low; 
Afloat in a dome where all vision is wider;
The World is a sphere and life moves inside Her.

Strange clumps of hills that emerge from the shadow,
Give way to a view of forest and meadow,
Alien trees, all bizarre and fantastic,
As if formed from soft, pliant elastic,
Undersea woods all acrawl with your creatures
Of myriad shapes and sizes and features;
Coral and kelp and large star-fish, and glimmers
Of silvery hoards, that hover and shimmer.

Short stops the vision.  It quakingly lunges,
Is cleaved by a cliff, and dizzily plunges
To valleys below.  Far in the distance
A vision is glowing in gem-iridescence.

Look!  Strange shines a city with high minarets,
Magnificent streets, and bright parapets;
Towers and spires gilt in opalescent
Mother-of-pearl.  Self-luminescent,
Jewel-spangled sills, narrow columns uncounted,
Pavilions and shades, with precious stones mounted,
Golden patina, encircled by rainbow
Translucently fused, with sprinkles of moon-glow.
Watching the city that men never knew, 
A mountain-perched temple commands the view, 
'Neath its lone spire a crowd there assembling
Then takes up a chant, no language resembling.
Dimly discerning the phrases they say:
"Come away!  Let us away!" 

Rhythmically pounding from somewhere quite near -
In great heavy thuds I distinctly hear.
Blending, uniting in harmony surging,
The chant and the pounding take on a clear merging
Woven throughout the frail fabric of dreams.
But the Nature of Life is not as it seems.

"You fell asleep here?" the man queried tartly,
Tapping his cane, as he leered at me darkly. 
"Get away from me, man!" I hollered in fury.
Hobbling back down, he then left in a hurry.
I stood there 'til dawn had dusted the Heavens,
Hoping the vision my spirits would leaven -
And then walked away.

The link was withdrawn.
My soul cast in shadows:
The Reverie gone.

3. Dover Beach

The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; - on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

4. Isolation (OR To Margarit)

Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.

But when the moon their hollows lights,
And they are swept by balms of spring,
And in their glens, on starry nights,
The nightingales divinely sing;
And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
Across the sounds and channels pour -

Oh! then a longing like despair
Is to their farthest caverns sent;
For surely once, they feel we were
Parts of a single continent!
Now round us spreads the watery plain -
Oh, might our marges meet again!

Who ordered, that their longing's fire
Should be, as soon as kindled, cooled?
Who renders vain their deep desire?
A god, a god their severance ruled!
And bade betwixt their shores to be
The unplumbed, salt, estranging sea.

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Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?


I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb'd I would sing and say,
'Who is it loves me? who loves not me?'
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall
Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold
Springing alone
With a shrill inner sound
Over the throne
In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.


But at night I would wander away, away,
I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks,
And lightly vault from the throne and play
With the mermen in and out of the rocks;
We would run to and fro, and hide and seek,
On the broad sea-wolds in the crimson shells,
Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap
From the diamond-ledges that jut from the dells;
For I would not be kiss'd by all who would list
Of the bold merry mermen under the sea.
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea.
Then all the dry-pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft
Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,
All looking down for the love of me.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


Black loom the crags of the uplands behind me,
Dark are the sands of the far-stretching shore
Dim are the pathways and rocks that remind me
Sadly of years in the lost Nevermore.

Soft laps the ocean on wave-polished boulder;
Sweet is the sound and familiar to me,
Here with her head gently bent to my shoulder,
Walked I with Unda, the Bride of the Sea.

Bright was the morn of my youth when I met her.
Sweet was the breeze that blew in o'er the brine
Swift was I captured in love's strongest fetter.
Glad to be hers, and she glad to be mine.

Never a question asked I whence she wandered,
Never a question asked she of my birth:
Happy as children, we thought not nor pondered,
Glad with the bounty of ocean and earth.

Once when the moonlight played soft mid the billows,
High on the cliff o'er the waters we stood:
Bound was her hair with a garland of willows,
Plucked by the fount in the bird-haunted wood.

Strangely she gazed on the surges beneath her,
Charmed by the sound, or entranced by the light.
Then did the waves a wild aspect bequeath her,
Stern as the ocean and weird as the night.

Coldly she left me, astonished and weeping,
Standing alone mid the regions she blessed.
Down, ever downward, half gliding, half creeping,
Stole the sweet Unda in oceanward quest.

Calm grew the sea, and tumultuous beating
Turned to a ripple, as Unda the fair
Trod the wet sands in affectionate greeting,
Beckoned to me, and no longer was there!

Long did I pace by the banks where she vanished:
High climbed the moon, and descended again.
Gray broke the dawn till the sad night was banished,
Still ached my soul with its infinite pain.

All the wild world have I searched for my darling,
Scoured the far deserts and sailed distant seas.
Once on the wave while the tempest was snarling,
Flashed a fair face that brought quiet and ease.

Ever in restlessness onward I stumble,
Seeking and pining, scarce heeding my way;
Now have I strayed where the wide waters rumble,
Back to the scene of the lost yesterday.

Lo! The red moon from the ocean's low hazes
Rises in ominous grandeur to view;
Strange is its face as my tortured eye gazes
O'er the vast reaches of sparkle and blue.

Straight from the moon to the shore where I'm sighing
Grows a bright bridge made of wavelets and beams,
Frail may it be, yet how simple the trying;
Wandering from earth to the orb of sweet dreams.

What is yon face in the moonlight appearing;
Have I at last found the maiden that fled?
Out on the beam-bridge my footsteps are nearing
Her whose sweet beckoning hastens my tread.

Currents surround me, and drowsily swaying,
Far on the moon-path I seek the sweet face.
Eagerly hasting, half panting, half praying,
Forward I reach for the vision of grace.

Murmuring waters about me are closing,
Soft the sweet vision advances to me;
Done are my trials; my heart is reposing
Safe with my Unda, the Bride of the Sea.

(This song is put to music and is one of the songs on the CD or Audio Tape "Cthulhu Cultus Music" - available for $10 U.S. dollars, from P. Marsh, P.O.Box 85, Lehigh Acres, FL 33970-0085 USA.)

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