The hands about his brow and jaw, the smear
Of dirt and spittle pasted on his eyes
Came to him in the darkness: also, fear
That after all the failures, no surprise
Could visit him, no magus usher in
The blessed light of which his mother spoke
As if it had the potency to win
A world that should without it go to smoke.
Obedient, he fumbled to the pool,
Heart in his mouth, and washed the stuff away,
Kneeling in shelter. And began to mewl,
Big-boned as he was, to find the day
Open around him, the people strange and tall,
The musing healer up against the wall.
The Gossip & The Wine