Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LILITH, by HARRY HIBBARD KEMP



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LILITH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The fiercest demon-shape in hell / was lilith fell
Last Line: To save a world once more!
Subject(s): Adam & Eve; Bible; Fables; Lilith; Eve; Allegories


THE fiercest Demon-Shape in hell
Was Lilith fell,
Was Lilith fell,
Which rose a sudden dream to tell the dusk Lord Lucifer.
"I saw" ('twas said) "From heaven late
In golden state
Thro' star-hinged gate
The servants of the God I hate
Down into Chaos stir.

I deem that He would make a world,
Another world,
(His millionth world)
(Red lips in demon-laughter curled)
Thus at our Fall He planned.
"Then give me Form again" ('twas prayed)
"Wherewith to invade
Its garden-shade—'
Then leaped the demon to a maid
Beneath satanic wand!

So Lilith once more went the ways,
The rose-red ways,
The golden ways ...
She scorned like Eve to drop her days full ripe in Adam's hand.
Her every laugh was Adam's snare,
And, unaware,
Her whims he bare ...
In a gold fowling net of hair
She caught him, strand on strand.

Like to the ligure were her eyes,
Her prescient eyes,
Her subtle eyes,
Which, young for ten eternities, on former worlds had wooed.
Adam she taught forbidden lore
And what of yore
In love she bore
On many a weïrd world before
And Eden-solitude.

And so God made Eve to be born
(First woman born,
And strangely born—
From a man's writhen body torn)
He said, "Now it shall be
That Eve will Adam save from her
Whose dropping myrrh
Of speech doth stir
His soul within him to defer
In that which pleaseth me."

(Already had the war begun,
Dread war begun,
Dire war begun
Between the Serpent and the Son, for other worlds afar
Had felt the dreadful thing creep in
And ancient sin
Had set its gin
To trap Edenic souls therein
On many a passèd star.

And as the night pursues the day,
The orient day,
The risen day,
The Hosts of Hell for aye and aye followed the feet of God ...
Where He world-specked the Infinite
As locusts flit
In swarms they lit
And bit, and cankered where they bit,
And shore of herb his sod.
And to each world the Christ came down,
From heaven came down,
From God came down,
With miracles of great renown to disconcert the Wise—
Ten thousand times was crucified,
And groaned and died,
With spear-pierced side,
To ope the gates of heaven wide
And thwart the Prince of Lies)

So, tho' that Eve were white and fair,
Most lily fair,
Most starry-fair,
Adam yet dreamed of Lilith's hair, yea, being Sire of men,
He yearned for her small kissèd face,
And her embrace
Of elder days
Made all that leafy garden-place
Seem now a noisome fen.

Still ... God's great soul-faith doth not fail! ...
(Tho' old the tale
It did not fail) ...
His seraphs thro' the starry hail again Christ's galleon oar,
And once more must the God-Man die,
Must leave the sky,
Be nailed on high,
Must know afresh old agony—
To save a world once more!





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