On a story I liked

No critics’ pens or dialogue,

But Dawn awakes a script well-born,

And prompts these lines to speak us well,

Beneath the Sun’s unsweetened stones.

The Story

Then Hero and Leander dwelt where always humans tend to do,

above the waters of the shore in a land called Timbuktu,

They wandered in the darkness near the sands that are called Kalazoo,

Until their hands were separate and so their minds became confused,

Said Leander to his lover Hero,

Where in the world can I find you?

For darkness has come over us,

Where art thou now my love so true?

Then Hero faintly cried aloud,

In swoons and cries of slack halloa,

Alas my love Leander! what didst thou do,

To turn aside in caracoles from everything we once thought true,

The path we walked upon forsooth got slippery alas we knew,

And now we walk beside the edge of waters that are deep and blue,

If we should slip and sink and fall,

No Hero’s help could ever do,

Or snatch us from Catastrophe and all that It befalls us do,

Now sing aloud above the night,

and darkness which is falling down,

so I may follow your sweet song and be nearby your Love and you,

And then at once the silence broke and all the woods that once were stilled,

it fell on them just like a doom upon the judgment day to come,

Then young Leander sang no more,

But fateful gurgling soon was heard,

It spilled into the wood and skies within the splendored grove below,

Brave Hero ran to meet the sound and reaching found her lover’s hand,

It was in her love Leander’s grasp

Now weak and desperate heavenward,

too late to reach the drowning hand now pointing up to catch the stars,

And as his grip released at last from Hero’s loving hold and palm,

Into the waters never seen Leander made his grave laid down.

Remember now when on this day you walk so blithely with your love,

What woods are these you walk among,

What waters are close by these groves,

It is the grave where Leander lies

unseen as yet by human eyes.

-Albert Turner Goins


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