When Man rose up out of the red mountains
Of which Man was made
A giant ribbed out of the red mountains
Reared and displayed.
Of him was not posterity nor parent
Future or past
But the sun beheld him for a beauteous monster
The first and last.
When God arose upon the red mountains
Man had fallen prone
Flat and flung wide like a continent, capes and headlands,
The vast limbs thrown.
And the Lord lamented over Man, saying “Never
Shall there be but one
For no man born shall be mighty as he was mighty
To amaze the sun.
“Not till I put upon me the red armour
That was man's clay
And walk the world with the mask of man for a vizor
Not till that day.
For on God alone shall the image of God be graven
Which Adam wore
Seeing I alone can lift up this load of ruin
To walk once more.”
But the Lord looked down on the beauty of Woman shattered,
A fallen sky,
Crying “O crown and wonder and world's desire”.
Shall this too die?
Lo, it repenteth me that this too is taken;
I will repay,
I will repair and repeat of the ancient pattern
Even in this clay.
“And this alone out of all things fallen and formless
I will form anew,
And this red lily of all the uprooted garden
Plant where it grew,
That the dear dead thing that was all and only a woman
Without stain or scar
Rise, fallen no more with Lucifer Son of Morning,
The Morning Star.”
The cloud came down upon the red mountains
Long since untrod,
Red quarries of incredible creation
Red mines of God.
And a dwarfed and dwindled race in the dark red deserts
Stumbled and strayed,
While one in the mortal shape that was once for immortals
Made, was remade.
Till a face looked forth from a window in one white daybreak
Small streets above
As the face of the first love of our first father,
The world's first love.
And men looked up at the woman made for the morning
When the stars were young,
For whom, more rude than a beggar's rhyme in the gutter,
These songs are sung.