Sing, Heart, a gay song,
Before my knees give way and I grovel;
Before I break my own rein,
And the eyes of those that love me
See me a coward, and fill with ice, despising!
'Shut the door behind you tight,
There's no returning.
In memory your tears will flow
For home's peace yearning.
Pretend you have no mother,
No soft-eyed love,
Pretend you hate your brother
...O, Christ above...
Forget that hedgerows shelter lambs,
That clover stems are sweet,
Forget you plucked her cowslips
Where other lovers meet.'
'Sing, Heart! Quickly, sing loudly
Some song to take from me this fear;
Take hold of this blade, and drag it,
Drag it by chorus and joke, ruthlessly,
Before it kills me, from my naked heart.
'Laugh and sing, laugh and sing,
Laugh and sing at anything,
Laugh till you close your eyes with mirth.
This your only rest on earth -
Learn to laugh until you're blind,
And then the Fear that lurks behind
Will not be seen, will not be known,
Until you meet, unarmed, alone.
He who stops laughing and opens his eyes
Meets Death ten times before he dies.'
Give me a song, Heart, to sing loudly;
Something bold and without meaning,
Like a drum, like a drum, like a drum.
Sing quickly, Heart, in a strong voice
Before it is too late and my lips tremble,
A gay song, careless and free, powerful, blind,
Like a swinging, booted, marching-step,
Full of unthinking machine-courage,
Like a boot, shining and heavy, unfeeling, thick.
I looked at Heart, the hot tears through,
And saw that Heart was crying too.