For those who missed the first and second parts of Cubla Can, here are the links:
Cubla Can Part One:
Cubla Can Part Two:
Cubla Can Part Three
The siren song; it rose and fell, and soon was joined in
By many more such voices; those Christabel- sprites of Xanadu’s dream
Drawing Kubla Khan to them, like motes do a sunbeam
On the walls seemed etched a sea and in it he glimpsed a moving dolphin’s fin!
Towards the subterranean sea, the path began to broaden
And seemed to coalesce into his centrally-domed movable den!
Of the spirit of Genghis Khan was he
But what he sighted then made e’en his heart beat madly
There milled around in a melee the many sprites
Women leprous white and fair as snow-white doves
And some burnished copper, some pale-sunflower-hued
Some black as ebony, some brown as sweet rice-grain
The sun beat down strongly upon that sumptuous pleasure dome
It was August; the time for the annual sacrifice had come
None knew the ancient rites so well
As Kubla Khan, Heir of Genghis Khan’s secret spell.
He had to drink their breast milk and offer them his health
And change them to horses and mares to bring him his great wealth
Then would they be turned loose, no longer half-yfel sprites
To wander before his marauding armies
None would do them harm or drive the herd
Except that his fierce warriors and his word
Around them, once women-sprites, would keep a loose balustrade
To protect them, so the gods their chances in war would not erode.
The eighth and twentieth days of August were the omened days
Cubla Can saw I striding into the cavern’s ways
Saw him stirred, at the sight of all the women sprites
Knowing what awaited was pleasure and pain and lies
For the sake of the tribe he went through the rites
Strange were they and bizarre, but not entirely unliked
For he the honey dew of theirs
Had to gather in golden vessels blest
Later to carry out, with them
Who by then had turned to horses and mares.
In a drove they followed him
And his tribe, their manes flying proud in the wind.
His Magicians and Astrologers
Tell him where to scatter the milky dew
And his strong seed too, without further ado.
In the caves, the shimmering stones lie untouched
Till the next year, – till all again be fetched
Back to the dome and the blue wondrous ice
If all go well -, and Cubla Can and his men
And women and bairns and green plants and every growing thing
Get the blessing of the milk and dew and the seed now taken wing
So that they prosper like Timur – i – leng.
The horses mate with the mares and run swiftly, free
Their glossy backs glittering with sweat, like a starry sea
Like golden cornstalks in the wind bending their backs in glee
Mysterious, that in the fresh air of spring
They will turn back again to those nude, nubile things
In the movable dome and the white caverns of ice
And dreamily dance and plaintively sing
Amidst the shining stones and the green spiral rings
And the low’ring angels’ wings, for aye haunting my dreams.”
Thus spoke I to the damsel fair
Transfixing her with my ghostly eyes
And my gothic ha’nting tale
And not even once did she stir out of choice
Listening to my opium-trance memories and voice.
But when I let her go she cried
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.”