Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 3)

Desert Ships

The desert ships in file
Drawn by the comet's tail
As if it were a sail
Pad over waves of shale
As if God speeds them well.

What strangers bear
These cargoes rich and rare
Bought with craft and fear,
All death and fire,
In taverns drear?

A brooding king enquires
Of these strange seers,
Enforced ambassadors,
The fate of his desires
And half-known fears.

     Oh! the relief of worship,
     The fear of the return!

Unplighted troth
Unleashes murderous wrath:
Blood on the exile path:
Childless as Ruth,
They wait a higher truth.