A Haughty Aesthete, An Exile From Xanadu

I wandered into Xanadu,
Just to see if the pleasure’s true.
I drank the milk of paradise,
I kissed a damsel once then twice,
Then I ate the melon, honey dew
And for my hubris, I paid the price

Upon the king’s request,
To weigh my soul, to pass the test
I plucked my dulcimer and sang to the crowd,
I played my song and I sang it proud,
I feigned myself a humble guest,
And once I finished, I took a bow.

The court applauded for five days straight,
Then they passed the offering plate,
As I rested my head on a tiger skin,
Two gold talents were paid for my sin.
My soul was tainted, my sins were great,
But I could not see what I should rescind

My humility was false, but my joy was truth,
I was as David seeing Bathsheba on the roof,
But I merely wandered into that wonderland,
As a child, after removing its mother’s hand,
And I was slovenly and aloof,
My soul did not belong in that land

Now I’m gone, and I don’t know why,
I stood indifferent as my life passed by.
The king told me to sail downstream,
Then I got lost in some fever dream,
It might have been my song, that dreadful lie,
Perhaps Xanadu was not for me to gleam.

I fell asleep and did not wake,
Until for me it was far too late,
I lost my grip and broke my bones,
As I was dashed upon the stones,
I awoke from my sleep unable to create,
As I had forgotten all those dulcet tones.

Twenty years on I remember that Xanadu,
I felt it, the pleasure, it was true,
Though it fell from me over many nights,
I will remember that paradise,
I will remember the king, who I sang to,
As I feel the sun and close my eyes.

So let me pluck my strings and wait for cheers,

Even though these acrid notes are for absent ears,
My voice may be hoarse but I still dream,
That I can play my dulcimer for the king,
And from my eyes there shall never be tears,
For I may be lost, but still I sing.


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