The Bearer Of Evil Tidings

The bearer of evil tidings, When he was halfway there, Remembered that evil tidings Were a dangerous thing to bear.

So when he came to the parting Where one road led to the throne And one went off to the mountains And into the wild unknown,

He took the one to the mountains. He ran through the Vale of Cashmere, He ran through the rhododendrons Till he came to the land of Pamir.

And there in a precipice valley A girl of his age he met Took him home to her bower, Or he might be running yet.

She taught him her tribe's religion: How, ages and ages since, A princess en route from China

To marry a Persian prince

Had. been found with child; and her army Had come to a troubled halt. And though a god was the father And nobody else at fault,

It had seemed discreet to remain there And neither go on nor back. So they stayed and declared a village There in the land of the Yak.

And the child that came of the princess Established a royal line, And his mandates were given heed to Because he was born divine.

And that was why there were people On one Himalayan shelf; And the bearer of evil tidings Decided to stay there himself.

At least he had this in common With the race he chose to adopt: They had both of them had their reasons For stopping where they had stopped.

As for his evil tidings, Belshazzars overthrow, Why hurry to tell Belshazzar What soon enough he would know?

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