The Eve of Crispin’s Day

by Colette Spaul

Fear not.

She returns on the Eve; Doubt, the deceiver,
clement and wild and lasting. Behold, the Angel of Agincourt!
She comes in capricious and kind ruination, as sunlight
filters through trees in fine hanging rain,
painting shadows gold and black.

For rebels and kingmakers alike, she comes
danger-bright and roaring. And now, the light-fingered King,
his eyes as the confessional echo, low and cruel
and endlessly blue, under rhythms and glorious arcs
all dark and kind in the lack-light.

There he sits, and thinks anon
of doves and dragons
and other men’s sons.
Her wings numbering three by two –
his stern and stable raggedness.

They walk the stations
and sing, “Praise to this! By us
all things unmade,
in trinity and majesty.” Distant and soft
and lamenting, on the Eve of Crispin’s Day.

The men carve a thousand scars on vasty fields,
praying and seeking and dear and hurt
and strange as the flame, with terrible
and holy compromise. Behold the morn,
the tribulation and gainsaying.