Endre Ady

Beneath Mount Sion

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Divinely bearded and unkempt
in rags he flit and puffed cold air,
my long ago dorgotten Lord.
Upon a dank and blinden dawn
beneath Mount Sion it was somewhere.
He wore a flowing, bell-shaped frock
with scarlet scripture patched and sewn.
Shabby and sombre was the Lord.
He flapped and beat upon the for.
I heard a bell-like Advent tone.
I held a lantern in my hand,
within my soul was faith again,
and in my mind departed youth.
I recognized the smell of God,
for I was seeking someone then.
He paused for me beneath the mount,
the stones leaped into blazing fire.
He tolled the bell and soothed me
and soaked my face with gentle tears -
merciful was the ancient sire.
I kissed his wrinkled, ancient hand,
and with a racking wail I thought -
"What is your name, my kind old Lord
to whom I said so many prayers?"
But for his name in vain I sought.
"I have returned to you in death
from life where I was damned to hell.
Must I recall a childhood prayer?"
He looked at me with sorrowful eyes
and tolled the bell and tolled the bell.
"If I but knew your lofty name."
He paused. I heard a dirgelike air,
and psalmic heels withdrew uphill.
And weepingly I sit and moan
beneath Mount Sion lost somewhere.

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Endre Ady