The Blind Bug

Beyond the path of the outmost sun, through utter darkness hurled -
Further than ever comet flared or vagrant star dust swirled -
Live such as sailed and fought and ruled and loved and made our world.
They are purged of pride because they died, they know the worth of their bays;
They sit at wine with the Maidens Nine and the Gods of the Elder Days;
It is their will to serve or be still as fitteth Our Father's praise.
'Tis theirs to sweep through Azrael's keep, where the clanging legions are,
To buffet a path through the Pit's red wrath when God goes forth to war,
Or hang with the reckless Seraphim on the rein of a red-maned star.
They take their mirth in the joy of the Earth, they do not grieve for her pain;
They know of toil and the end of toil; they know God's Law is plain;
So they whistle the Devil to make them sport who know that sin is vain.
And oft-times cometh our wise Lord God, Master of every trade,
And tells them tales of his daily toil, of Edens newly made;
And they rise to their feet as He passes by, gentlemen unafraid.
To those who are cleansed of black Desire, Sorrow, and Lust, and Shame -
Gods for they knew the heart of men, men for they stooped to Fame -
To these, a peer 'mid his courtly peers, the Curate of Meudon came.
'I have fished for frogs in the stagnant dark, and here is my catch' quoth he,
'The Soul of a little Lawyer Clerk that whines like an angry bee,
'Brethren all' -and they saw it crawl in the open palm released -
'This bug hath flown from a New Sorbonne to call me a filthy priest.'
'Yea, it must turn to a guild to learn the nature of right and wrong,
And wear its Soul at its buttonhole, and finger it all day long,
And lose its Soul if a gypsy troll the catch of a lewd old song.'
He flipped the Blind Bug into the dark, and grinned Gargantua's grin: 
The Great Gods heaved them back, and laughed till Heaven shook to the din -
And O, to have heard the Great Gods laugh, I had sinned the Blind Bug's sin.

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