The Tangled Wood
By Velimir Khlebnikov


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The Tangled Wood
By Velimir Khlebnikov

The tangled wood was full of sound,
The forest screamed,
the forest groaned
With fear
To see the spearman beast his spear.

Why does hart's horn hang heavy with
Hazard, the moving mark of love?
Arrow's flying glitter hits a haunch,
And reckons right. Now beast is broken

To his knees, beaten to the ground.
His eyes look deep at death.
The horses clatter, snort and chatter:
"We bring the Tall Ones. Useless to run."

Useless only your exquisite motion,
Your almost feminine face. No action
Can save you. You fly from rack and ruin,
And searching spear-man follows fast.

Panting horses always closer,
Branching antlers always lower,
Twangling bowstrings over and over,
Nor hart nor help, from hurt and hazard.

But he rears abruptly, bristles, roars -
And shows a lion's cruel claws.
With lazy ease he touches, teases -
Teaches the trick of terror.

Acquiescent and still,
They fall to fill their graves.
He rises rampant. Regal
Regard. Observing the bodies of slaughtered slaves.