Gather, Darkness (Jeremy Balius)

Posted on August 4, 2010 by in Heightened Talk


Part 1

When misery's your partner, love's just give and take

to the sound of the window pane a-shudderin'.

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of heartache.

Music box hums to Roy Clark Shaw as he lies awake

smokin' cheap cigarettes'n wishn' nights away cause

when misery's your partner, love's just give and take.

Keep this way or head back to the dried salt lake;

it's one or the other, but neither will do.

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of heartache.

He'd escaped the salt plains in a funeral wake,

crossed the low hills, past the old country tombs as

when misery's your partner, love's just give and take.

A pile of sins to pay for and one mistake

to forget, Ol' Roy remembered Magda'n thought -

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of heartache.

When the dust does settle, his way Shaw would make

and take lonesome Magda south cross the border.

When misery's your partner, love's just give and take.

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of heartache.

Part 2

With eyes closed Roy's 'membrin' a bleak vacant lot,

dust clouds blowin' like vast ships in the night and

the smell of gun powder and the ring of a shot.

His conscience'n doubt whisper to Ol' Roy an' say:

Ya can't trust a world that drifts aimless'n distraught;

when memory turns to fog, love's all ya really got.

Roy says: Mistrust's why I ain't writin' the plot

of my story - how wrong came from doin' good.

Act, Darkness! and convincingly play your pah't.

'Cross the road the tavern's closing an' folk spill

into the night.  Weary Professor Rort sought

history's dusk, crying: Love's just sold and bought!

Rort looks up at the doss-house window an' caught

sight of Roy'n muttered – This too shall pass into

the smell of gun powder and the ring of a shot.

Last shot 'o rye and sleep Roy still did fought;

burdens cross-heavy make sleep a dark stranger

since eyes closed remembrin' a bleak vacant lot,

the smell of gun powder and the ring of a shot.

Part 3

A hollow thud of a body in the snow

echoes 'cross the fields in Roy's mind as he saw

beneath a smuggler's moon a death fill'd with woe.

I'll run further east into old country, thought Roy

as he star'd into the dark an' doubted God so.

Speak, Darkness! and tell me what I need to know.

Out past Slumber Mountain I'll have to lay low;

whil'n away my days til Magda I can hold.

When the river's risin', love's just ebb and flow.

 

Goodbye Magda, goodbye salt plains, one day I'll

return and repay my debts to those I owe.

Sing, Darkness! and on me your hymns do bestow.

A figure near the cattle on the plateau!

Ol' Roy fired off a warning shot but soon saw

beneath a smuggler's moon a death fill'd with woe.

Young Silas'd been chasn' his sheep dog to an' fro.

The sheriff's son ne'r to rise till Jesus calls;

a hollow thud of his body in the snow

beneath a smuggler's moon.  His death fill'd with woe.

Part 4

Time is the wind blowin' across a field.  We'll

be free soon! clamoured Prof Rort at Ol' Roy's door.

Make haste dear Roy an' escape this upheaval.

 

The sheriff's son ya did shot an' kill;

If ya stay longer, ya stand in great peril.

When dread's your shame, love's just a wink at the wind.

 

Don't stay here or yill catch some unshirted hell,

cause your story must unfold till its right end.

Fly, Darkness! and deliver Roy from evil.

 

The sheriff's a-comin' an' he bears ya ill will.

To kill ya is the promise he will fulfill.

When from the past a-runnin', love's hit or miss.

Love's why I'm go'n', cried Roy after one more swill

o' forty rod.  The road's callin' an' best to

make haste if I should escape this upheaval.

Out the door, down the road past the paper mill,

Ol' Roy flew with sounds of vengeance fast behind.

Time is the wind blowin' across a field.  We'll

make haste dear Roy an' escape this upheaval.

Part 5

Black clouds upon the final scene did descend.

The sheriff and his droogs found Roy 'cross the bridge;

back in town the dogs are howlin' without end.

Halt, Roy, ya coward!  My son's life ya did take,

this is a mistake ya cannot for amend.

Give up, Darkness!'n realize what I intend.

The sheriff knew Roy he would not apprehend.

Roy saw this'n stopp'd, pull'd his pistol'n aimed to kill.

When killin's your partner, revenge's round the bend.

There's five o'ya sheriff, an' I got six bullets.

Get back!  Back!  Sheriff, call off your hatchet men!

Protect, Darkness! and from justice do defend.

Suddenly the sheriff's gun barks 'cross the bridge;

a murder of crows heaven-bound it does send.

Back in town the dogs are howlin' without end.

Roy spills out life, yellin' out, knees on the bend -

Magda, I love ya, but I ain't comin' back!

Black clouds upon the final scene did descend;

Back in town the dogs are howlin' without end.

Part 6

When loneliness cloaks love, grief's just a-forming.

We don't choose what we remember or forget.

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of mourning.

Lone Magda kneels graveside with wreaths adorning

on the first day that comes with constant sorrow

when loneliness cloaks love, grief's just a-forming.

A pile of sins to pay for and one mistake

to forget, Magda remembered poor Roy'n thought

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of heartache.

Behind the church as the sky starts storming,

the field of stone takes another as its own;

when loneliness cloaks love, grief's just a-forming.

Rise up balladeers and strum tunes of informing

and weave your tales of lost love transforming.

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of mourning.

Roy now lies in peace till come the New Morning

'neath the shadow of a crooked makeshift cross;

when loneliness cloaks love, grief's just a-forming.

Gather, Darkness! and play your songs of mourning.


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