VISTAS: An awareness of a range of time, events, or subjects. A broad Mental View.

Old Adam, the Carrion Crow

Thomas Lovell Beddoes

Old Adam, the carrion crow,
The old crow of Cairo;
He sat in the shower, and let it flow
Under his tail and over his crest;
And through every feather
Leaked the wet weather;
And the bough swung under his nest;
For his beak it was heavy with marrow.
Is that the wind dying? O no;
It's only two devils, that blow
Through a murderer's bones, to and fro,
In the ghosts' moonshine.

Ho! Eve, my grey carrion wife,
When we have supped on king's marrow,
Where shall we drink and make merry our life?
Our nest it is queen Cleopatra's skull,
'Tis cloven and cracked,
And battered and hacked,
But with tears of blue eyes it is full:
Let us drink then, my raven of Cairo,
Is that the wind dying? O no;
It's only two devils, that blow
Through a murderer's bones, to and from,
In the ghosts' moonshine.

Ezra Pound called Beddoes "Prince of morticians." In this lyric, the theme (seen earlier in "The Three Ravens) is varied with an idiom that one must call macabre (a term it is hard to avoid when one is talking about Beddoes). The repeated "Is that the wind dying?" is echoed in the second part of T. S. Eliot's "Waste Land"