The Mental Traveller

Part 1: The Argument

Blown far from his course,
long sailed he on the ship of fools,
where youth is lost in the ravening deep,
until one day,
with face turned into the fickle wind
he leaped from the deck-
headlong into strange waters

Part 2: The Fairy

Swept against shores of desert,
he wandered many a long day
in search of a new life,
but found there none -
visions came of his fellows from the ship of fools
reminding him of its comfort
and how swiftly the days pass by,
as in the land of the lotus eaters,
but to these dreams he did not succumb.

On he wandered
and preserved his water
through the reaches of this wasteland
until those seductive visions passed,
and dreams of a more frightening nature came,

riding on brooms,
riding on the beams of the waxing moon,
promising pain and whispering sad falsehoods
that his heart was no thing of stone
but must admit the strangling fingers of despair
whose prey is heroes and lovers.

But neither to these morphic phantoms did he fall
until at one month's end,
when the moon had hidden her face in the shadow of her husband - Earth, and all false spirits were blinded thus,
another dream- a vision on happier wings than those before
floated to his battered soul,
made its silent course across the distant mountains and valleys
and to that frontier where he lay,
alone in the deepening shadows of the dying embers of a little fire.

There on silent wings the welcome vision took form
before his waking imagination's subtle eye,
and the vision was of a fairy-
a mountain spirit, who whispered

"Why do you lie here sleeping Mental Traveller,
awake, arise and behold
there is a world which is neither lascivious, nor barren,
were one can find peace,
free and unchained from soul destroying oblivion.
But tell me O man...
To what land do you aspire?"

'To paradise' he murmured through lips entranced

"No less!" replied the spirit - "and what would you find there?"

'Respite' he moaned.

"And with whom would you keep company?"

'with Angels Bright' said the Knight with a heart so full of hope
that he woke himself ere his last utterance had vanished

And these last fairy words crept through the vales of sleep
before his inner ears closed-

"Paradise is within but come with me and you shall see angels."
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Submitted on July 24, 2013

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:02 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,188
Words 411
Stanzas 16
Stanza Lengths 1, 7, 1, 9, 5, 6, 8, 4, 7, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1

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    Who wrote the poem "The Road Not Taken"?
    • A. Walt Whitman
    • B. Langston Hughes
    • C. Emily Dickinson
    • D. Robert Frost