Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Corpse of Habeus Corpus



gather round, little ones
i’ll tell you a tale
to turn your hair white
and to make your heart fail
from the grave it arises
and howls in the night
a bloodied, beaten notion
concerning our rights
a ghastly old spirit
who’s coming right for us
the corpse on the porch
that is habeus corpus

beware! beware!
it’s climbing up the stairs!
it’s in the hall
to you it crawls
beware! beware!

the body is a nasty thing
and should not be produced
just lock it up, my little pup
and never let it loose
the president, he sees it all
he is most qualified
who better to decide your fate
lest justice be denied?
but in the darkest hall of law
a bellowing is heard
a cry most foul and desperate
it cries a warning word

beware! beware!
it’s climbing up the stairs!
it’s in the hall
to you it crawls
beware! beware!

the earth in darkness slumbers
but upon it you can hear
the beast that walks among us
the laws that we hold dear
the rights of men are hollow
you can fill them with a plan
to build a new Jerusalem
and cut off all our hands
where be now those precious claims
to so-called civil rights?
dead and gone to the beyond
they stagger in the night

beware! beware!
it’s climbing up the stairs!
it’s in the hall
to you it crawls
beware! beware!

empty sits the public square
a place where freedom sang
now silent in the deadened air
where liberty was hanged
the dreams of men were folly
all traitors to the king
the lancers followed orders
and chopped off every wing
the darkest days descended
with a pall upon the land
without a constitution
there was naught on which to stand

beware! beware!
it’s climbing up the stairs!
it’s in the hall
to you it crawls
beware! beware!

(chanted)
gather round, little ones
i’ll tell you a tale
to turn your hair white
and to make your heart fail
from the grave it arises
and howls in the night
a bloodied, beaten notion
concerning our rights
a ghastly old spirit
who’s coming right for us
the corpse on the porch
that is habeus corpus

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Image of Tintoretto's "Drawing of a corpse for St George and the Dragon" from here.

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