Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Ballad for Gloom
By Ezra Pound (1885–1972)
FOR God, our God, is a gallant foe
That playeth behind the veil.
I have loved my God as a child at heart
That seeketh deep bosoms for rest,
I have loved my God as maid to man,        5
But lo, this thing is best:
To love your God as a gallant foe
                that plays behind the veil,
To meet your God as the night winds meet
                beyond Arcturus’ pale.        10
I have play’d with God for a woman,
I have staked with my God for truth,
I have lost to my God as a man, clear eyed,
      His dice be not of ruth.
For I am made as a naked blade,        15
    But hear ye this thing in sooth:
Who loseth to God as man to man
      Shall win at the turn of the game.
I have drawn my blade where the lightnings meet,
      But the ending is the same:        20
Who loseth to God as the sword blades lose
      Shall win at the end of the game.
For God, our God, is a gallant foe
                that playeth behind the veil,
Whom God deigns not to overthrow        25
                Hath need of triple mail.

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