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Ballad of the Gods


Donal has turned from his father's god, and worships the fish-god Vake,
And he spills the blood of his sacrifice to the god of the Bottomless Lake.
He thinks that once more the deer and fish will die by his spear and his rod;
And he is a fool, for Jubbudar-Thool is a great and a jealous god.
Jubbudar-Thool is his father's god, and a mighty god is he;
His head is carved from a weathered rock, and his trunk was the trunk of a tree;
His head is carved from an ancient rock where a gaping mouth is cut:
And Jubbudar-Thool with his mouth a-drool has stalked from the temple hut!
Donal has called on the fish-god Vake, but the drowsy fish-god nods;
For why should the life of a man cause strife in the brotherhood of the gods?
And Donal's stare was a frozen glare, and his mouth was a fear-fixed grin
When the hut-wall buckled beneath a blow and his father's god came in!
A man may live in the blackest sin, and live to a ripe old age;
He may sin with the wife of another man and escape the avenger's rage;
He may take two wives and a hundred lives, and live by deceits and frauds
Till the day he dies: but if he is wise he will worship his father's gods.