Another one of Robin’s early efforts.
When invoking the Bardic Spirit there are not too many candidates around, unfortunately…
For a spell, this was my all-time favourite song ever, if only for its helter-skelter whirl of minor-key madness…
I hear that
the Emperor of China
used to wear iron
shoes with ease…
I think these lines refer to a type of ‘not to touch the earth’ scenario.
That is, The Emperor, who is regarded by his subjects as a ‘God incarnate’ is held to be too sacred to be sullied by the touch of the earth.
In contradistinction to this rather absurd notion, Robin then sets out his own position.
We are the tablecloth, and also the table, and also the fable of the dancing leaves…
That is, we are the structure and garment of life’s spread, both the Spirit and the Flesh and Bone, and the continual re-incarnation of the spirit in that continually recycled flesh…
The new moon is rising
the axe of the thunder is broken
as never was
not since the flood
nor yet since the world began…
This process, in case we ever forget, is exemplified for us in the cycle of the Moon.
Every new moon then… is also a new beginning.
The new moon is shining
the angels are washing their windows
above the years
whose jumble sale
goes spinning on below.
Could anything be clearer?
Ask the snail beneath the stone,
ask the stone beneath the wall
are there any stars at all?
Like an eagle in the sky,
tell me if air is strong…
We may pity the stone and the snail their stony snail lives in the relative dark but even the eagle who knows about the sky and the stars knows nought of the constituents of the means of its flight.
These then are the natural and eternal hierarchies of an ever-expanding understanding.
In the floating pan pipe victories
of the golden harvest
safe in the care of
the dear moon…
The notes of the panpipe do float.
And the sickle moon is ultimately responsible for the cutting of the corn.
(This song was composed, at night, in a cornfield, in August.)
The new moon is rising
the eyelid of god is approaching
The humane train
voice of certainty…
The new moon is shining,
the harmonious hand is now holding,
Lord Krishna’s ring,
the eagle’s wing,
the voice of Mother,
And the voice of mother brings with it a bright blessing…
In the floating palaces,
of the spinning castle…
May the Fire King’s Daughter,
bring water to you.
The Fire King is the Sun.
The Fire King’s Daughter is the Moon.
The spinning castle is the Earth.
Its floating palaces are the Clouds.
…Which bright blessing, is… the rain.
‘Waltz of the New Moon’ appears on The Incredible String Band’s third studio album, ‘The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter’, which is widely regarded as their finest album.
The title is colloquial slang for a gallows or scaffold.