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neptune

you wait when light abandons you
to a frozen ammonia tempest.
forgiveness lives here
no more.

what becomes the sea without the sun?
what tide is borne without the moon
to bear it?

silent you drifted for centuries
while after you dreams dared not venture
and no one sang at all.

holst named you the mystic
but what knowledge awaits
your desolation?

the astronomer forsakes the city
for the unlit barrens
to see farther

past the realm of noise and mirth
and the din of blinding light
distraction.

busy with nothing
he discovers
what lies
beyond.

Note: Holst originally composed The Planets for two pianos, except for Neptune, which was an organ solo. Peter Sykes’ nine-minute organ transcription of Neptune captures a depth of tonality and emotion that surely would have pleased the composer.

The orchestral version: