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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: