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 a maid to man-
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.

I have played 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,
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:
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 hath need of triple mail.

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2 Comments

  1. Sheryl Skoglund says:

    For God, our God is a gallant foe that playeth behind the veil.
    Whom God deigns not to overthrow hath need of triple mail.
    God who plays behind the veil maybe a woman. The Bible states Jesus (Christ) inherits Venus the morning star whom God deigns not to overthrow? He died on a cross.

  2. Dan Fairchild says:

    The poem is quite up beat for a “ballad for gloom.” Pound is one of those people who like to fight their way into some kind of faith. For him, God is an opponent, a gamester who he plays with, and loses to, but in the end wins. This paradox is central to the poem.

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