Holy Despair

by A Hill to Die Upon

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released April 22, 2014

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A Hill to Die Upon Illinois

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Track Name: Cloven Hoof Hava Nagila
Cloven Hoof Hava Nagila
Music by Adam Cook; Lyrics by Michael Cook

“’Oh, dear! I can’t understand that,’ said the princess.
‘I dare say not. I didn’t expect you would. But that’s no reason why I shouldn’t say it.’”
- George Macdonald, The Princess and the Goblin

Let me pass, let me pass.
I am hungry for sweeter grass.
Let me pass, let me pass.
Soon the first shall be the last.
The shadows on the wall
are not enough for me.
I want the light behind
all the shadowed shapes.

I shall soon graze in greener fields
of grasses that whither not nor yield.
My final prayer is a feeble bleat;
the left path is never free.
Let me pass, let me pass.
I am hungry for sweeter grass.
Let me pass, let me pass.
Soon the first shall be the last.
Track Name: A Jester Arrayed In Burning Gold
A Jester Arrayed in Burning Gold
Music by Thor Georg Buer; Lyrics by Michael Cook

"Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old day
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses 65-70

Share not the cup I have wantonly sipped:
the cradle that has been finally tipped.
In fool's garb do I before thee appear,
with signs and sounds fit for stirring fear.
yet the mask hides what is truly between
my emerald eyes and the jewels that are seen.

First we eat, then we drink,
then we sing ourselves hoarse
to the ever brightening sun.

Tread ye not, now, where I have failed.
That spirit has flown, that ship has sailed.
My feet have failed to dance the steps,
and for bare bones I have loved and wept;
arrayed am I in burning, Trojan gold
for the sake of He who’s name I hold.

First we eat, then we drink,
then we sing ourselves hoarse
to the ever brightening sun.
Track Name: Unyielding Anguish
Unyielding Anguish
Music by Adam Cook; Lyrics by Michael Cook

“Meaninglessness does not come from a weariness of pain but meaninglessness comes from a weariness of pleasure”
- G.K. Chesterton

…slain by my own sword.
The temple to myself abandoned,
the religion of my life now a heresy:
“Io Pan!”
I chased the wind,
but I only caught my hoof.
I played my flute,
but no one danced:
“dance or me!”

Truth is found in the lifeless deep
where pain and anguish never retreat.
Despair, being mother to us all
has summoned me with her death rattle call.
Dark and warm, black and void,
the blessed place where I am destroyed.
She let me back into her womb,
She let me pretend it was my tomb.

Holy, Holy, Holy, despair,
bless me with anguish,
and break off my horns.
Holy, Holy, Holy despair,
exalt me with sorrow,
and crown me with thorns

Here I sit in the Elms,
slain by my own sword.
The temple to myself abandoned,
the religion of my life now a heresy:
“Io Pan!”
I chased the wind,
but I only caught my hoof.
I played my flute,
but no one danced:
“dance for me!”

Death has taken me out of spite
for my unyielding despair in life,
where my useless poems and songs
give no right account of all my wrongs.
I am the worst, blest and curst.
This is silent end of my life,
worshipping the so-called god of the knife

Holy, Holy, Holy…
Track Name: Let the Ravens Have My Eyes
Let the Ravens Have My Eyes
Music by Thor Georg Buer; Lyrics by Michael Cook

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
- ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 18:36

I gave and I gave to lay
the stones for the churches of man.
No longer do I labor in vain
And nor do I say: “…”

Forest is cut into timber, sea stopped up by dams.
Look to the grain and current, not sculpted by hands.
Break the shrines and temples,
loose what the body holds,
that which sadly is sold,
for less than its weight in gold.
Blindly I search for God,
For in seeing I stumble.
He is my Troy, my Maud,
If I be so humble.

HALEL JAH
ICH HALEL HA-SATAN
Dim the Sun,
come, now, and make us one.
HALEL JAH
ICH HALEL HA-SATAN
Pray for rain,
come, give us bread and stay the same.

Do you see, you see?
There was god on a tree.
Huginn and Muninn take my eyes,
but I saw what I know is right.
Take the third of my eyes,
lest it cause me to sin.
Make me like that god,
to stand the western wind.

“Wenn Sie den falschen
Zug einsteigen, ist es kein Gebrauch
Laufen den Gang entlang
in die andrere Richtung.”
Track Name: Hæðen
Hæðen
Music by Thor Georg Buer; Lyrics by Michael Cook

“Et si non minus nobis iucundi atque inlustres sunt ei dies quibus conservamur quam illi quibus nascimur, quod salutis certa laetitia est, nascendi incerta condicio et quod sine sensu nascimur, cum voluptate servamur…”
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, In Catilinam III.2

ΗΛΥΠΗΑΔΕΛΦΗΤΗΣΧΑΡΑΣΕΣΤΙΝ
DONECMEFLVMINEVIVOABLVERO

Weaving the wasted waters of the world,
I hear the music:
AINULINDALE.
Nothing could be more than walking hand in hand,
lamenting the later lords.
The gull tears my heart,
but let it be said of me: “…”
And “thus he spoke to me!”

O sinners, let us go down,
let us go down, come down,
down, in the river to pray.
O sinners, let us drown,
let us drown, come drown,
where in the river we’ll stay.

I despise the land that you so cherish,
and I abhor the earth beneath my feet.
Track Name: Nekyia
Nekyia
Music by Adam Cook; Lyrics by Michael Cook

“But when with vows and prayers I had made supplication to the tribes of the dead, I took the sheep and cut their throats over the pit, and the dark blood ran forth. Then there gathered from out of Erebus the spirits of those that are dead…”
- Homer, The Odyssey

Pray for rain to wash away
the blood and grease of war.
Commit to train the children
to slaughter the children of our mothers and fathers.

The wheel spun wide,
geometry lost its true.
The falcon has lost its gloved hand,
sinking the heavy ship of all we knew.
The center hasn’t fallen away.
We have cast it off
where all the blood
was spilt to call the ghosts.

They buried us in the wounded ground;
under grass our decay made far too green.

Nekyia…

We dug a trench in the Rhineland,
long as wind, payment for sin.
The black ram was brought before the lord
of the lower third of afterworld.

Slouching towards Bethlehem to be born
the new birth beats on the walls of the womb of the world.
Crawling fourth on four, the earth is torn
by claws, and two thousand year old horns.

Nekyia…

We dug a trench in the Rhineland,
long as wind, payment for sin.
The black ram was brought before the lord
of the lower third of afterworld.
But instead of its blood being shed,
our youth was released into the pit.
The victor laid us down in our beds.
Thus it was spoke, and thus it was writ.

Even the idea of a center
is left outside to rust.
The Sun is falling to dusk
on the gyre of the western world.

The wheel spun wide…
Track Name: Somme
Somme
Music by Adam Cook

“Death is the supreme festival of the road to freedom.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Track Name: Rime (Jerub-Ba’al)
Rime (Jerub-Ba’al)
Music by Adam Cook; Lyrics by Michael Cook

“All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction; which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony, not understood;”
- Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

We are now called Jerub-Ba’al,
brothers in blood and fell in oath,
the silent sound of the Fall.
Let the lesser lights shine to all.

Castor and Pollox have no worth;
stones and soil screaming out
from the mountains where rivers berth.
We are the beds cut in the earth

I have come for Asherah,
and I shall contend with Ba’al.
Naught is given beneath the sun;
Naught is had that is not won.

He approves of what we undertake.
…what we overtake.
…what we ourselves negate.
…the sounds we make.

As is the man, so is his weakness.
So leave the burning gold on your heads.
As is the god, so is his greatness.
We are nothing more than riverbeds.

I felled the very goddess-carved totem,
which Joash erected high.
No doubt my god has smote them.
No doubt… no doubt…

He approves of what we undertake.
…what we overtake.
…what we negate.
…of the sounds we make.
…some lessons learned.
…some churches burned.
…silence earned.
…death not spurned.
Track Name: O Death
O Death
Traditional
“I still believe that the spiritual songs of the African-Americans represent some of the greatest artistic achievements in America.”
- Dietrich Bonheoffer

What is this that I can’t see,
With ice cold hands takin’ hold of me?
When God is gone and the Devil takes hold,
Lord have mercy on my soul.
Well, I am death, none can excel.
I open the door to Heaven and Hell.
‘O, Death someone might pray,
Could you call me another day?’

O, death…

The children prayed and the preacher preached.
Time and mercy are out of your reach.
I’ll fix your feet ‘til you can’t walk;
I’ll lock your jaw ‘til you can’t talk;
I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see.
This very hour come and go with me.
I am death come to take the soul,
Leave the body and leave it cold,
To draw the flesh off of the frame.
Dirt and worm both have a claim.

O, death…

O, death, please consider my age.
Please don’t take me at this stage.
My wealth is all at your command
If you would remove your icy hand.
Death is moving upon your soul,
All alike to me, you know.
No wealth, no land, no silver, no gold,
Nothing satisfies me but your soul.

O, death…
Track Name: Satan Speaks
Satan Speaks
Music by Adam Cook; Lyrics by C.S. Lewis

Dei Nostri Templum Corpum Est

I am Nature, the Mighty Mother,
I am the law: ye have none other.

I am the flower and the dewdrop fresh,
I am the lust in your itching flesh.

I am the battle’s filth and strain,
I am the widow’s empty pain.

I am the sea to smother your breath,
I am the bomb, the falling death.

I am the fact and the crushing reason
To thwart your fantasy’s new-born treason.

I am the spider making her net,
I am the beast with jaws blood-wet.

I am a wolf that follows the sun,
And I will catch him ere day be done.

I am Satan, accuser accursed.
Heed not my words, I was not first.*

* - couplet by R. Michael Cook