Up the snowy spires, where the air is thin as glass
Once a year the cold mists clear and you can see inside the earth
High in that crystal palace I built a sailing ship
Mast and wheel of polished brass, sails of golden silk
I piped the engine steam, I set velocitations
I consulted dusty maps, set careful calibrations
Ever inward ever in, peering through my scope
I sailed deep into the hollows, deep inside the earth
I traveled a boiling river through streams of mercury
Underneath volcanoes and the roots of ancient trees
Underneath stalactites I lit phosphorus lamps
Sparks snapped into the air and coiled up the mast
I watched enormous birds diving through the slate
As I stood upon the prow in my oilskin cap and cape
At last my anchor caught and echoed through the stone
And I climbed an old rope ladder miles through the gloam
Then up above I saw it, a glowworm’s little light
And I reached out and caught it in the center of the night
Tightly in my fist I held that glowing worm
Deep down in the hollows I held the center of the world
Lizard
Granny green was stooped as a windblown branch
She lived high in the bramble forest
Once a fortnight, if the moon shone right she came down to our little village
She brought blackberries and willow bark, mandrake root and mushrooms
And it was said she spoke the tongue of birds
And understood the river’s whispers
Now several girls among our town by a golden lizard they were bitten
And those sweet girls lay stiff in their beds like frozen ice up on the branches

Granny green mixed a tonic for their ills but it was such a bitter tonic
All who drank began to dance and could not stop their dancing
But none would have danced one sinful step
If that old crone had not bewitched us

How we leaped and pranced and cackled, the whole town writhing madmen
And so desperate grew some to still their feet they dove into the raging river
Still we danced on day and night till our fine clothes were torn and ragged
And crying out, “oh, lord, make us stop!” we danced naked round the chapel

How granny laughed to see such sin.
“It’s just water,” she said, “in my tonic!”
But all cried out, “she lies! She surely lies!” and chased her deep into the bramble
But like the four winds she disappeared
Though we searched round and round the branches
Rolling in leaves and naked ‘neath the trees we lost the way back to our village
But I swear we were all pure of heart till that old crone did bewitch us
And I know we will all go home, when the good lord returns to save us

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