Bardic Study – The Eyes of Fate…

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‘Oh, who can see in the eyes of fate,
All life alone in its chronic patterns?
Oh, swan, let me fly you
To the land of no winds blowing.
I know nothing, and know that I know nothing;
All is in the eye, and in its blinks of seeing.’

*

The first verse appears to record a conversation between Swan and Fate. Swan asks a question and is invited by Fate to another world where no winds blow with the proviso that Fate itself is ignorant but merely watches. ‘Blinks’ here, operate as links of time.

*

‘So just like the morning,
The ghost of the following day…

Listen…

Hoary, Hoary, Hoary, Hoary…
Rear the rollers, wild and stormy…
Echoes holy… Only lonely… Gone beforey… Hoary… Hoary…’

*

The start of the next verse may represent the journey or flight and certainly if the morning is the ghost of the following day we have now travelled or somehow got beyond time in some way.

(Later in the song it becomes clear that this ‘disjoint’ in the day is not natural and can be rectified.)

This is immediately followed by an exhortation to listen…

‘Hoary’ here, is ‘venerable’, ‘ancient’ and ‘holy’.

Whatever decides Fate is very old and appears to be linked to the Sea which despite an absence of wind still rears and is stormy.

This ‘something’ is older than loneliness.

*

‘Oh, rivalry and opinion still cast their wild spells.
Effort and contrariness change the directions of time.
The lion still growls in your hollowness.
Please let’s be easy, please let’s be friends.
Watching and learning like small children.’

*

In this verse the wild nature of whatever governs Fate appears to be linked to Swan’s propensity for dissension  and emptiness.

Swan is exhorted to reconcile its differences with Fate and learn together by watching for and listening to the lonely ‘Old Friend’.

By so doing the schism in the days can be rectified and a harmony achieved which needs not fame nor fate.

*

‘Till out of the morning
Is growing the strength of the day…

Listen…

Hoary, Hoary, Hoary, Hoary…
Hear the rollers, wild and stony…
Echoes holy… Only lonely… Gone beforey… Hoary… Hoary…

Servant of fame or fame for a servant, (Hoary… Hoary…)
You see what you see, you see seldom what is
Servant of fate or fate for a servant, (Hoary…Hoary…)
You see what you see, you see seldom what is.

(Hoary… Hoary…) Servant of fate, Oh…’

*

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‘The Eyes of Fate’ by Robin Williamson, appeared on the second Incredible String Band album entitled, ‘5000 Spirits’.

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