Robert Frost

The Bearer Of Evil Tidings

The bearer of evil tidings,  
When he was halfway there,  
Remembered that evil tidings  
Were a dangerous thing to bear.  

So when he came to the parting  
Where one road led to the throne  
And one went off to the mountains  
And into the wild unknown,  

He took the one to the mountains.  
He ran through the Vale of Cashmere,  
He ran through the rhododendrons  
Till he came to the land of Pamir.  

And there in a precipice valley  
A girl of his age he met  
Took him home to her bower,  
Or he might be running yet.  

She taught him her tribe's religion:  
How ages and ages since  
A princess en route to China  
To marry a Persian prince  

Had been found with child; and her army  
Had come to a troubled halt.  
And though a god was the father  
And nobody else at fault,  

It had seemed discreet to remain there  
And neither go on nor back.  
So they stayed and declared a village  
There in the land of the Yak.  

And the child that came of the princess  
Established a royal line,  
And his mandates were given heed to  
Because he was born divine.  

And that was why there were people  
On one Himalayan shelf;  
And the bearer of evil tidings  
Decided to stay there himself.  

At least he had this in common  
With the race he chose to adopt:  
They had both of them had their reasons  
For stopping where they had stopped.  

As for evil tidings,  
Belshazzar's overthrow,  
Why hurry to tell Belshazzar  
What soon enough he would know?

spoken = David Juda