The Cipher

Stare at the writing on the wall.
Understand the message there.
Make the script familiar to eye and ear.

Feel the walls with your hands.
Ranks of candles light the stone.
This place is deep within a land
Of verbs and sighs, of overtones.

For the message chiselled there
May not be true, 
May not be clear,
May not be meant for you.

And the meanings of the words
May be hidden in the verse
Not saying what it wills, or what it ought, or what it might
They may even form a curse
Not meant for you to rehearse
But for a man with special sight.

Would it make all time stand still,
Run forward or reverse?  That one man alone
Might know.  So how can you discern
If the message means you well or ill?

It may say what it is.
It may say what it is not.
It may make no sense at all because
The hand that cut those marks was lost

Long ago and far from here
And no-one can be asked what the symbols mean.
But straight and true runs that rock seam
Straight and true through layer and layer.

So sit here on this chair and meditate.
Breathe-in the sacred air, the yellow tallow -
Can you read the writing on the wall?
You are right to hesitate. 

Before you recite you must be wise. 
You know the spell could make things
New and well, but there might be a price 
For such power to be exercised.

Perhaps the spaces in the words 
Will help you decipher
Wherein lies the danger
Before you recite, are cursed.
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