The fourth year is come round again,
The demigods' scroll is unfurled,
Those set apart called forth from camps.
Each says the sacred chants of old,
Walks the land in circles of initiation,
And with each power-imbued syllable of dissimulation,
Seeks of the knife-wielding priests conciliation.
But one must be chosen, man-will be made manifest.
A-quiver with anticipation,
The priests approach the men before them.
Each his solemn choice he shows
With a single stab of his jagged blade,
And his next duty is like unto it:
Plunging the self-same dagger into priest-flesh,
As much as he can round him reach.
There! The ritual is done!
Once again the land is blessed!
Within the holy square, the chosen man’s slaughtered corpse
Is placed upon a stately throne,
And the priests make merry in the freshly flowing gore.