Scenes from the novel XII

The words upon the door looked ancient. They were in fact far more ancient than they appeared, for their author had long since turned to dust. The seekers understood that they were looking at a puzzle, and that they could not pass until they had worked out the key:

As night descends, the subtle decree
The tide once forged from fragrant desire
Resplendent jewel, thrust from the fire
Beckons to yonder perilous sea
His uncouth dominion, his freighted expanse,
When the wise be foolish, no sacred vow
Could lay across that wrinkled brow
The wage of fortune’s circumstance
Forged in shadows of rising dread
Engraved upon a pomegranate seed
The tenets of mercy, the scripture of need
And so fortune’s fool is paid instead

    If truth ye seek, not knowing why
    Search the dark and glowing eye

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