An Anthem For Bear

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: [none]

Written by Robert Hunter as an elegy for Bear (Augustus Owsley Stanley III).

Augustus Owsley Stanley III
Being less a name than a designation
The bearer of the appelation
Became, of his own inspiration
The Bear

Thus he became and thus remained
And every old-timer worth his salt
Has a tale or two to tell regarding same
Of the time the Bear did this or that
Incredibly singular, utterly apposite
Action without apology or shame
To his own particular undying fame

Unreachable, unteachable
A flame in the light of his own magnificence
Reflected in deeds dwarfing the achievements
Of the run-of-the-mill creative sort
By a factor of ten or more

King of many things was he
Of mortal physiology, the soul's chemistry
Geography, geology
Not to mention the applied physics of sound

Regarding which, deaf in one ear
He pronounced stereo to be a distraction
Affording only one perfect seat in the house
Upon which to work its elusive illusions
And setting himself to design
The world's most powerful hi-fi system to prove it

One suspects that, had he but one leg
He'd have seen the advantage in that
And invented accordingly, ingeniously
And, it goes without saying, successfully

Lovable and loving in the abstract
Effusiveness was not his hole card
His judgement swift, certain and irrevocable
The last word was his personal property
For the few times he was wrong, there is no accounting

Was there ever a man who changed so many
While himself changing so little
A cardinal sign, were there ever one
Fixed like a bright white star in dark blue heaven

Save sentimental eulogies for lesser men
And leave it that he was a king of many things
Of perfected personal taste and detailed opinion
First and last a scientist
And propounder of a brand new species of reason

No bucolic heaven for such as Bear
Rather a Rock of Ages
From where an eagle in full flight might dare
A sudden detour into endless dawn
Sail on, dear brother Bear
Sail on

 


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