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the Pale

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(2) The Illustrated In Held 'Twas in I 1971

'Held Close ...' Carole M Hassan

Stronger in pure design terms than its predecessor, the second tondo shows the idealised, long-haired young man in a rustic context, sitting bare-chested between a pair of trees, one of whose roots his left hand grasps, while the right-hand holds his knee. His legs are bedecked in once-fashionable self-coloured loon pants, secured with a belt; in his lap rests a book which he is apparently not reading, sicne his eyes are closed, whether in sleep or in meditation it is difficult to ascertain. The book itself is conspicuously lacking in title, perhaps implying that it is intended for writing in, rather than for reading but there is no sign of a pen. Floral undergrowth burgeons at the young man's feet, but he appears to be sitting on gravel. The arboreal foliage above him seems less advanced than elsewhere in the image, but perhaps it is simply a small-leafed variety of tree. The trunks are oddly stylised, rendered almost as if they were an aggregation or bundle of individual stems which branch out on reaching a suitable height. Botanists seeking to identify the species will perhaps be assisted by the single small blossom close to the words 'works out'.

Read about the origins of this illustration | The text of the illustration (variants highlighted)

Though close by that which some despise
which some call fake, and others lies
And somewhat small
for one so tall
a doubting Thomas who would be?
It's written plain for all to see
for one who I am with no more
it's hard at times, it's awful wrong

They say that Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor
and those unsure
believed his eyes
- a strange disguise
So write it down, it might be right
nothing's better left unsaid
only sometimes, still no doubt
it's hard to say, it all works out

Right, the illustration as it appears on the photocopy sent to Procol Harum in 1971

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