Download document


Hugh Selwyn Mauberly



These fought in any case,

and some believing,

pro domo, in any case . . .

Some quick to arm,

some for adventure,

some from fear of weakness,

some from fear of censure,

some for love of slaughter, in imagination,

learning later . . .

some in fear, learning love of slaughter;

Died some, pro patria,

non "dulce" non "et decor" . . .

walked eye-deep in hell

believing in old men's lies, then unbelieving

came home, home to a lie,

home to many deceits,

home to old lies and new infamy;

usury age-old and age-thick

and liars in public places.

Daring as never before, wastage as never before.

Young blood and high blood,

fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

fortitude as never before

frankness as never before,

disillusions as never told in the old days,

hysterias, trench confessions,

laughter out of dead bellies.


There died a myriad,

And of the best, among them,

For an old bitch gone in the teeth,

For a botched civilization,

Charm, smiling at the good mouth,

Quick eyes gone under earth's lid,

For two gross of broken statues,

For a few thousand battered books.



You came in out of the night

And there were flowers in your hands,

Now you will come out of a confusion of people,

Out of a turmoil of speech about you.

I who have seen you amid the primal things

Was angry when they spoke your name

In ordinary places.

I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind,

And that the world should dry as a dead leaf,

Or as a dandelion seed-pod and be swept away,

So that I might find you again,



And New York is the most beautiful city in the world?

It is not far from it.

No urban night is like the night there.

Squares after squares of flame,

set up and cut into the aether.

Here is our poetry,

for we have pulled down the stars to our will


And the days are not full enough

And the days are not full enough

And the nights are not full enough

And life slips by like a field mouse

Not shaking the grass

Lament Of The Frontier Guard

By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,

Lonely from the beginning of time until now!

Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.

I climb the towers and towers

to watch out the barbarous land:

Desolate castle, the sky, the wide desert.

There is no wall left to this village.

Bones white with a thousand frosts,

High heaps, covered with trees and grass;

Who brought this to pass?

Who has brought the flaming imperial anger?

Who has brought the army with drums and with kettle-drums?

Barbarous kings.

A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous autumn,

A turmoil of wars - men, spread over the middle kingdom,

Three hundred and sixty thousand,

And sorrow, sorrow like rain.

Sorrow to go, and sorrow, sorrow returning,

Desolate, desolate fields,

And no children of warfare upon them,

No longer the men for offence and defence.

Ah, how shall you know the dreary sorrow at the North Gate,

With Rihoku's name forgotten,

And we guardsmen fed to the tigers.

[Li Po?]

Pisan Cantos
The ant’s a centaur in his dragon world.

Pull down thy vanity, it is not man

Made courage, or made order, or made grace,

Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.

Learn of the green world what can be thy place

In scaled invention or true artistry,

Pull down thy vanity,

Paquin pull down!

The green casque has outdone your elegance.


The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter

After Li Po

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead

I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.

You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,

You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.

And we went on living in the village of Chōkan:

Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

At fourteen I married My Lord you.

I never laughed, being bashful.

Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.

Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,

I desired my dust to be mingled with yours

Forever and forever, and forever.

Why should I climb the look out?

At sixteen you departed

You went into far Ku-tō-en, by the river of swirling eddies,

And you have been gone five months.

The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out.

By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,

Too deep to clear them away!

The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.

The paired butterflies are already yellow with August

Over the grass in the West garden;

They hurt me.

I grow older.

If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,

Please let me know beforehand,

And I will come out to meet you

As far as Chō-fū-Sa.

La Regina Avrillouse

Lady of rich allure,

Queen of the spring's embrace,

Your arms are long like boughs of ash,

Mid laugh-broken streams, spirit of rain unsure,

Breath of the poppy flower,

All the wood thy bower

And the hills thy dwelling-place.

This will I no more dream;

Warm is thy arm's allure,

Warm is the gust of breath

That ere thy lips meet mine

Kisseth my cheek and saith:

"This is the joy of earth,

Here is the wine of mirth

Drain ye one goblet sure,

Take ye the honey cup

The honied song raise up,

Drink of the spring's allure,

April and dew and rain;

Brown of the earth sing sure,

Cheeks and lips and hair

And soft breath that kisseth where

Thy lips have come not yet to drink."

Moss and the mold of earth,

These be thy couch of mirth,

Long arms thy boughs of shade

April-alluring, as the blade

Of grass doth catch the dew

And make it crown to hold the sun.

Banner be you

Above my head,

Glory to all wold display'd,

April-alluring, glory-bold.

Dance figure

For the Marriage in Cana of Galilee

Dark eyed,

O woman of my dreams,

Ivory sandalled,

There is none like thee among the dancers,

None with swift feet.

I have not found thee in the tents,

In the broken darkness.

I have not found thee at the well-head

Among the women with pitchers.

Thine arms are as young sapling under the bark;

Thy face is a river with lights.

White as an almond are thy shoulders;

As new almonds stripped from the husk.

They guard thee not with enunchs;

Not with bars of copper.

Gilt turquoise and silver are in the pIace of thy resto

A brown robe, with threads of gold woven in patterns, hast thou

gathered about thee,

O Nathat-Ikanaie, "Tree at the river".

As a rillet among the sedge are thy hands upon me;

Thy fingers a frosted stream.

Thy maidens are white like pebbles;

Their music about thee!

There is none like thee among the dancers;

None with swift feet.

What Thou Lovest Well Remains

What thou lovest well remains,

the rest is dross

What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee

What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage

Whose world, or mine or theirs

or is it of none?

First came the seen, then thus the palpable

Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,

What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage

What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee

The ant's a centaur in his dragon world.

Pull down thy vanity, it is not man

Made courage, or made order, or made grace,

Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.

Learn of the green world what can be thy place

In scaled invention or true artistry,

Pull down thy vanity ,

Paquin pull down!

The green casque has outdone your elegance.

'Master thyself, then others shall thee beare'

Pull down thy vanity

"Master thyself, then others shall thee beare"

Pull down thy vanity

Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,

A swollen magpie in a fitful sun,

Half black half white

Nor knowst'ou wing from tail

Pull down thy vanity

How mean thy hates

Fostered in falsity,

Pull down thy vanity,

Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity,

Pull down thy vanity,

I say pull down.

But to have done instead of not doing

This is not vanity

To have, with decency, knocked

That a Blunt should open

To have gathered from the air a live tradition

or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame

this is not vanity.

Here error is all in the not done,

all in the diffidence that faltered . . .

The Garrett

Come, let us pity those who are better off than we are.

Come, my friend, and remember

that the rich have butlers and no friends,

And we have friends and no butlers.

Come, let us pity the married and the unmarried.

Dawn enters with little feet

like a gilded Pavlova

And I am near my desire.

Nor has life in it aught* better

Than this hour of clear coolness

the hour of waking together.

* anything

The Garden

En robe de parade. Samain *

Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall

She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,

And she is dying piece-meal

of a sort of emotional anaemia.

And round about there is a rabble

Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.

They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.

Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.

She would like some one to speak to her,

And is almost afraid that I

will commit that indiscretion.

¨*Albert Samain = French poet


These tales of old disguisings, are they not

Strange myths of souls that found themselves among

Unwonted folk that spake an hostile tongue,

Some soul from all the rest who'd not forgot

The star-span acres of a former lot

Where boundless mid the clouds his course he swung,

Or carnate with his elder brothers sung

Ere ballad-makers lisped of Camelot?

Old singers half-forgetful of their tunes,

Old painters color-blind come back once more,

Old poets skill-less in the wind-heart runes,

Old wizards lacking in their wonder-lore:

All they that with strange sadness in their eyes

Ponder in silence o'er earth's queynt devyse?


The light became her grace and dwelt among
Blind eyes and shadows that are formed as men;
Lo, how the light doth melt us into song:

The broken sunlight for a healm she beareth
Who has my heart in jurisdiction.
In wild-wood never fawn nor allow fareth
So silent light; no gossamer is spun
So delicate as she is, when the sun
Drives the clear emeralds from the bended grasses
Lest they should parch too swiftly, where she passes


GO, my songs, to the lonely and the unsatisfied,

Go also to the nerve-wracked, go to the enslaved-by-convention,

Bear to them my contempt for their oppressors.

Go as a great wave of cool water,

Bear my contempt of oppressors.

Speak against unconscious oppression,

Speak against the tyranny of the unimaginative,

Speak against bonds.

Go to the bourgeoise who is dying of her ennuis,

Go to the women in suburbs.
Go to the hideously wedded,

Go to them whose failure is concealed,

Go to the unluckily mated,

Go to the bought wife,

Go to the woman entailed.

Go to those who have delicate lust,

Go to those whose delicate desires are thwarted,

Go like a blight upon the dulness of the world;

Go with your edge against this,

Strengthen the subtle cords,

Bring confidence upon the algae and the tentacles of the soul.

Go in a friendly manner,

Go with an open speech.

Be eager to find new evils and new good,

Be against all forms of oppression.

Go to those who are thickened with middle age,

To those who have lost their interest.

Go to the adolescent who are smothered in family—

Oh how hideous it is

To see three generations of one house gathered together!

It is like an old tree with shoots,

And with some branches rotted and falling.

Go out and defy opinion,

Go against this vegetable bondage of the blood.

Speak for the free kinship of the mind and spirit

Go, against all forms of oppression.