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(Italian Campagna 1309, the open road)

"Bah! I have sung women in three cities,

But it is all the same;

And I will sing of the sun.

Lips, words, and you snare them,

Dreams, words, and they are as jewels,

Strange spells of old deity,

Ravens, nights, allurement:

And they are not;

Having become the souls of song.

Eyes, dreams, lips, and the night goes.

Being upon the road once more,

They are not.

Forgetful in their towers of our tuneing

Once for wind-runeing

They dream us-toward and

Sighing, say, "Would Cino,

"Passionate Cino, of the wrinkling eyes,

"Gay Cino, of quick laughter,

"Cino, of the dare, the jibe.

"Frail Cino, strongest of his tribe

"That tramp old ways beneath the sun-light,

"Would Cino of the Luth were here!

Once, twice a year—-

Vaguely thus word they:

"Cino?" "Oh, eh, Cino Polnesi

"The singer is't you mean?"

"Ah yes, passed once our way,

"A saucy fellow, but . . .

"(Oh they are all one these vagabonds),

"Peste! 'tis his own songs?

"Or some other's that he sings?

"But you, My Lord, how with your city?"

My you "My Lord," God's pity!

And all I knew were out, My Lord, you

Were Lack-land Cino, e'en as I am,

O Sinistro.

I have sung women in three cities.

But it is all one.

I will sing of the sun.

. . . eh? . . . they mostly had grey eyes,

But it is all one, I will sing of the sun.

"'Pollo Phoibee, old tin pan, you

Glory to Zeus' aegis-day,

Shield o' steel-blue, th' heaven o'er us

Hath for boss thy lustre gay!

"'Pollo Phoibee, to our way-fare

Make thy laugh our wander-lied;

Bid thy 'flugence bear away care.

Cloud and rain-tears pass they fleet!

Seeking e'er the new-laid rast-way

To the gardens of the sun . . .

* * *

I have sung women in three cities

But it is all one.

I will sing of the white birds

In the blue waters of heaven,

The clouds that are spray to its sea.

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?]

Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

The tea-rose, tea-gown, etc.

Supplants the mousseline of Cos,

The pianola “replaces”

Sappho’s barbitos.

Christ follows Dionysus,

Phallic and ambrosial

Made way for macerations;

Caliban casts out Ariel.

All things are a flowing,

Sage Heracleitus says;

But a tawdry cheapness

Shall reign throughout our days.

Even the Christian beauty

Defects—after Samothrace;

We see to kalon

Decreed in the market place.


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;


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.

Song in the Manner of Housman

O woe, woe,

People are born and die,

We also shall be dead pretty soon

Therefore let us act as if we were

Dead already.

The bird sits on the hawthorn tree

But he dies also, presently.

Some lads get hung, and some get shot.

Woeful is this human lot.

Woe! woe, etcetera . . . .

London is a woeful place,

Shropshire is much pleasanter.

Then let us smile a little space

Upon fond nature's morbid grace.

Oh, Woe, woe, woe, etcetera . . . .

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.

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.

The Seafarer

May I for my own self song's truth reckon,

Journey's jargon, how I in harsh days

Hardship endured oft.

Bitter breast-cares have I abided,

Known on my keel many a care's hold,

And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent

Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head

While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly afflicted,

My feet were by frost benumbed.

Chill its chains are; chafing sighs

Hew my heart round and hunger begot

Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not

That he on dry land loveliest liveth,

List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea,

Weathered the winter, wretched outcast

Deprived of my kinsmen;

Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew,

There I heard naught save the harsh sea

And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries,

Did for my games the gannet's clamour,

Sea-fowls, loudness was for me laughter,

The mews' singing all my mead-drink.

Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern

In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed

With spray on his pinion.

Not any protector

May make merry man faring needy.

This he little believes, who aye in winsome life

Abides 'mid burghers some heavy business,

Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary oft

Must bide above brine.

Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north,

Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then

Corn of the coldest. Nathless there knocketh now

The heart's thought that I on high streams

The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone.

Moaneth alway my mind's lust

That I fare forth, that I afar hence

Seek out a foreign fastness.

For this there's no mood-lofty man over earth's midst,

Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed;

Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful

But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare

Whatever his lord will.

He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having

Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's delight

Nor any whit else save the wave's slash,

Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water.

Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries,

Fields to fairness, land fares brisker,

All this admonisheth man eager of mood,

The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks

On flood-ways to be far departing.

Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying,

He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow,

The bitter heart's blood. Burgher knows not —

He the prosperous man — what some perform

Where wandering them widest draweth.

So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock,

My mood 'mid the mere-flood,

Over the whale's acre, would wander wide.

On earth's shelter cometh oft to me,

Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer,

Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly,

O'er tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow

My lord deems to me this dead life

On loan and on land, I believe not

That any earth-weal eternal standeth

Save there be somewhat calamitous

That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain.

Disease or oldness or sword-hate

Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body.

And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after —

Laud of the living, boasteth some last word,

That he will work ere he pass onward,

Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his malice,

Daring ado, ...

So that all men shall honour him after

And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the English,

Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast,

Delight mid the doughty.

Days little durable,

And all arrogance of earthen riches,

There come now no kings nor Cæsars

Nor gold-giving lords like those gone.

Howe'er in mirth most magnified,

Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest,

Drear all this excellence, delights undurable!

Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth.

Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed low.

Earthly glory ageth and seareth.

No man at all going the earth's gait,

But age fares against him, his face paleth,

Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions,

Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven,

Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth,

Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry,

Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart,

And though he strew the grave with gold,

His born brothers, their buried bodies

Be an unlikely treasure hoard.