মুখ্য Delphi Poetical Works of Ezra Pound

Delphi Poetical Works of Ezra Pound

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সাল:
2016
প্রকাশক:
Delphi Classics
ভাষা:
english
বইয়ের সিরিজ:
Delphi Poets 52
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1

Diptych Rome-London

সাল:
1926
ভাষা:
english
ফাইল:
EPUB, 313 KB
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2

On Literature

সাল:
1982
ভাষা:
english
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PDF, 4.83 MB
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    Ezra Pound


    (1885-1972)


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    Contents


    The Poetry Collections


    HILDA’S BOOK


    A LUME SPENTO


    A QUINZAINE FOR THIS YULE


    PERSONAE


    EXULTATIONS


    THE SPIRIT OF ROMANCE


    CANZONI


    THE SONNETS AND BALLATE OF GUIDO CAVALCANTI


    RIPOSTES


    CATHAY


    LUSTRA


    ARNAUT DANIEL


    PAVANNES AND DIVISIONS


    QUIA PAUPER AMAVI


    HUGH SELWYN MAUBERLEY


    UMBRA


    UNPUBLISHED VERSES


    The Poems


    LIST OF POEMS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER


    LIST OF POEMS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER


    The Poetical Dramas


    ‘NOH’, OR, ACCOMPLISHMENT: A STUDY OF THE CLASSICAL STAGE OF JAPAN


    The Prose


    INSTIGATIONS OF EZRA POUND


    Translation of ‘THE NATURAL PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE’ by Remy de Gourmont


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    © Delphi Classics 2015


    Version 1


    

  


  
    


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    [image: ]


    Ezra Pound


    [image: ]


    By Delphi Classics, 2015


    

  


  
    


    


    COPYRIGHT


    Ezra Pound - Delphi Poets Series


    First published in the United Kingdom in 2015 by Delphi Classics.


    © Delphi Classics, 2015.


    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form other than that in which it is published.


    Delphi Classics


    is an imprint of


    Delphi Publishing Ltd


    Hastings, East Sussex


    United Kingdom


    Contact: sales@delphiclassics.com


    www.delphiclassics.com


    

  


  
    


    NOTE


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    When reading poetry on an eReader, it is advisable to use a small font size and landscape mode, which will allow the lines of poetry to display correctly.


    

  


  
    The Poetry Collections


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    Pound’s birthplace in Hailey, Idaho


    

  


  
    


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 ;    Hailey, 1884


    

  


  
    


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    Pound, wearing his Cheltenham Military Academy uniform, with his mother, Isabel, in 1898


    

  


  
    


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    Pound in 1913, aged 28


    

  


  
    HILDA’S BOOK


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    Pound’s very first publication (“by E. L. Pound, Wyncote, aged 11 years”) was a limerick in the Jenkintown Times-Chronicle about William Jennings Bryan, who had just lost the 1896 presidential election:


    There was a young man from the West,


    He did what he could for what he thought best;


    But election came round,


    He found himself drowned,


    And the papers will tell you the rest.


    Between 1897 and 1900 Pound attended Cheltenham Military Academy, occasionally as a boarder, where he specialised in Latin and the Classics. He made his first trip abroad in the summer of 1898 when he was 13 years old. It was a three-month tour of Europe with his mother and Frances Weston (Aunt Frank), who took him to England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. After attending the academy he may have attended Cheltenham Township High School for a year. In 1901 at the age of 15, he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal Arts.


    Whilst at the university, he met Hilda Doolittle (later to become the poet known as H.D.), who was the daughter of the professor of astronomy. She followed Pound to Europe in 1908, leaving her family, friends and country behind at great personal risk, to help Pound with developing the Imagism movement in London. In February 1908, Pound asked her father for permission to marry Hilda. Doolittle was a curt man, described as ‘donnish’ and intimidating. Not impressed by Pound’s reputation as a ladies’ man and his sluggish career start as a poet, often moving from place to place. Doolittle’s response was dismissive: “What! … Why you’re nothing but a nomad!” Pound asked Hilda to marry him in the summer of 1907, and though rejected, he wrote several poems for her between 1905 and 1907, twenty-five of which were later hand-bound and arranged in the following unofficial collection, titled Hilda’s Book.


    

  


  
    


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    Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle (1886–1961) was an American poet, novelist, and memoirist known for her association with the Imagist group of poets. She published under the pen name of H.D.


    

  


  
    


    CONTENTS


    CHILD OF THE GRASS


    I STROVE A LITTLE BOOK TO MAKE FOR HER


    BEING ALONE WHERE THE WAY WAS FULL OF DUST


    LA DONZELLA BEATA


    THE WINGS


    VER NOVUM


    TO ONE THAT JOURNEYETH WITH ME


    DOMINA


    THE LEES


    PER SAECULA


    SHADOW


    THE BANNERS


    TO DRAW BACK INTO THE SOUL OF THINGS. PAX


    GREEN HARPING


    LI BEL CHASTENS


    THE ARCHES


    ERA VENUTA


    THE TREE


    BEING BEFORE THE VISION OF LI BEL CHASTENS


    THU IDES TIL


    L’ENVOI


    THE WIND


    SANCTA PATRONA


    RENDEZ-VOUS


    


    

  


  
    


    CHILD OF THE GRASS


    Child of the grass

    The years pass Above us

    Shadows of air All these shall Love us

    Winds for our fellows

    The browns and the yellows

     Of autumn our colors

    Now at our life’s morn. Be we well sworn

    Ne’er to grow older

    Our spirits be bolder At meeting

    Than e’er before All the old lore

    Of the forests & woodways

    Shall aid us: Keep we the bond & seal

    Ne’er shall we feel

    Aught of sorrow


    Let light flow about thee

    As a cloak of air


    

  


  
    


    I STROVE A LITTLE BOOK TO MAKE FOR HER


    I strove a little book to make for her,

    Quaint bound, as ‘twere in parchment very old,

    That all my dearest words of her should hold,

    Wherein I speak of mystic wings that whirr

    Above me when within my soul do stir

    Strange holy longings

    That may not be told

    Wherein all autumn’s crimson and fine gold

    And wold smells subtle as far-wandered myrrh

    Should be as burden to my heart’s own song.

    I pray thee love these wildered words of mine:

    Tho I be weak, is beauty alway strong,

    So be they cup-kiss to the mingled wine

    That life shall pour for us life’s ways among.

    Ecco il libro: for the book is thine.


    

  


  
    


    BEING ALONE WHERE THE WAY WAS FULL OF DUST


    Being alone where the way was full of dust, I said

    “Era mea

    In qua terra

    Dulce myrrtii floribus

    Rosa amoris

    Via erroris

    Ad te coram veniam.”

    And afterwards being come to a woodland place where the

    sun was warm amid the autumn, my lips, striving to speak for

    my heart, formed those words which here follow.


    

  


  
    


    LA DONZELLA BEATA


    Soul

    Caught in the rose hued mesh

    Of o’er fair earthly flesh

    Stooped you again to bear

    This thing for me

    And be rare light

    For me, gold white

    In the shadowy path I tread?

    Surely a bolder maid art thou

    Than one in tearful fearful longing

    That would wait Lily-cinctured

    Star-diademed at the gate

    Of high heaven crying that I should come

    To thee.


    

  


  
    


    THE WINGS


    A wondrous holiness hath touched me

    And I have felt the whirring of its wings

    Above me, Lifting me above all terrene things

    As her fingers fluttered into mine

    Its wings whirring above me as it passed

    I know no thing therelike, lest it be

    A lapping wind among the pines

    Half shadowed of a hidden moon

    A wind that presseth close

     and kisseth not

    But whirreth, soft as light

    Of twilit streams in hidden ways

    This is base thereto and unhallowed...

    Her fingers layed on mine in fluttering benediction

    And above the whirring of all-holy wings.


    

  


  
    


    VER NOVUM


    Thou that art sweeter than all orchards’ breath

    And clearer than the sun gleam after rain

    Thou that savest my soul’s self from death

    As scorpion’s is, of self-inflicted pain

    Thou that dost ever make demand for the best I have to give

    Gentle to utmost courteousy bidding only my pure-purged

    spirits live:

    Thou that spellest ever gold from out my dross

    Mage powerful and subtly sweet

    Gathering fragments that there be no loss

    Behold the brighter gains lie at thy feet.


    If any flower mortescent lay in sun-withering dust

    If any old forgotten sweetness of a former drink

    Naught but stilt fragrance of autumnal flowers

    Mnemonic of spring’s bloom and parody of powers

    That make the spring the mistress of our earth —

    If such a perfume of a dulled rebirth

    Lingered, obliviate with o’er mistrust,

    Marcescent, fading on the dolorous brink

    That border is to that marasmic sea

    Where all desire’s harmony


    Tendeth and endeth in sea monotone

    Blendeth wave and wind and rocks most drear

    Into dull sub-harmonies of light; out grown

    From man’s compass of intelligence,

    Where love and fear meet

    Having ceased to be:


    All this, and such disconsolate finery

    As doth remain in this gaunt castle of my heart

    Thou gatherest of thy clemency

    Sifting the fair and foul apart,

    Thou weavest for thy self a sun-gold bower

    By subtily incanted raed

    Every unfavorable and ill-happed hour

    Turneth blind and potently is stayed

    Before the threshold of thy dwelling place


    Holy, as beneath all-holy wings

    Some sacred covenant had passed thereby

    Wondrous as wind murmurings

    That night thy fingers laid on mine their benediction

    When thru the interfoliate strings

    Joy sang among God’s earthly trees

    Yea in this house of thine that I have found at last

    Meseemeth a high heaven’s antepast

    And thou thyself art unto me

    Both as the glory head and sun

    Casting thine own anthelion

    Thru this dull mist

    My soul was wont to be.


    

  


  
    


    TO ONE THAT JOURNEYETH WITH ME


    “Naethless, whither thou goest I will go.”

    Let, Dear, this sweet thing be, if be it may

    But hear this truth for truth,

    Let hence and alway whither soe’er I wander there I know

    Thy presence, if the waning wind move slow

    Thru woodlands where the sun’s last vassals stray

    Or if the dawn with shimmering array

    Doth spy the land where eastward peaks bend low.

    Yea all day long as one not wholly seen

    Nor ever wholly lost unto my sight

    Thou mak’st me company for love’s sweet sake

    Wherefor this praising from my heart I make

    To one that brav’st the way with me for night

    Or day, and drinks with me the soft wind and the keen.


    

  


  
    


    DOMINA


    My Lady is tall and fair to see

    She swayeth as a poplar tree

    When the wind bloweth merrily

    Her eyes are grey as the grey of the sea

    Not clouded much to trouble me

     When the wind bloweth merrily

    My Lady’s glance is fair and straight

    My Lady’s smile is changed of late

     the the wind bloweth merrily

    Some new soul in her eyes I see

    Not as year-syne she greeteth me

    When the wind bloweth merrily

    Some strange new thing she can not tell

    Some mystic danaan spell

     When the wind bloweth merrily

    Maketh her long hands tremble some

    Her lips part, the no words come

     When the wind bloweth merrily

    Her hair is brown as the leaves that fall

    She hath no villeiny at all

    When the wind bloweth merrily

    When the wind bloweth my Lady’s hair

    I bow with a murmured prayer

     For the wind that bloweth merrily

    With my lady far, the days be long

    For her homing I’d clasp the song

     That the wind bloweth merrily

    Wind song: this is my Lady’s praise

    What be lipped words of all men’s lays

    When the wind bloweth merrily

    To my Lady needs I send the best

    Only the wind’s song serves that behest.

    For the wind bloweth merrily.


    

  


  
    


    THE LEES


    There is a mellow twilight ‘neath the trees

    Soft and hallowed as is a thought of thee,

    Low soundeth a murmurous minstrelsy

    A mingled evensong beneath the breeze

    Each creeping, leaping chorister hath ease

    To sing, to whirr his heart out, joyously;

    Wherefor take thou my laboured litany

    Halting, slow pulsed it is, being the lees

    Of song wine that the master bards of old

    Have left for me to drink thy glory in.

    Yet so these crimson cloudy lees shall hold

    Some faint fragrance of that former wine

    O Love, my White-flower-o-the-Jasamin

    Grant that the kiss upon the cup be thine.


    

  


  
    


    PER SAECULA


    Where have I met thee? Oh Love tell me where

    In the aisles of the past were thy lips known

    To me, as where your breath as roses blown

    Across my cheek? Where through your tangled hair

    Have I seen the eyes of my desire bear

    Hearts crimson unto my heart’s heart? As mown

    Grain of the gold brown harvest from seed sown

    Bountifully amid spring’s emeralds fair

    So is our reaping now: But speak that spring

    Whisper in the murmurous twilight where

    I met thee mid the roses of the past

    Where you gave your first kiss in the last,

    Whisper the name thine eyes were wont to bear

    The mystic name whereof my heart shall sing.


    

  


  
    


    SHADOW


    Darkness hath descended upon the earth

    And there are no stars

    The sun from zenith to nadir is fallen

    And the thick air stifleth me.

    Sodden go the hours

    Yea the minutes are molten lead, stinging and heavy

    I saw her yesterday.

    And lo, there is no time

    Each second being eternity.

    Peace! trouble me no more.

    Yes, I know your eyes clear pools

    Holding the summer sky within their depth

    But trouble me not

    I saw HER yesterday.

    Peace! your hair is spun gold fine wrought and wondrous

    But trouble me not

    I saw her yester e’en.

    Darkness hath filled the earth at her going

    And the wind is listless and heavy

    When will the day come: when will the sun

    Be royal in bounty

    From nadir to zenith up-leaping?

    For lo! his steeds are weary, not having beheld her

    Since sun set.

    Oh that the sun steeds were wise

    Arising to seek her!

    The sun sleepeth in Orcus.

    From zenith to nadir is fallen his glory

    Is fallen, is fallen his wonder

    I saw her yesterday

    Since when there is no sun.

     ONE WHOSE SOUL WAS

     SO FULL OF ROSE

     LEAVES STEEPED IN

     GOLDEN WINE THAT THERE

     WAS NO ROOM THEREIN

     FOR ANY VILLEINY —


    

  


  
    


    THE BANNERS


    My wandring brother wind wild bloweth now

    October whirleth leaves in dusty air

    September’s yellow gold that mingled fair

    With green and rose tint on each maple bough

    Sulks into deeper browns and doth endow

    The wood-way with a tapis broidered rare — And where

    King oak tree his brave panoply did wear

    Of quaint device and colored

    The dawn doth show him but a shorn stave now.

    If where the wood stood in its pageantry

    A castle holyday’d to greet its queen

    Now but the barren banner poles be seen

    Yea that the ruined walls stand ruefully

    I make no grief, nor do I feel this teen

    Sith thou mak’st autumn as spring’s noon to me.


    

  


  
    


    TO DRAW BACK INTO THE SOUL OF THINGS. PAX


    Meseemeth that ’tis sweet this wise to lie

    Somewhile quite parted from the stream of things

    Watching alone the clouds’ high wanderings

    As free as they are in some wind-free sky

    While naught but thoughts of thee as clouds glide by

    Or come as faint blown wind across the strings

    Of this odd lute of mine imaginings

    And make it whisper me quaint things and high

    Such peace as this would make death’s self most sweet

    Could I but know, Thou maiden of the sun,

    That thus thy presence would go forth with me

    Unto that shadow land where ages’ feet

    Have wandered, and where life’s dreaming done

    Love may dream on unto eternity.


    

  


  
    


    GREEN HARPING


    Thou that wearest the doeskins’ hue

    “Hallew!”

    “Hallew!”

    Tho the elfin horn shall call to you

    ‘true — be true

    By the violets in thy leaf brown hair

    ‘ware — be ware

    Tho the elfin knights shall find thee fair

    ‘ware — too fair

    Tho hosts of night shall hail thee queen

     In the Eringreen

    The elf old queen hath sorrow seen

    and teen much teen

    Tho the shadow lords shall marshall their might

     afore thy sight

    Hold thou thy heart of my heart’s right

     in their despite

    Tho night shall dwell in thy child eyes

    ‘wise — be wise

    That thy child heart — to mine emprise

    ‘plies — replies

    For night shall flee from the fore-sun’s flame

    ‘shame in shame

    Tho my heart to thee embeggared came

    ‘same ’tis the same

    That lordship o’er the light doth hold

    ‘bold — quite bold

    And thee to my kingdom I enfold

    By spell of old.


    From another sonnet.

    THY FINGERS MOVE AGAIN ACROSS MY FACE

    AS LITTLE WINDS THAT DREAM

    BUT DARE IN NO WISE TELL THEIR DREAM ALOUD —


    

  


  
    


    LI BEL CHASTENS


    That castle stands the highest in the Land

    Far seen and mighty

    — Of the great hewn stones

    What shall I say?

    And deep foss-way

    That far beneath us bore of old

    A swelling turbid sea

    Hill-born and torrent-wise

    Unto the fields below, where

    Staunch villein and wandered

    Burgher held the land and tilled

    Long labouring for gold of wheat grain

    And to see the beards come forth

    For barley’s even-tide.


    But circle arched above the hum of life

    We dwelt, amid the

    Ancient boulders

    Gods had hewn

    And druids runed

    Unto the birth most wondrous

    That had grown

    A mighty fortress while the world had slept

    And we awaited in the shadows there

    While mighty hands had laboured sightlessly

    And shaped this wonder ‘bove the ways of men.


    Meseems we could not see the great green waves

    Nor rocky shore by Tintagoel

    From this our hold

    But came faint murmuring as undersong

    E’en as the burgher’s hum arose

    And died as faint wind melody

    Beneath our gates.


    

  


  
    


    THE ARCHES


    That wind-swept castle hight with thee alone

    Above the dust and rumble of the earth:

    It seemeth to mine heart another birth

    To date the mystic time, whence I have grown

    Unto new mastery of dreams and thrown

    Old shadows from me as of lesser worth.

    For ‘neath the arches where the winds make mirth

    We two may drink a lordship all our own.

    Yea alway had I longed to hold real dreams

    Not laboured things we make beneath the sun

    But such as come unsummoned in our sleep,

    And this above thine other gifts, meseems

    Thou’st given me. So when the day is done

    Thou meet me ‘bove the world in this our keep.


    

  


  
    


    ERA VENUTA


    Some times I feel thy cheek against my face

    Close pressing, soft as is the South’s first breath

    That all the soft small earth things summoneth

    To spring in woodland and in meadow space

    Yea sometimes in a dusty man-filled place

    Meseemeth somewise thy hair wandereth

    Across my eyes as mist that halloweth

    My sight and shutteth out the world’s disgrace

    That is apostasy of them that fail

    Denying that God doth God’s self disclose

    In every beauty that they will not see.

    Naethless when this sweetness comes to me

    I know thy thought doth pass as elfin “Hail.”

    That beareth thee, as doth the wind a rose.


    

  


  
    


    THE TREE


    I stood still and was a tree amid the wood

    Knowing the truth of things unseen before

    Of Daphne and the laurel bow

    And that god-feasting couple old

    That grew elm-oak amid the wold

    ’Twas not until the gods had been

    Kindly entreated and been brought within

    Unto the hearth of their hearts’ home

    That they might do this wonder thing.

    Naethless I have been a tree amid the wood

    And many new things understood

    That were rank folly to my head before.


    

  


  
    


    BEING BEFORE THE VISION OF LI BEL CHASTENS


    “E’en as lang syne from shadowy castle towers

    “Thy striving eyes did wander to discern

    “Which compass point my homeward way should be.”

    For you meseem some strange strong soul of wine...


    Hair some hesitating wind shall blow Backward as some

    brown haze

    That drifteth from thy face as fog that shifteth from fore some

    Hidden light and slow discloseth that the light is fair —


    

  


  
    


    THU IDES TIL


    O thou of Maydes all most wonder sweet

    That art my comfort eke and my solace

    Whan thee I find in any wolde or place

    I doon thee reverence as is most meet.

    To cry thy prayse I nill nat be discreet

    Thou hast swich debonairite and grace

    Swich gentyl smile thy alderfayrest face

    To run thy prayse I ne hold not my feet.

    My Lady, the I ne me hold thee fro

    Nor streyve with thee by any game to play

    But offer only thee myn own herte reede

    I prey by love that thou wilt kindness do

    And that thou keep my song by night and day

    As shadow blood from myn own herte y-blede.


    

  


  
    


    L’ENVOI


    Full oft in musty, quaint lined book of old

    Have I found rhyming for some maiden quaint

    In fashioned chanconnette and teen’s compleynt

    The sweet-scent loves of chivalry be told

    With fair conceit and flower manifold

    Right subtle tongued in complex verse restraint

    Against their lyric might my skill’s but faint.

    My flower’s outworn, the later rhyme runs cold

    Naethless, I loving cease me not to sing

    Love song was blossom to the searching breeze

    E’er Paris’ rhyming had availed to bring

    Helen and Greece for towered Troy’s disease

    Wherefor, these petals to the winds I fling

    ‘Vail they or fail they as the winds shall please.


    

  


  
    


    THE WIND


    “I would go forth into the night” she saith.

    The night is very cold beneath the moon

    ‘Twere meet, my Love that thou went forth at noon

    For now the sky is cold as very death.

    And then she drew a little sobbing breath

    “Without a little lonely wind doth crune

    And calleth me with wandered elfin rune

    That all true wind-born children summoneth

    Dear, hold me closer! so, till it is past

    Nay I am gone the while. Await!”

    And I await her here for I have understood.

    Yet held I not this very wind — bound fast

    Within the casde of my soul I would

    For very faintness at her parting, die.


    

  


  
    


    SANCTA PATRONA


    Domina Caelae

    Out of thy purity

    Saint Hilda pray for me.

    Lay on my forehead

    The hands of thy blessing.

    Saint Hilda pray for me

    Lay on my forehead

    Cool hands of thy blessing

    Out of thy purity

    Lay on my forehead

    White hands of thy blessing.

    Virgo caelicola

    Ora pro nobis.


    

  


  
    


    RENDEZ-VOUS


    She hath some tree-born spirit of the wood

    About her, and the wind is in her hair

    Meseems he whisp’reth and awaiteth there

    As if somewise he also understood.

    The moss-grown kindly trees, meseems, she could

    As kindred claim, for the to some they wear

    A harsh dumb semblance, unto us that care

    They guard a marvelous sweet brotherhood

    And thus she dreams unto the soul of things

    Forgetting me, and that she hath it not

    Of dull man-wrought philosophies I wot,

    She dreameth thus, so when the woodland sings

    I challenge her to meet my dream at Astalot

    And give him greeting for the song he brings.


    

  


  
    A LUME SPENTO


    [image: ]


    Pound’s first poetry collection was self-published in Venice in 1908. The title of the work, translated by him as ‘With Tapers Quenched’, is an allusion to the third canto of Dante’s Purgatory, occurring in the speech of Manfred, King of Sicily, as he describes the treatment of the excommunication he has endured, when exhumed and discarded without light along the banks of the River Verde. Having studied Romance languages and literature, including French, Italian and Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania and Hamilton College, Pound uses many allusions to works that influenced him in his studies, including Provençal and late Victorian poets. Pound adopts Robert Browning’s technique of dramatic monologues, appearing to speak in the voices of historical or legendary figures, reflecting the spiritualism common of the period.


    Pound dedicated A Lume Spento to a close friend, William Brooke Smith, a Philadelphia artist, who recently died of tuberculosis. The two had first met in 1901 and Smith, an avid reader, introduced Pound to the works of English decadents such as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley.


    After completing the poems, Pound attempted to find an American company to publish the collection. He thought that it would impress the publisher Thomas Bird Mosher, though he was mistaken, when Mosher refused to acknowledge the then-unknown poet. Unsuccessful with finding an American publisher, by February 1908 Pound had left for Europe, first arriving in Gibraltar, then moving on to Venice, where he eventually self-published A Lume Spento in July 1908, with the printer A. Antonini.


    Upon arriving in Venice, Pound reportedly had only $80 to his name; $8 of this was spent printing A Lume Spento. Paper for this first printing was reportedly leftover from the Venetian press’ recent history of the Church and Pound supervised the printing process himself and only 150 copies were printed. He was not confident of the quality of the work and even considered at one point dumping the proofs into a canal.


    By October 1908, Pound’s work had begun to receive critical acclaim, both in the press and amongst the literary community. In a review of the collection, the London Evening Standard called it “wild and haunting stuff, absolutely poetic, original, imaginative, passionate, and spiritual”.


    

  


  
    


    [image: ]


    The first edition


    

  


  
    


    CONTENTS


    GRACE BEFORE SONG


    NOTE PRECEDENT TO “LA FRAISNE.”


    LA FRAISNE


    CINO


    IN EPITAPHIUM EIUS


    NA AUDIART


    VILLONAUD FOR THIS YULE


    A VILLONAUD. BALLAD OF THE GIBBET


    MESMERISM


    FIFINE ANSWERS


    ANIMA SOLA


    IN TEMPORE SENECTUTIS


    FAMAM LIBROSQUE CANO


    THE CRY OF THE EYES


    SCRIPTOR IGNOTUS


    VANA


    THAT PASS BETWEEN THE FALSE DAWN AND THE TRUE


    IN MORTE DE


    THRENOS


    BALLAD ROSALIND


    MALRIN


    MASKS


    ON HIS OWN FACE IN A GLASS


    INVERN


    PLOTINUS


    PROMETHEUS


    AEGUPTON


    BALLAD FOR GLOOM


    FOR E. McC.


    SALVE O PONTIFEX!


    TO THE DAWN: DEFIANCE


    THE DECADENCE


    REDIVIVUS


    FISTULAE


    SONG: LOVE THOU THY DREAM


    MOTIF


    LA REGINA AVRILLOUSE


    A ROUSE


    NICOTINE


    IN TEMPORE SENECTUTIS


    OLTRE LA TORRE: ROLANDO


    


    

  


  
    


    This Book was


    LA FRAISNE


    (THE ASH TREE)


    dedicated


    to such us love this same

    beauty that I love, somewhat

    after mine own fashion.


    But sith one of them has gone out very quickly from amongst

    us it given


    A LUME SPENTO


    (WITH TAPERS QUENCHED)


    in memoriam eius mihi caritate primus


    William Brooke Smith


    Painter, Dreamer of dreams.


    

  


  
    


    GRACE BEFORE SONG


    Lord God of heaven that with mercy dight

    Th’ alternate prayer wheel of the night and light

    Eternal hath to thee, and in whose sight

    Our days as rain drops in the sea surge fall,

    As bright white drops upon a leaden sea

    Grant so my songs to this grey folk may be:

    As drops that dream and gleam and falling catch the sun,

    Evan’scent mirrors every opal one

    Of such his splendor as their compass is,

    So, bold My Songs, seek ye such death as this.


    

  


  
    


    NOTE PRECEDENT TO “LA FRAISNE.”


    “When the soul is exhausted of fire, then doth the spirit return unto its primal nature and there is upon it a peace great and of the woodland


    “magna pax et silvestris.”


    Then becometh it kin to the faun and the dryad, a woodland-dweller amid the rocks and streams


    “consociis faunis dryadisque inter saxa sylvarum.”


    Janus of Basel.


    Also has Mr. Yeats in his “Celtic Twilight” treated of such, and I because in such a mood, feeling myself divided between myself corporal and a self aetherial “a dweller by streams and in woodland,” eternal because simple in elements


    “Aeternus quia simplex naturae.”


    Being freed of the weight of a soul “capable of salvation or damnation,” a grievous striving thing that after much straining was mercifully taken from me; as had one passed saying as one in the Book of the Dead,


    “I, lo I, am the assembler of souls,” and had taken it with him, leaving me thus simplex naturae, even so at peace and trans-sentient as a wood pool I made it.


    The Legend thus: “Miraut de Garzelas, after the pains he bore a-loving Riels of Calidorn and that to none avail, ran mad in the forest.


    “Yea even as Peire Vidal ran as a wolf for her of Penautier tho some say that twas folly or as Garulf Bisclavret so ran truly, till the King brought him respite (See “Lais” Marie de France), so was he ever by the Ash Tree.”


    Hear ye his speaking: (low, slowly he speaketh it, as one drawn apart, reflecting) (egare).


    

  


  
    


    LA FRAISNE


    (Scene: The Ash Wood of Malvern)

    For I was a gaunt, grave councilor

    Being in all things wise, and very old,

    But I have put aside this folly and the cold

    That old age weareth for a cloak.


    I was quite strong — at least they said so —

    The young men at the sword-play;

    But I have put aside this folly, being gay

    In another fashion that more suiteth me.


    I have curled mid the boles of the ash wood,

    I have hidden my face where the oak

    Spread his leaves over me, and the yoke

    Of the old ways of men have I cast aside.


    By the still pool of Mar-nan-otha

    Have I found me a bride

    That was a dog-wood tree some syne.

    She hath called me from mine old ways


    She hath hushed my rancour of council,

    Bidding me praise


    Naught but the wind that flutters in the leaves.

    She hath drawn me from mine old ways,

    Till men say that I am mad;

    But I have seen the sorrow of men, and am glad,

    For I know that the wailing and bitterness are a folly.


    And I? I have put aside all folly and all grief.

    I wrapped my tears in an ellum leaf

    And left them under a stone

    And now men call me mad because I have thrown

    All folly from me, putting it aside

    To leave the old barren ways of men,

    Because my bride

    Is a pool of the wood and

    Tho all men say that I am mad

    It is only that I am glad,

    Very glad, for my bride hath toward me a great love

    That is sweeter than the love of women

    That plague and burn and drive one away.


    Aie-e. ’Tis true that I am gay

    Quite gay, for I have her alone here

    And no man troubleth us.


    Once when I was among the young men....

    And they said I was quite strong, among the young men.

    Once there was a woman....

    .... but I forget.... she was....

    .... I hope she will not come again.


    .... I do not remember....

    I think she hurt me once but....

    That was very long ago.


    I do not like to remember things any more.

    I like one little band of winds that blow

    In the ash trees here:

    For we are quite alone

    Here mid the ash trees.


    

  


  
    


    CINO


    (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?”


    But 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.


    “‘Polio 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!


    ‘Polio Phoibee, to our way-fare

    Make thy laugh our wander-lied;

    Bid thy ‘fulgence 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.


    

  


  
    


    IN EPITAPHIUM EIUS


    Servant and singer, Troubadour

    That for his loving, loved each fair face more

    Than craven sluggard can his life’s one love,


    Dowered with love, “whereby the sun doth move

    And all the stars.”

    They called him fickle that the lambent flame

    Caught “Bice” dreaming in each new-blown name,


    And loved all fairness the its hidden guise

    Lurked various in half an hundred eyes;


    That loved the essence the each casement bore

    A different semblance than the one before.


    

  


  
    


    NA AUDIART


    (Que be-m vols mal)

    Note: Any one who has read anything of the troubadours knows well the tale of Bertran of Born and My Lady Maent of Montaignac, and knows also the song he made when she would none of him, the song wherein he, seeking to find or make her equal, begs of each preeminent lady of Langue d’Oc some trait or some fair semblance: thus of Cembelins her “esgart amoros” to wit, her love-lit glance, of Aelis her speech free-running, of the Vicomptess of Chales her throat and her two hands, at Roacoart of Anhes her hair golden as Iseult’s; and even in this fashion of Lady Audiart “altho she would that ill come unto him” he sought and praised the lineaments of the torse. And all this to make “Una dompna soiseubuda” a borrowed lady or as the Italians translated it “Una donna ideale.”


    Tho thou well dost wish me ill

    Audiart, Audiart,


    Where thy bodice laces start

    As ivy fingers clutching thru

    Its crevices,


    Audiart, Audiart,


    Stately, tall and lovely tender

    Who shall render

     Audiart, Audiart

    Praises meet unto thy fashion?

    Here a word kiss!

    Pass I on


    Unto Lady “Miels-de-Ben,”

    Having praised thy girdle’s scope,

    How the stays ply back from it;

    I breathe no hope

    That thou shouldst....


     Nay no whit


    Bespeak thyself for anything.

    Just a word in thy praise, girl,

    Just for the swirl

    Thy satins make upon the stair,

    ‘Cause never a flaw was there

    Where thy torse and limbs are met:

    Tho thou hate me, read it set

    In rose and gold,

    Or when the minstrel, tale half told

    Shall burst to lilting at the phrase

    “Audiart, Audiart”....


    Bertrans, master of his lays,

    Bertrans of Aultaforte thy praise

    Sets forth, and the thou hate me well,

    Yea the thou wish me ill

    Audiart, Audiart

    Thy loveliness is here writ till,

    Audiart,


    Oh, till thou come again.

    And being bent and wrinkled, in a form

    That hath no perfect limning, when the warm

    Youth dew is cold

    Upon thy hands, and thy old soul

    Scorning a new, wry’d casement

    Churlish at seemed misplacement

    Finds the earth as bitter

    As now seems it sweet,

    Being so young and fair

    As then only in dreams,

    Being then young and wry’d,

    Broken of ancient pride

    Thou shalt then soften

    Knowing I know not how

    Thou wert once she

     Audiart, Audiart

    For whose fairness one forgave

    Audiart, Audiart

    Que be-m vols mal.


    

  


  
    


    VILLONAUD FOR THIS YULE


    Towards the Noel that morte saison

    (Christ make the shepherds’ homage dear!)

    Then when the grey wolves everychone

    Drink of the winds their chill small-beer

    And lap o’ the snows food’s gueredon

    Then makyth my heart his yule-tide cheer

    (Skoal! with the dregs if the clear be gone!)

    Wineing the ghosts of yester-year.


    Ask ye what ghosts I dream upon?

    (What of the magians’ scented gear?)

    The ghosts of dead loves everyone

    That make the stark winds reek with fear

    Lest love return with the foison sun

    And slay the memories that me cheer

    (Such as I drink to mine fashion)

    Wineing the ghosts of yester-year.


    Where are the joys my heart had won?

    (Saturn and Mars to Zeus drawn near!)

    Where are the lips mine lay upon,

    Aye! where are the glances feat and clear

    That bade my heart his valor don?

    I skoal to the eyes as grey-blown mere

    (Who knows whose was that paragon?)

    Wineing the ghosts of yester-year.


    Prince: ask me not what I have done

    Nor what God hath that can me cheer

    But ye ask first where the winds are gone

    Wineing the ghosts of yester-year.


    

  


  
    


    A VILLONAUD. BALLAD OF THE GIBBET


    Or the Song of the Sixth Companion


    (Scene: “En cest bourdel oil tenons nostre estat”)

    It being remembered that there were six of us with Master Villon, when that expecting presently to be hanged he writ a ballad whereof ye know: “Freres humains qui apres nous vivez.”


    Drink ye a skoal for the gallows tree!

    Francois and Margot and thee and me,

    Drink we the comrades merrily

    That said us, “Till then” for the gallows tree!


    Fat Pierre with the hook gauche-main,

    Thomas Larron “Ear-the-less,”

    Tybalde and that armouress

    Who gave this poignard its premier stain

    Pinning the Guise that had been fain

    To make him a mate of the “Flault Noblesse.”

    And bade her be out with ill address

    As a fool that mocketh his drue’s disdeign.


    Drink we a skoal for the gallows tree!

    Francois and Margot and thee and me,

    Drink we to Marienne Ydole,

    That hell brenn not her o’er cruelly.


    Drink we the lusty robbers twain,

    Black is the pitch o’ their wedding dress,

    Lips shrunk back for the wind’s caress

    As lips shrink back when we feel the strain

    Of love that loveth in hell’s disdeign

    And sense the teeth thru the lips that press

    ‘Gainst our lips for the soul’s distress

    That striveth to ours across the pain.


     Drink we skoal to the gallows tree!

    Francois and Margot and thee and me,

    For Jehan and Raoul de Vallerie

    Whose frames have the night and its winds in fee.


     Maturin, Guillaume, Jacques d’Allmain,

    Culdou lacking a coat to bless

    One lean moiety of his nakedness

    That plundered St. Hubert back o’ the fane:

    Aie! the lean bare tree is widowed again

    For Michault le Borgne that would confess

    In “faith and troth” to a traitoress

    “Which of his brothers had he slain?”


    But drink we skoal to the gallows tree!

    Francois and Margot and thee and me:


    These that we loved shall God love less

    And smite alway at their faibleness?


    Skoal!! to the Gallows! and then pray we:

    God damn his hell out speedily

    And bring their souls to his “Haulte Citee.”


    

  


  
    


    MESMERISM


     “And a cat’s in the water-butt.”

     Robt. Browning, Mesmerism


    Aye you’re a man that! ye old mesmerizer

    Tyin’ your meanin’ in seventy swadelin’s,

    One must of needs be a hang d early riser

    To catch you at worm turning. Holy Odd’s bodykins!


    “Cat’s i’ the water butt!” Thought’s in your verse-barrel,

    Tell us this thing rather, then we’ll believe you,

    You, Master Bob-Browning, spite your apparel

    Jump to your sense and give praise as we’d lief do.


    You wheeze as a head-cold long-tonsilled Calliope,

    But God! what a sight you ha’ got o’ our innards,

    Mad as a hatter but surely no Myope,

    Broad as all ocean and leanin man-kin ards.


    Heart that was big as the bowels of Vesuvius,

    Words that were wing’d as her sparks in eruption,

    Eagled and thundered as Jupiter Pluvius,

    Sound in your wind past all signs o’ corruption.


    Here’s to you, Old Hippety-hop o’the accents,

    True to the Truth’s sake and crafty dissector,

    You grabbed at the gold sure; had no need to pack cents

    Into your versicles.

     Clear sight’s elector!


    

  


  
    


    FIFINE ANSWERS


    “Why is it that, disgraced, they seem to relish life the more?”


    Fifine at the Fair, VII, 5.


    Sharing his exile that hath borne the flame,

    Joining his freedom that hath drunk the shame

    And known the torture of the Skull-place hours

    Free and so bound, that mingled with the powers

    Of air and sea and light his soul’s far reach

    Yet strictured did the body-lips beseech

    “To drink”: “I thirst.” And then the sponge of gall.


    Wherefor we wastrels that the grey road’s call

    Doth master and make slaves and yet make free,

    Drink all of life and quaffing lustily

    Take bitter with the sweet without complain

    And sharers in his drink defy the pain

    That makes you fearful to unfurl your souls.


    We claim no glory. If the tempest rolls

    About us we have fear, and then

    Having so small a stake grow bold again.

    We know not definitely even this

    But ‘cause some vague half knowing half doth miss

    Our consciousness and leaves us feeling

    That somehow all is well, that sober, reeling

    From the last carouse, or in what measure

    Of so called right or so damned wrong our leisure

    Runs out uncounted sand beneath the sun,

    That, spite your carping, still the thing is done

    With some deep sanction, that, we know not how,

    Without our thought gives feeling; You allow

    That ’tis not need we know our every thought

    Or see the work shop where each mask is wrought

    Wherefrom we view the world of box and pit,

    Careless of wear, just so the mask shall fit

    And serve our jape’s turn for a night or two.


    Call! eh bye! the little door at twelve!


    I meet you there myself.


    

  


  
    


    ANIMA SOLA


    “Then neither is the bright orb of the sun greeted nor yet shaggy might of earth or sea, thus then, in the firm vessel of harmony is fixed God, a sphere, round, rejoicing in complex solitude.” EMPEDOKLES


    Exquisite loneliness

    Bound of mine own caprice

    I fly on the wings of an unknown chord

    That ye hear not,

    Can not discern.

    My music is weird and untamed

    Barbarous, wild, extreme,

    I fly on the note that ye hear not

    On the chord that ye can not dream.

    And lo, your out-worn harmonies are behind me

    As ashes and mouldy bread,

    I die in the tears of the morning

    I kiss the wail of the dead.

    My joy is the wind of heaven.

    My drink is the gall of night,

    My love is the light of meteors,

    The autumn leaves in flight.


    I pendant sit in the vale of fate

    I twine the Maenad strands

    And lo, the three Eumenides

    Take justice at my hands.

    For I fly in the gale of an unknown chord.

    The blood of light is God’s delight

    And I am the life blood’s ward.


    O Loneliness, O Loneliness,

    Thou boon of the fires blown

    From heaven to hell and back again

    Thou cup of the God-man’s own!

    For I am a weird untamed

    That eat of no man’s meat

    My house is the rain ye wail against

    My drink is the wine of sleet.


    My music is your disharmony

    Intangible, most mad,

    For the clang of a thousand cymbals

    Where the sphinx smiles o’er the sand,

    And viol strings that out-sing kings

    Are the least of my command.

    Exquisite, alone, untrammeled

    I kiss the nameless sign

    And the laws of my inmost being

    Chant to the nameless shrine.

    I flee on the wing of a note ye know not,

    My music disowns your law,

    Ye can not tread the road I wed


    And lo! I refuse your bidding.

    I will not bow to the expectation that ye have.

    Lo! I am gone as a red flame into the mist,

    My chord is unresolved by your counter-harmonies.


    

  


  
    


    IN TEMPORE SENECTUTIS


    For we are old

    And the earth passion dyeth;

    We have watched him die a thousand times,

    When he wanes an old wind cryeth,

    For we are old

    And passion hath died for us a thousand times

    But we grew never weary.


    Memory faileth, as the lotus-loved chimes

    Sink into fluttering of wind,

    But we grow never weary

    For we are old.

    The strange night-wonder of your eyes

    Dies not, the passion flyeth

    Along the star fields of Arcturus

    And is no more unto our hands;

    My lips are cold

    And yet we twain are never weary,

    And the strange night-wonder is upon us,

    The leaves hold our wonder in their flutterings,

    The wind fills our mouths with strange words

    For our wonder that grows not old.


    The moth hour of our day is upon us

    Holding the dawn;

    There is strange Night-wonder in our eyes

    Because the Moth-Hour leadeth the dawn

    As a maiden, holding her fingers,

    The rosy, slender fingers of the dawn.


    He:— “Red spears bore the warrior dawn

    “Of old.

    “Strange! Love, hast thou forgotten

    “The red spears of the dawn,

    “The pennants of the morning?”


    She:— “Nay, I remember, but now

    “Cometh the Dawn, and the Moth-Hour

    “Together with him; softly

    “For we are old.”


    

  


  
    


    FAMAM LIBROSQUE CANO


    Your songs?

    Oh! The little mothers

    Will sing them in the twilight,

    And when the night

    Shrinketh the kiss of the dawn

    That loves and kills,

    What time the swallow fills

    Her note, then the little rabbit folk

    That some call children,

    Such as are up and wide

    Will laugh your verses to each other,

    Pulling on their shoes for the day’s business,

    Serious child business that the world

    Laughs at, and grows stale;

    Such is the tale

    — Part of it — of thy song-life.


    Mine?


    A book is known by them that read

    That same. Thy public in my screed

    Is listed. Well! Some score years hence

    Behold mine audience,

    As we had seen him yesterday.


    Scrawny, be-spectacled, out at heels,

    Such an one as the world feels

    A sort of curse against its guzzling

    And its age-lasting wallow for red greed

    And yet; full speed

    Tho it should run for its own getting,

    Will turn aside to sneer at

    ‘Cause he hath

    No coin, no will to snatch the aftermath

    Of Mammon.

    Such an one as women draw away from

    For the tobacco ashes scattered on his coat

    And sith his throat

    Shows razor’s unfamiliarity

    And three days’ beard;


    Such an one picking a ragged

    Backless copy from the stall,

    Too cheap for cataloguing,

    Loquitur,

    “Ah-eh! the strange rare name....

    “Ah-eh! He must be rare if even I have not...

    And lost mid-page

    Such age

    As his pardons the habit,

    He analyzes form and thought to see

    How I ‘scaped immortality.


    

  


  
    


    THE CRY OF THE EYES


    Rest Master, for we be aweary, weary

    And would feel the fingers of the wind

    Upon these lids that lie over us

    Sodden and lead-heavy.

    Rest brother, for lo! the dawn is without!

    The yellow flame paleth

    And the wax runs low.

    Free us, for without be goodly colors,

    Green of the wood-moss and flower colors,

    And coolness beneath the trees.

    Free us, for we perish

    In this ever-flowing monotony

    Of ugly print marks, black

    Upon white parchment.

    Free us, for there is one

    Whose smile more availeth

    Than all the age-old knowledge of thy books:

    And we would look thereon.


    

  


  
    


    SCRIPTOR IGNOTUS


    To K. R. H.

     Ferrara 1715


    When I see thee as some poor song-bird

    Battering its wings, against this cage we call Today,

    Then would I speak comfort unto thee,

    From out the heights I dwell in, when

    That great sense of power is upon me

    And I see my greater soul-self bending

    Sibylwise with that great forty-year epic

    That you know of, yet unwrit

    But as some child’s toy ‘tween my fingers,

    And see the sculptors of new ages carve me thus,

    And model with the music of my couplets in their hearts:

    Surely if in the end the epic

    And the small kind deed are one;

    If to God, the child’s toy and the epic are the same.

    E’en so, did one make a child’s toy,

    Fie might wright it well

    And cunningly, that the child might

    Keep it for his children’s children

    And all have joy thereof.


    Dear, an this dream come true,

    Then shall all men say of thee

    “She ’twas that played him power at life’s morn,

    And at the twilight Evensong,

    And God’s peace dwelt in the mingled chords

    She drew from out the shadows of the past,

    And old world melodies that else

    He had known only in his dreams

    Of Iseult and of Beatrice.”


    Dear, an this dream come true,

    I, who being poet only,

    Can give thee poor words only,

    Add this one poor other tribute,

    This thing men call immortality.

    A gift I give thee even as Ronsard gave it.

    Seeing before time, one sweet face grown old,

    And seeing the old eyes grow bright

    From out the border of Her fire-lit wrinkles,

    As she should make boast unto her maids

    “Ronsard hath sung the beauty, my beauty,

    Of the days that I was fair.”


    So hath the boon been given, by the poets of old time

    (Dante to Beatrice — an I profane not — )

    Yet with my lesser power shall I not strive

    To give it thee?


    All ends of things are with Him

    From whom are all things in their essence.

    If my power be lesser

    Shall my striving be less keen?

    But rather more! if I would reach the goal,

    Take then the striving!

    “And if,” for so the Florentine hath writ

    When having put all his heart

    Into his “Youth’s Dear Book.”

    He yet strove to do more honor

    To that lady dwelling in his inmost soul,

    He would wax yet greater

    To make her earthly glory more.

    Though sight of hell and heaven were

    price thereof,

    If so it be His will, with whom

    Are all things and through whom

    Are all things good,

    Will I make for thee and for the beauty of thy music

    A new thing

    As hath not heretofore been writ.

    Take then my promise!


    

  


  
    


    VANA


    In vain have I striven

    to teach my heart to bow;

    In vain have I said to him

    “There be many singers greater than thou.”


    But his answer cometh, as winds and as lutany,

    As a vague crying upon the night

    That leaveth me no rest, saying ever,

    “Song, a song.”


    Their echoes play upon each other in the twilight

    Seeking ever a song.

    Lo, I am worn with travail

    And the wandering of many roads hath made my eyes

    As dark red circles filled with dust.

    Yet there is a trembling upon me in the twilight,

    And little red elf words crying “A song,”

    Little grey elf words — crying for a song,

    Little brown leaf words crying “A song,”

    Little green leaf words crying for a song.

    The words are as leaves, old brown leaves in the spring time

    Blowing they know not whither, seeking a song.


    

  


  
    


    THAT PASS BETWEEN THE FALSE DAWN AND THE TRUE


    Blown of the winds whose goal is “No-man-knows.”

    As feathered seeds upon the wind are borne,

    To kiss as winds kiss and to melt as snows

    And in our passing taste of all men’s scorn,

    Wraiths of a dream that fragrant ever blows

    From out the night we know not to the morn,

    Borne upon winds whose goal is “No-man-knows.”

    An hour to each! We greet. The hour flows

    And joins its hue to mighty hues out-worn

    Weaving the Perfect Picture, while we torn

    Give cry in harmony, and weep the Rose

    Blown of the winds whose goal is “No-man-knows.”


    

  


  
    


    IN MORTE DE


    Oh wine-sweet ghost how are we borne apart

    Of winds that restless blow we know not where

    As little shadows smoke-wraith-sudden start

    If music break the freighted dream of air;

    So, fragile curledst thou in my dream-wracked heart,

    So, sudden summoned dost thou leave it bare.

    O wine-sweet ghost how are we borne apart!

    As little flames amid the dead coal dart

    And lost themselves upon some hidden stair,

    So futile elfin be we well aware

    Old cries I cry to thee as I depart,

    “O wine-sweet ghost how are we borne apart.”


    

  


  
    


    THRENOS


    No more for us the little sighing

    No more the winds at twilight trouble us.

    Lo the fair dead!


    No more do I burn.

    No more for us the fluttering of wings

    That whirred the air above us.


    Lo the fair dead!


    No more desire flayeth me,

    No more for us the trembling

    At the meeting of hands.


    Lo the fair dead!


    No more for us the wine of the lips

    No more for us the knowledge.


    Lo the fair dead!


    No more the torrent

    No more for us the meeting-place

    (Lo the fair dead!)

    Tintagoel.


    

  


  
    


    BALLAD ROSALIND


    Our Lord is set in his great oak throne

    For our old Lord liveth all alone

    These ten years and gone.


    A book on his knees and bent his head

    For our old Lord’s love is long since dead.

    These ten years and gone.


    For our young Lord Hugh went to the East,

    And fought for the cross and is crows’ feast

    These ten years and gone.


    “But where is our Lady Rosalind,

    Fair as day and fleet as wind

    These ten years and gone?”


    For our old Lord broodeth all alone

    Silent and grey in his black oak throne

    These ten years and gone.


    Our old Lord broodeth silent there

    For to question him none will dare

    These ten years and more.


    Where is our Lady Rosalind

    Fair as dawn and fleet as wind.

    These ten years and gone?


    Our old Lord sits with never a word

    And only the flame and the wind are heard

    These ten years and more.


    “Father! I come,” and she knelt at the throne,

    “Father! know me, I am thine own.

    “These ten years and more


    “Have they kept me for ransom at Chastel d’ Or

    “And never a word have I heard from thee

    “These ten years and more.”


    But our Lord answered never a word

    And only sobbing and wind were heard.

    (These ten years and gone.)


    We took our Lord and his great oak throne

    And set them deep in a vault of stone

    These ten years and gone,


    A book on his knees and bow’d his head

    For the Lord of our old Lord’s love is dead

    These ten years and gone,


    And Lady Rosalind rules in his stead

    (Thank we God for our daily bread)

    These ten years and more.


    

  


  
    


    MALRIN


    Malrin, because of his jesting stood without, till all the guests were entered in unto the Lord’s house. Then there came an angel unto him saying, “Malrin, why hast thou tarried?”


    To whom, Malrin, “There is no feeding till the last sheep be gone into the fold. Wherefor I stayed chaffing the laggards and mayhap when it was easy helping the weak.”


    Saith the angel, “The Lord will be wroth with thee, Malrin, that thou art last.”


    “Nay sirrah!” quipped Malrin, “I knew my Lord when thou and thy wings were yet in the egg.”


    Saith the angel, “Peace! hasten lest there be no bread for thee, rattle-tongue.”


    “Ho,” quoth Malrin, “is it thus that thou knowest my Lord? Aye! I am his fool and have felt his lash but meseems that thou hast set thy ignorance to my folly, saying ‘Hasten lest there be an end to his bread.’”


    Whereat the angel went in in wrath. And Malrin, turning slowly, beheld the last blue of twilight and the sinking of the silver of the stars. And the suns sank down like cooling gold in their crucibles, and there was a murmuring amid the azure curtains and far clarions from the keep of heaven, as a Muezzin crying, “Allah akbar, Allah il Allah! it is finished.’”


    And Malrin beheld the broidery of the stars become as wind-worn tapestries of ancient wars. And the memory of all old songs swept by him as an host blue-robed trailing in dream, Odysseus, and Tristram, and the pale great gods of storm, the mailed Campeador and Roland and Villon’s women and they of Valhalla; as a cascade of dull sapphires so poured they out of the mist and were gone. And above him the stronger clarion as a Muezzin crying “Allah akbar, Allah il Allah, it is finished.”


    And again Malrin, drunk as with the dew of old world druidings, was bowed in dream. And the third dream of Malrin was the dream of the seven and no man knoweth it.


    And a third time came the clarion and after it the Lord called softly unto Malrin, “Son, why hast thou tarried? Is it not fulfilled, thy dream and mine?”


    And Malrin, “O Lord, I am thy fool and thy love hath been my scourge and my wonder, my wine and mine extasy. But one left me awroth and went in unto thy table. I tarried till his anger was blown out.”


    “Oh Lord for the ending of our dream I kiss thee. For his anger is with the names of Deirdre and Ysolt. And our dream is ended, PADRE.”


    

  


  
    


    MASKS


    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?


    

  


  
    


    ON HIS OWN FACE IN A GLASS


    O strange face there in the glass!


    O ribald company, O saintly host!

    O sorrow-swept my fool,


    What answer?

    O ye myriad

    That strive and play and pass,

    Jest, challenge, counterlie,


    I ? I ? I ?

     And ye?


    

  


  
    


    INVERN


    Earth’s winter cometh

    And I being part of all

    And sith the spirit of all moveth in me

    I must needs bear earth’s winter

    Drawn cold and grey with hours

    And joying in a momentary sun,

    Lo I am withered with waiting till my spring cometh!

    Or crouch covetous of warmth

    O’er scant-logged ingle blaze,

    Must take cramped joy in tomed Longinus

    That, read I him first time

    The woods agleam with summer

    Or mid desirous winds of spring,

    Had set me singing spheres

    Or made heart to wander forth among warm roses

    Or curl in grass nest neath a kindly moon.


    

  


  
    


    PLOTINUS


    As one that would draw thru the node of things,

    Back sweeping to the vortex of the cone,

    Cloistered about with memories, alone

    In chaos, while the waiting silence sings:


    Obliviate of cycles’ wanderings

    I was an atom on creation’s throne

    And knew all nothing my unconquered own.

    God! Should I be the hand upon the strings?!


    But I was lonely as a lonely child.

    I cried amid the void and heard no cry,

    And then for utter loneliness, made I

    New thoughts as crescent images of me.

    And with them was my essence reconciled

    While fear went forth from mine eternity.


    

  


  
    


    PROMETHEUS


    For we be the beaten wands

    And the bearers of the flame.

    Our selves have died lang syne, and we

    Go ever upward as the sparks of light

    Enkindling all

    ‘Gainst whom our shadows fall.


    Weary to sink, yet ever upward borne,

    Flame, flame that riseth ever

    To the flame within the sun,

    Tearing our casement ever

    For the way is one

    That beareth upward

    To the flame within the sun.


    

  


  
    


    AEGUPTON


    I — even I — am he who knoweth the roads

    Thru the sky and the wind thereof is my body.


    I have beheld the Lady of Life.

    I, even I, that fly with the swallows.


    Green and grey is her raiment

    Trailing along the wind.


    I — even I — am he who knoweth the roads

    Thru the sky and the wind thereof is my body.


    Manus animam pinxit —

    My pen is in my hand


    To write the acceptable word,

    My mouth to chaunt the pure singing:


    Who hath the mouth to receive it?

    The Song of the Lotus of Kumi?

    I — even I — am he who knoweth the roads

    Thru the sky and the wind thereof is my body.


    I am flame that riseth in the sun,

    I, even I, that fly with the swallows


    For the moon is upon my forehead,

    The winds are under my kiss.


    The moon is a great pearl in the waters of sapphire;

    Cool to my fingers the flowing waters.


    I — even I — am he who knoweth the roads

    Of the sky and the wind thereof is my body.


    I will return unto the halls of the flowing

    Of the truth of the children of Ashu.


    I — even I — am he who knoweth the roads

    Of the sky and the wind thereof is my body.


    

  


  
    


    BALLAD FOR GLOOM


    For God, our God, is a gallant foe

    That playeth behind the veil.


    I have loved my God as a child at heart

    That seeketh deep bosoms for rest,

    I have loved my God as maid to man

    But lo this thing is best:


    To love your God as a gallant foe

     that plays behind the veil,

    To meet your God as the night winds meet

     beyond Arcturus’ pale.


    I have played with God for a woman,

    I have staked with my God for truth,


    I have lost to my God as a man, clear eyed,

     His dice be not of ruth,


    For I am made as a naked blade

     But hear ye this thing in sooth:


    Who loseth to God as man to man

     Shall win at the turn of the game.

    I have drawn my blade where the lightnings meet

     But the ending is the same:

    Who loseth to God as the sword blades lose

     Shall win at the end of the game.


    For God, our God, is a gallant foe

     that playeth behind the veil

    Whom God deigns not to overthrow

     Hath need of triple mail.


    

  


  
    


    FOR E. McC.


    That was my counter-blade under

    Leonardo Terrone, Master of Fence.


    Gone while your tastes were keen to you,

    Gone where the grey winds call to you,

    By that high fencer, even Death,

    Struck of the blade that no man parrieth,

    Such is your fence, one saith,

     one that hath known you.

    Drew you your sword most gallantly

    Made you your pass most valiantly

     ‘Gainst that grey fencer, even Death.


    Gone as a gust of breath.

    Faith! no man tarrieth,

    “Sc il cor ti manca,” but it failed thee not!

    “Non ti fidar,” it is the sword that speaks

    “In me.”

    Thou trusted’st in thyself and met the blade

    ‘Thout mask or gauntlet, and art laid

    As memorable broken blades that be

    Kept as bold trophies of old pageantry,

    As old Toledos past their days of war

    Are kept mnemonic of the strokes they bore,

    So art thou with us, being good to keep

    In our heart’s sword-rack, the thy sword-arm sleep.


    ENVOI


    Struck of the blade that no man parrieth

    Pierced of the point that toucheth lastly all,

    ‘Gainst that grey fencer, even Death,

    Behold the shield! He shall not take thee all.


    

  


  
    


    SALVE O PONTIFEX!


    To Swinburne; an hemichaunt


    One after one do they leave thee,

     High Priest of Iacchus,

    Toning thy melodies even as winds tone

    The whisper of tree leaves, on sun-lit days.

    Even as the sands are many

    And the seas beyond the sands are one

    In ultimate; so we here being many

    Are unity. Nathless thy compeers

     Knowing thy melody,

    Lulled with the wine of thy music

    Go seaward silently, leaving thee sentinel

    O’er all the mysteries,

     High Priest of Iacchus,

    For the lines of life lie under thy fingers,

    And above the vari-colored strands

    Thine eyes look out unto the infinitude

    Of the blue waves of heaven,

    And even as Triplex Sisterhood

    Thou fingerest the threads knowing neither

    Cause nor the ending.

     High Priest of Iacchus

    Draw’st forth a multiplicity

    Of strands, and beholding

    The color thereof, raisest thy voice

    Toward the sunset,

     O High Priest of Iacchus!

    And out of the secrets of the inmost mysteries

    Thou chantest strange far-sourced canticles;

     O High Priest of Iacchus!

    Life and the ways of Death her

    Twin born sister, being Life’s counterpart

    (And evil being inversion of blessing

    That blessing herself might have being)

    And night and the winds of night;

    Silent voices ministering to the souls

    Of hamadryads that hold council concealed

    In streams and tree-shadowing

    Forests on hill slopes,

     O High Priest of Iacchus

    All the manifold mystery

    Thou makest wine of song of,

    And maddest thy following

    Even with visions of great deeds

    And their futility, and the worship of love,

     O High Priest of Iacchus.

    Wherefor the thy co-novices bent to the scythe

    Of the magian wind that is voice of Prosephone,

    Leaving thee solitary, master of initiating

    Maenads that come thru the

    Vine-entangled ways of the forest

    Seeking, out of all the world

    Madness of Iacchus,

    That being skilled in the secrets of the double cup

    They might turn the dead of the world

    Into beauteous paeans,

     O High Priest of Iacchus

    Wreathed with the glory of years of creating

    Entangled music that men may not

    Over readily understand:

    Breathe!

    Now that evening cometh upon thee,

    Breathe upon us that low-bowed and exultant

    Drink wine of Iacchus

    That since the conquering

    Hath been chiefly contained in the numbers

    Of them that even as thou, have woven

    Wicker baskets for grape clusters

    Wherein is concealed the source of the vintage,

     O High Priest of Iacchus

    Breathe thou upon us

    Thy magic in parting!

    Even as they thy co-novices

    Being mingled with the sea

    While yet thou mad’st canticles

    Serving upright before the altar

    That is bound about with shadows

    Of dead years wherein thy Iacchus

    Looked not upon the hills, that being

    Uncared for, praised not him in entirety,

     O High Priest of Iacchus

    Being now near to the border of the sands

    Where the sapphire girdle of the sea

    Encinctureth the maiden

    Prosephone, released for the spring.

    Look! Breathe upon us

    The wonder of the thrice encinctured mystery

    Whereby thou being full of years art young,

    Loving even this lithe Prosephone

    That is free for the seasons of plenty;


    Whereby thou being young art old

    And shalt stand before this Prosephone

    Whom thou lovest,

    In darkness, even at that time


    That she being returned to her husband

    Shall be queen and a maiden no longer,


    Wherein thou being neither old nor young,

    Standing on the verge of the sea

    Shalt pass from being sand,

     O High Priest of Iacchus,

    And becoming wave

    Shalt encircle all sands,

    Being transmuted thru all

    The girdling of the sea.

     O High Priest of Iacchus,

    Breathe thou upon us!


    

  


  
    


    TO THE DAWN: DEFIANCE


    Ye blood-red spears-men of the dawn’s array

    That drive my dusk-clad knights of dream away,

    Hold! For I will not yield.


    My moated soul-shall dream in your despite

    A refuge for the vanquished hosts of night

    That can not yield.


    

  


  
    


    THE DECADENCE


    Tarnished we! Tarnished! Wastrels all!

    And yet the art goes on, goes on.

    Broken our strength, yea as crushed reeds we fall,

    And yet the art, the art goes on.


    Bearers of beauty flame and wane,

    The sunset shadow and the rose’s bloom.

    The sapphire seas grow dull to shine again

    As new day glistens in the old day’s room.

    Broken our manhood for me wrack and strain;

    Drink of our hearts the sunset and the cry

    “Io Triumphe!” the our lips be slain

    We see Art vivant, and exult to die.


    

  


  
    


    REDIVIVUS


    Hail Michael Agnolo! my soul lay slain

    Or else in torpor such, death seems more fair,

    I looked upon the light, if light were there

    I knew it not. There seemed not any pain,

    Nor joy, nor thought nor glorious deed nor strain

    Of any song that half remembered were

    For sign of quickness in that soul; but bare

    Gaunt walls alone me seemed it to remain.


    Thou praisest Dante well, My Lord: “No tongue

    “Can tell of him what told of him should be

    “For on blind eyes his splendor shines too strong.”

    If so his soul goes on unceasingly

    Shall mine own flame count flesh one life too long

    To hold its light and bear ye company?


    

  


  
    


    FISTULAE


    “To make her madrigal

    “Who shall the rose sprays bring;

    “To make her madrigal

    “And bid my heart to sing?”


    

  


  
    


    SONG: LOVE THOU THY DREAM


    Love thou thy dream

    All base love scorning,

    Love thou the wind

    And here take warning

    That dreams alone can truly be,

    For ’tis in dream I come to thee.


    

  


  
    


    MOTIF


    I have heard a wee wind searching

    Thru still forests for me,

    I have seen a wee wind searching

    O’er still sea.


    Thru woodlands dim

    Have I taken my way,

    And o’er silent waters, night and day

    Have I sought the wee wind.


    

  


  
    


    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 thine 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.


    

  


  
    


    A ROUSE


    Save ye, Merry gentlemen! Vagabonds and Rovers,

    Hell take the hin’most,

    We’re for the clovers!

    “Soul” sings the preacher.

    Our joy’s the light.

    “Goal” bawls ambition.

    Grass our delight!


    Save ye, merry gentlemen!

    Whirr and dew of earth,

    Beauty ‘thout raiment,

    Reed pipes and mellow mirth

    Scot free, no payment!


    Gods be for heaven,

    Clay the poet’s birth!

    Save ye merry gentlemen!

    Wind and dew and spray o’ sea

    Hell take the hin’most,

    Foot or sail for Arcady

    Voice o’ lark and breath of bee

    Hell take the hin’most!

    Our drink shall be the orange wine,

    House o’ boughs and roof o’ vine

    Hell take the hin’most!

    Laugh and lips and gleam o’ hair

    Fore-kiss breath, and shoulders bare,

    Save you queen o April!


    (La Regina Avrillouse loquitur).


    Follow! follow!


    Breath of mirth,

    My bed, my bower green of earth,

    Naught else hath any worth.

    Save ye “jolif bachillier”!

    Hell take the hin’most!


    

  


  
    


    NICOTINE


    A Hymn to the Dope


    Goddess of the murmuring courts,

    Nicotine, my Nicotine,

    Houri of the mystic sports,

    trailing-robed in gabardine,

    Gliding where the breath hath glided,

    Hidden sylph of filmy veils,

    Truth behind the dream is veiled

    E’en as thou art, smiling ever, ever gliding,

    Wraith of wraiths, dim lights dividing

    Purple, grey, and shadow green

    Goddess, Dream-grace, Nicotine.


    Goddess of the shadow’s lights,

    Nicotine, my Nicotine,

    Some would set old Earth to rights,

    Thou and I none such I ween.

    Veils of shade our dream dividing,

    Houris dancing, intergliding,

    Wraith of wraiths and dream of faces,

    Silent guardian of the old unhallowed places,

    Utter symbol of all old sweet druidings,

    Mem’ry of witched wold and green,

    Nicotine, my Nicotine:


    Neath the shadows of thy weaving

    Dreams that need no undeceiving,

    Loves that longer hold me not,

    Dreams I dream not any more,

    Fragrance of old sweet forgotten places,

    Smiles of dream-lit, flit-by faces

    All as perfume Arab-sweet

    Deck the high road to thy feet


    As were Godiva’s coming fated

    And all the April’s blush belated

    Were lain before her, carpeting

    The stones of Coventry with spring,

    So thou my mist-enwreathed queen,

    Nicotine, white Nicotine,

    Riding engloried in thy hair

    Mak’st by-road of our dreams

    Thy thorough-fare.


    

  


  
    


    IN TEMPORE SENECTUTIS


    An Anti-stave for Dowson


    When I am old

    I will not have you look apart

    From me, into the cold,

    Friend of my heart,

    Nor be sad in your remembrance

    Of the careless, mad-heart semblance

    That the wind hath blown away

    When I am old.


    When I am old

    And the white hot wonder-fire

    Unto the world seem cold,

    My soul’s desire

    Know you then that all life’s shower,

    The rain of the years, that hour

    Shall make blow for us one flower,

    Including all, when we are old.


    When I am old

    If you remember

    Any love save what is then

    Hearth light unto life’s December

    Be your joy of past sweet chalices

    To know then naught but this

    “How many wonders are less sweet

    Than love I bear to thee

    When I am old.”


    

  


  
    


    OLTRE LA TORRE: ROLANDO


    There dwelt a lady in a tower high,

    Foul beasts surrounded it,

    I scattered them and left her free.


    O-la! Oll-aa! The green-wood tree

    Hath many a smooth sward under it!


    My lady hath a long red cloak,

    Her robe was of the sun,

    This blade hath broke a baron’s yoke,

    That hath such guerdon won.


    Yea I have broke my Lord Gloom’s yoke

    New yoke will I have none,

    Save the yoke that shines in the golden bow

    Betwixt the rain and the sun.


    Ol — la! Ol-la! the good green-wood!

    The good green wood is free!

    Say who will lie in the bracken high

    And laugh, and laugh for the winds with me?

    Make-strong old dreams lest this our world lose heart.


    For man is a skinfull of wine

    But his soul is a hole full of God

    And the song of all time blows thru him

    As winds thru a knot-holed board.


    Tho man be a skin full of wine

    Yet his heart is a little child

    That croucheth low beneath the wind

    When the God-storm battereth wild.


    

  


  
    A QUINZAINE FOR THIS YULE


    [image: ]


    Although Pound continued looking for an American publisher for A Lume Spento, he was unsuccessful. He published his second collection, A Quinzaine for This Yule, in December 1908, after settling himself to live in London. Once again the collection was published at Pound’s own expense. The poems had all been written in a few weeks, whereas Pound’s first book contained gleanings from five years’ composition. Pound was aware of the second collection’s limitations, later writing that it, “lacks, on the surface, the virility. & the vitality of A.L[ume].S[pento]. but it lacks several faults of A.L.S.” Though he later conceded, “The workmanship is perhaps finer”.


    

  


  
    


    [image: ]


    The first edition’s title page


    

  


  
    


    CONTENTS


    PRELUDE: OVER THE OGNISANTI


    NIGHT LITANY


    PURVEYORS GENERAL


    AUBE OF THE WEST DAWN. VENETIAN JUNE.


    TO LA CONTESSA BIANZAFIOR (CENT. XIV)


    PARTENZA DI VENEZIA


    LUCIFER CADITURUS


    SANDALPHON


    FORTUNATUS


    BEDDOESQUE


    GREEK EPIGRAM


    CHRISTOPHORI COLUMBI TUMULUS


    TO T. H. THE AMPHORA.


    HISTRION


    NEL BIANCHEGGIAR


    


    

  


  
    


    A QUINZAINE FOR THIS YULE


    Being selected from a

    Venetian sketch-book

    — “San Trovaso” —


    TO


    THE AUBE OF THE WEST DAWN


    Beauty should never be presented explained. It is Marvel and Wonder, and in art we should find first these doors — Marvel and Wonder — and, coming through them, a slow understanding (slow even though it be a succession of lightning understandings and perceptions) as of a figure in mist, that still and ever gives to each one his own right of believing, each after his own creed and fashion.


    Always the desire to know and to understand more deeply must precede any reception of beauty. Without holy curiosity and awe none find her, and woe to that artist whose work wears its “heart on its sleeve.”


    WESTON ST. LLEWMYS


    

  


  
    


    PRELUDE: OVER THE OGNISANTI


    High-dwelling ‘bove the people here,

    Being alone with beauty most the while,

    Lonely?


     How can I be,

    Having mine own great thoughts for paladins

    Against all gloom and woe and every bitterness?


    Also have I the swallows and the sunset

    And I see much life below me,

     In the garden, on the waters,

    And hither float the shades of songs they sing

    To sound of wrinkled mandolin, and plash of waters,

    Which shades of song re-echoed

    Within that somewhile barren hall, my heart,

    Are found as I transcribe them following.


    

  


  
    


    NIGHT LITANY


    O Dieu, purifiez nos coeurs!

     purifiez nos coeurs!


    Yea the lines hast thou laid unto me

     in pleasant places,

    And the beauty of this thy Venice

     hast thou shewn unto me

    Until is its loveliness become unto me

     a thing of tears.


    O God, what great kindness

     have we done in times past

     and forgotten it,

    That thou givest this wonder unto us,

     O God of waters?

    O God of the night

     What great sorrow

    Cometh unto us,

     That thou thus repayest us

    Before the time of its coming?

    O God of silence,

     Purifiez nos coeurs

     Purifiez nos coeurs

    For we have seen

    The glory of the shadow of the

    likeness of thine handmaid,

    Yea, the glory of the shadow

    of thy Beauty hath walked

    Upon the shadow of the waters

    In this thy Venice.

    And before the holiness

    Of the shadow of thy handmaid

    Have I hidden mine eyes,

    O God of waters.

    O God of silence,

     Purifiez nos coeurs,

     Purifiez nos coeurs,

    O God of waters,

    make clean our hearts within us

    And our lips to show forth thy praise,

    For I have seen the

    shadow of this thy Venice

    floating upon the waters,

    And thy stars

    have seen this thing out of their far courses

    have they seen this thing,

    O God of waters.

    Even as are thy stars

    Silent unto us in their far-coursing,

    Even so is mine heart

    become silent within me.

    (Fainter)

     Purifiez nos coeurs

    O God of the silence,

     Purifiez nos coeurs

    O God of waters.


    

  


  
    


    PURVEYORS GENERAL


    Praise to the lonely ones!

    Give praise out of your ease

    To them whom the farther seas

    Bore out from amongst you.


    We, that through all the world

    Have wandered seeking new things

    And quaint tales, that your ease

    May gather such dreams as please

    you, the Home-stayers.


    We, that through chaos have hurled

    Our souls riven and burning,

    Torn, mad, even as windy seas

    Have we been, that your ease

    Should keep bright amongst you:


    That new tales and strange peoples

    Such as the further seas

    Wash on the shores of,

    That new mysteries and increase

    Of sunlight should be amongst you,

    you, the home-stayers.


    Even for these things, driven from you,

    Have we, drinking the utmost lees

    Of all the world’s wine and sorrowing

    Gone forth from out your ease,

    And borrowing

    Out of all lands and realms

    of the infinite,

    New tales, new mysteries,


    New songs from out the breeze

    That maketh soft the far evenings,

    Have brought back these things

    Unto your ease,

    Yours unto whom peace is given.


    

  


  
    


    AUBE OF THE WEST DAWN. VENETIAN JUNE.


    From the Tale “How Malrin chose for his Lady the reflection of the Dawn and was thereafter true to her.”


    When svelte the dawn reflected in the west,

    As did the sky slip off her robes of night,

    I see to stand mine armouress confessed,

    Then doth my spirit know himself aright,

    And tremulous against her faint-flushed breast

    Doth cast him quivering, her bondsman quite.


    When I the dawn reflected in the west,

    Fragile and maiden to my soul have pressed,

    Pray I, her mating hallowed in God’s sight,

    That none asunder me with bale of might

    From her whose lips have bade mine own be blest,

    My bride, “The dawn reflected in the west.”


    I think from such perceptions as this arose the ancient myths of the demigods; as from such as that in “The Tree” the myths of metamorphosis.


    

  


  
    


    TO LA CONTESSA BIANZAFIOR (CENT. XIV)


    (Defense at Parting)


    I


    And all who read these lines shall love her then

    Whose laud is all their burthen, and whose praise

    Is in my heart forever, tho’ my lays

    But stumble and grow startled dim again

    When I would bid them, mid the courts of men,

    Stand and take judgment. Whoso in new days

    Shall read this script, or wander in the ways

    My heart hath gone, shall praise her then.

    Knowing this thing, “White Flower,” I bid thy thought

    Turn toward what thing a singer’s love should be;

    Stood I within thy gates and went not on,

    One poor fool’s love were all thy gueredon.

    I go — my song upon the winds set free —

    And lo!

    A thousand souls to thine are brought.


    II


    “This fellow mak’th his might seem over strong!”


    Hath there a singer trod our dusty ways

    And left not twice this hoard to weep her praise,

    Whose name was made the glory of his song?


    Hear ye, my peers! Judge ye, if I be wrong.

    Hath Lesbia more love than all Catullus’ days

    Should’ve counted her of love? Tell me where strays

    Her poet now, what ivory gates among?


    Think ye? Ye think it not; my vaunt o’er bold?

    Hath Deirdre, or Helen, or Beatrys,

    More love than to maid unsung there is?


    Be not these other hearts, when his is cold,

    That seek thy soul with ardor manifold,

    A better thing than were the husk of his?


    III


    Whose is the gift of love? Tell me, whose is

    The right to give or take? The thing is mine?

    Think ye, O fools! It is not mine nor thine

    Though I should strive, and I might strive y-wis,

    Though I should strive what would we make o’ this

    Love for her soul, a love toward the divine,

    A might within what heart that seeks such wine

    As is the love betwixt her lips and his?

    Were I to stand alone and guard this drink

    To shut it off from such as come to pray,

    What were the gueredon I bid ye think

    To one that strove to hold the sun in goal?

    Know ye first love, then come to me and say,

    “Thou art inconstant and hast shamed thy soul.”


    IV


    Night and the wax wanes. Night, and the text grows dim.

    Who hath more love? Who brings more love?

    Speak strait.

    Sung? Or unsung? Wedded? Or maid to wait

    A thousand hearts who at the rune of him

    That saw thy soul amid the Seraphim

    Shall bear their incense to the horny gate

    Whereby true dreams arise and hold their state?


    Ye mock the lines. Pardon a poor fool’s whim.


    I, that have seen amid the dreams so much,

    Speak dimly, stumble and draw forth your scorn.

    Whether availeth more one prisoned man

    Giving such labor as a bonds-man can,

    Or a host of vagrants crying the morn

    With “Hail” and “Day’s grace” from the hearts o’ such.


     “queren lo jorn.”


    

  


  
    


    PARTENZA DI VENEZIA


    Ne’er felt I parting from a woman loved

    As feel I now my going forth from thee,

    Yea, all thy waters cry out “Stay with me!”

    And laugh reflected flames up luringly.

    O elf-tale land that I three months have known,

    Venice of dreams, if where the storm-wrack drave

    As some uncertain ghost upon the wave,

    For cloud thou hidest and then fitfully

    For light and half-light feign’st reality,

    If first we fear the dim dread of the unknown

    Then reassured for the calm clear tone

    “I am no spirit. Fear not me!”


    As once the twelve storm-tossed on Galilee

    Put off their fear yet came not nigh

    Unto the holier mystery.

    So we bewildered, yet have trust in thee,

    And thus thou, Venice,

    show’st thy mastery.


    

  


  
    


    LUCIFER CADITURUS


    By service clomb I heaven

    And the law that smites the spheres,

    Turning their courses even,

    Served me as I serve God.


    And shall all fears

    Of chaos or this hell the Mover dreams —

    Because he knows what is to me yet dim —

    Bid me to plod

    An huckster of the sapphire beams

    From star to star

    Giving to each his small embraced desire,

    Shall I not bear this light

    Unto what far

    Unheavened bourne shall meet my fire

    With some toward sympathy

    That wills not rule?


    By service clomb I heaven

    And the Law served me, even

    As I serve God; but shall this empery

    Bid me restrict my course, or plod

    A furrow worker in a space-set sod

    Or turn the emeralds of the empyrean

    Because I dread some pale remorse

    Should gnaw the sinews of m’ effulgent soul

    Deigned I to break His bonds

    That hold the law?


    

  


  
    


    SANDALPHON


    And these about me die,

    Because the pain of the infinite singing

    Slayeth them.

    Ye that have sung of the pain of the earth-horde’s

    age-long crusading,

    Ye know somewhat the strain,

    the sad-sweet wonder-pain of such singing.

    And therefore ye know after what fashion

    This singing hath power destroying.


    Yea, these about me, bearing such song in homage

    Unto the Mover of Circles,

    Die for the might of their praising,

    And the autumn of their marcescent wings

    Maketh ever new loam for my forest;

    And these grey ash trees hold within them

    All the secrets of whatso things

    They dreamed before their praises,

    And in this grove my flowers,

    Fruit of prayerful powers,

    Have first their thought of life

    And then their being.


    Ye marvel that I die not! forsitan!

    Thinking me kin with such as may not weep,

    Thinking me part of them that die for praising

    — yea, tho’ it be praising,

    past the power of man’s mortality to

    dream or name its phases,

    — yea, tho’ it chaunt and paean

    past the might of earth-dwelt

    soul to think on,

    — yea, tho’ it be praising

    as these the winged ones die of.


    Ye think me one insensate

    else die I also

    Sith these about me die,

    and if I, watching

    ever the multiplex jewel, of beryl and jasper

    and sapphire

    Make of these prayers of earth ever new flowers;

    Marvel and wonder!

    Marvel and wonder even as I,

    Giving to prayer new language

    and causing the works to speak

    of the earth-horde’s age-lasting longing,

    Even as I marvel and wonder, and know not,

    Yet keep my watch in the ash wood.


    Note on Sandalphon. The angel of prayer according to the Talmud stands

    unmoved among the angels of wind and fire, who die as their one song is

    finished; also as he gathers the prayers they turn to flowers in his hands.

    Longfellow also treats of this, but as a legend rather than a reality.


    

  


  
    


    FORTUNATUS


    Resistless, unresisting, as some swift spear upon the flood

    Follow’th the river’s course and tarries not

    But hath the stream’s might for its on-sped own,

    So towards my triumph, and so reads the will,

    ‘Gainst which I will not, or mine eyes grow dim,

    And dim they seem not, nor are willed to be.

    For beauty greet’th them through your London rain,

    That were of Adriatic beauty loved and won,

    And though I seek all exile, yet my heart

    Doth find new friends and all strange lands

    Love me and grow my kin, and bid me speed.


    Caught sometimes in the current of strange happiness, borne upon such winds as Dante beheld whirling the passion-pale shapes in the nether-gloom, so here in the inner sunlight, or above cool, dew-green pasture lands, and again in caves of the azure magic.


    WESTON ST. LLEWMYS


    “E paion si al vento esser leggieri.’”

    “Ombre portate dalla detta briga.”


    

  


  
    


    BEDDOESQUE


    — and going heavenward leaves

    An opal spray to wake, a track that gleams

    With new-old runes and magic of past time

    Caught from the sea deep of the whole man-soul,

    The “mantra” of our craft, that to the sun,

    New brought and broken by the fearless keel,

    That were but part of all the sun-smit sea,

    Have for a space their individual being,

    And do seem as things apart from all Time’s hoard,

    The great whole liquid jewel of God’s truth.


    

  


  
    


    GREEK EPIGRAM


    Day and night are never weary,

    Nor yet is God of creating

    For day and night their torch-bearers

    The aube and the crepuscule.


    So, when I weary of praising the dawn and the sunset,

    Let me be no more counted among the immortals;

    But number me amid the wearying ones,

    Let me be a man as the herd,

    And as the slave that is given in barter.


    

  


  
    


    CHRISTOPHORI COLUMBI TUMULUS


    (From the Latin of Hippolytus Capilupus, Early Cent. MDC)


    Genoan, glory of Italy, Columbus thou sure light,

    Alas the urn takes even thee so soon out-blown,

    Its little space


    Doth hold thee, whom Oceanus had not the might

    Within his folds to hold, altho’ his broad embrace

    Doth hold all lands.


    Bark-borne beyond his boundries unto Hind thou wast

    Where scarce Fame’s volant self the way had cast.


    

  


  
    


    TO T. H. THE AMPHORA.


    Bring me this day some poet of the past,

    Some unknown shape amid the wonder lords!

    Yea of such wine as all time’s store affords

    From rich amphorae that nor years can blast

    With might of theirs and blows down-rained fast,

    Falernian and Massic of the Roman hoards,

    I’ve drunk the best that any land accords,

    Yet dread the time that I shall drink the last.


    Bring me this day from out the smoky room

    Some curved clay guardian of untasted wine,

    That holds the sun at heart. Search i’ the gloom

    Boy, well, and mark you that the draught be good.

    Then as an answer to this jest of mine,

    Luck brought th’ amphora, and the clasp was “HOOD.”


    

  


  
    


    HISTRION


    No man hath dared to write this thing as yet,

    And yet I know, how that the souls of all men great

    At times pass through us,

    And we are melted into them, and are not

    Save reflexions of their souls.

    Thus am! Dante for a space and am

    One Francois Villon, ballad-lord and thief

    Or am such holy ones I may not write,

    Lest blasphemy be writ against my name;

    This for an instant and the flame is gone.


    ’Tis as in midmost us there glows a sphere

    Translucent, molten gold, that is the “I”

    And into this some form projects itself:

    Christus, or John, or eke the Florentine;

    And as the clear space is not if a form’s

    Imposed thereon,

    So cease we from all being for the time,

    And these, the Masters of the Soul, live on.


    

  


  
    


    NEL BIANCHEGGIAR


    Blue-grey, and white, and white-of-rose,

    The flowers of the West’s fore-dawn unclose.

    I feel the dusky softness whirr

    of color, as upon a dulcimer

    “Her” dreaming fingers lay between the tunes,

    As when the living music swoons

    But dies not quite, because for love of us

    — knowing our state

    How that ’tis troublous —

    It wills not die to leave us desolate.


    

  


  
    PERSONAE


    [image: ]


    Pound’s third collection of poems, and his first commercial success, was published in 1909 by Elkin Matthews, the owner of a prominent London bookshop, close to Piccadilly Circus in central London. Personae offers seventeen poems published for the first time, all representing a key phase in Pound’s poetic development. The concept of the “persona” (plural, personae) occupies a central position in Pound’s poetic process. The collection was favourably reviewed, with one critic writing it was “full of human passion and natural magic”. However, the poet Rupert Brooke was unimpressed, complaining that Pound had fallen under the influence of Walt Whitman, writing in “unmetrical sprawling lengths”.


    

  


  
    


    [image: ]


    The first edition


    

  


  
    


    CONTENTS


    Grace before Song


    La Fraisne


    Cino


    Na Audiart


    Villonaud for this Yule


    A Villonaud. Ballad of the Gibbet


    Mesmerism


    Fifine Answers


    In Tempore Senectutis


    Famam Librosque Cano


    Scriptor Ignotus. Ferrara 1715


    Praise of Ysolt


    Camaraderie


    Masks


    Tally-O


    Ballad for Gloom


    For E. Mc C


    At the Heart o’ Me


    Xenia


    Occidit


    Search


    An Idyl for Glaucus


    SONG. Voices in the Wind.


    In Durance


    Guillaume de Lorris Belated. A Vision of Italy


    In the Old Age of the Soul


    Alba Belingalis


    From Syria


    From the Saddle


    Marvoil


    Revolt Against the crepuscular spirit in modern poetry


    And Thus in Nineveh


    The White Stag


    Piccadilly


    


    

  


  
    


    “Make-strong old dreams lest this our world lose heart.”


    

  


  
    


    THIS BOOK IS FOR


    MARY MOORE


    OF TRENTON, IF SHE WANTS IT


    

  


  
    


    Grace before Song


    Lord God of heaven that with mercy dight

    Th’ alternate prayer-wheel of the night and light

    Eternal hath to thee, and in whose sight

    Our days as rain drops in the sea surge fall,


    As bright white drops upon a leaden sea

    Grant so my songs to this grey folk may be:


    As drops that dream and gleam and falling catch the sun,

    Evan’scent mirrors every opal one

    Of such his splendour as their compass is,

    So, bold My Songs, seek ye such death as this.


    

  


  
    


    La Fraisne


    SCENE: The Ash Wood of Malvern.


    For I was a gaunt, grave councillor

    Being in all things wise, and very old,

    But I have put aside this folly and the cold

    That old age weareth for a cloak.


    I was quite strong — at least they said so —

    The young men at the sword-play;

    But I have put aside this folly, being gay

    In another fashion that more suiteth me.


    I have curled mid the boles of the ash wood,

    I have hidden my face where the oak

    Spread his leaves over me, and the yoke

    Of the old ways of men have I cast aside.


    By the still pool of Mar-nan-otha

    Have I found me a bride

    That was a dog-wood tree some syne.

    She hath called me from mine old ways

    She hath hushed my rancour of council,

    Bidding me praise


    Naught but the wind that flutters in the leaves.


    She hath drawn me from mine old ways,

    Till men say that I am mad;

    But I have seen the sorrow of men, and am glad,

    For I know that the wailing and bitterness are a folly.

    And I? I have put aside all folly and all grief.

    I wrapped my tears in an ellum leaf

    And left them under a stone

    And now men call me mad because I have thrown

    All folly from me, putting it aside

    To leave the old barren ways of men,

    Because my bride

    Is a pool of the wood, and

    Though all men say that I am mad

    It is only that I am glad,

    Very glad, for my bride hath toward me a great love

    That is sweeter than the love of women

    That plague and burn and drive one away.


    Aie-e! ’Tis true that I am gay

     Quite gay, for I have her alone here

     And no man troubleth us.


    Once when I was among the young men....

    And they said I was quite strong, among the young men.

    Once there was a woman....

    .... but I forget.... she was....

    .... I hope she will not come again.


    .... I do not remember....

    I think she hurt me once, but....

    That was very long ago.


    I do not like to remember things any more.


    I like one little band of winds that blow

    In the ash trees here:

    For we are quite alone

    Here mid the ash trees.


    [1] Prefatory note at end of volume.


    

  


  
    


    Cino


    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?


    But 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 ‘fulgence 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.


    

  


  
    


    Na Audiart


    Que be-m vols mal.


    NOTE: Any one who has read anything of the troub