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Title: Exultations
Author: Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Exultations" ***

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EXULTATIONS

OF

EZRA POUND



LONDON

ELKIN MATHEWS, VIGO STREET

M CM IX



     _I am an eternal spirit and the things I_
   _make are but ephemera, yet I endure:_
     _Yea, and the little earth crumbles beneath_
   _our feet and we endure._



TO CARLOS TRACY CHESTER

"_amicitiae longaevitate_"



     I have to thank the Editors of the _English Review_ and the
     _Evening Standard_ and _St. James's Gazette_ for permission to
     include in this volume certain poems which originally appeared in
     those papers.



CONTENTS



   GUIDO INVITES YOU THUS
   NIGHT LITANY
   SANDALPHON
   SESTINA: ALTAFORTE
   PIERE VIDAL OLD
   BALLAD OF THE GOODLY FERE
   HYMN III FROM THE LATIN OF FLAMINIUS
   SESTINA FOR YSOLT
   PORTRAIT (FROM "LA MÈRE INCONNUE")
   FAIR HELENA
   LAUDANTES DECEM
   AUX BELLES DE LONDRES
   FRANCESCA
   GREEK EPIGRAM
   COLUMBUS' EPITAPH
   PLOTINUS
   ON HIS OWN FACE IN A GLASS
   HISTRION
   THE EYES
   DEFIANCE
   SONG
   NEL BIANCHEGGIAR
   NILS LYKKE
   A SONG OF THE VIRGIN MOTHER
   PLANH FOR THE YOUNG ENGLISH KING
   ALBA INNOMINATA
   PLANH



EXULTATIONS


   Guido invites you thus[1]


   "Lappo I leave behind and Dante too,
   Lo, I would sail the seas with thee alone!
   Talk me no love talk, no bought-cheap fiddl'ry,
   Mine is the ship and thine the merchandise,
   All the blind earth knows not th' emprise
   Whereto thou calledst and whereto I call.

   Lo, I have seen thee bound about with dreams,
   Lo, I have known thy heart and its desire;
   Life, all of it, my sea, and all men's streams
   Are fused in it as flames of an altar fire!

   Lo, thou hast voyaged not! The ship is mine."


[Footnote 1: The reference is to Dante's sonnet "Guido vorrei...."]



   Night Litany


   O Dieu, purifiez nos cœurs!
           purifiez nos cœurs!

   Yea the lines hast thou laid unto me
                  in pleasant places,
   And the beauty of this thy Venice
                  hast thou shown 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 cœurs,
                  Purifiez nos cœurs,
   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 cœurs,
                  Purifiez nos cœurs,
   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.

                  _Purifiez nos cœurs_
   _O God of the silence,_
                  _Purifiez nos cœurs_
   _O God of waters._



   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.


   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 chant 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.



   Sestina: Altaforte


   LOQUITUR: _En_ Bertrans de Born.
      Dante Alighieri put this man in hell for that he was a stirrer-up
      of strife.
      Eccovi!
      Judge ye!
      Have I dug him up again?
   The scene is at his castle, Altaforte. "Papiols" is his jongleur.
   "The Leopard," the _device_ of Richard (Cœur de Lion).



   I


   Damn it all! all this our South stinks peace.
   You whoreson dog, Papiols, come! Let's to music!
   I have no life save when the swords clash.
   But ah! when I see the standards gold, vair, purple, opposing
   And the broad fields beneath them turn crimson,
   Then howl I my heart nigh mad with rejoicing.

   II

   In hot summer have I great rejoicing
   When the tempests kill the earth's foul peace,
   And the light'nings from black heav'n flash crimson,
   And the fierce thunders roar me their music
   And the winds shriek through the clouds mad, opposing,
   And through all the riven skies God's swords clash.

   III

   Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
   And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing,
   Spiked breast to spiked breast opposing!
   Better one hour's stour than a year's peace
   With fat boards, bawds, wine and frail music!
   Bah! there's no wine like the blood's crimson!

   IV

   And I love to see the sun rise blood-crimson.
   And I watch his spears through the dark clash
   And it fills all my heart with rejoicing
   And pries wide my mouth with fast music
   When I see him so scorn and defy peace,
   His lone might 'gainst all darkness opposing.

   V

   The man who fears war and squats opposing
   My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson
   But is fit only to rot in womanish peace
   Far from where worth's won and the swords clash
   For the death of such sluts I go rejoicing;
   Yea, I fill all the air with my music.

   VI

   Papiols, Papiols, to the music!
   There's no sound like to swords swords opposing,
   No cry like the battle's rejoicing
   When our elbows and swords drip the crimson
   And our charges 'gainst "The Leopard's" rush clash.
   May God damn for ever all who cry "Peace!"

   VII

   And let the music of the swords make them crimson!
   Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
   Hell blot black for alway the thought "Peace"!



   Piere Vidal Old


     It is of Piere Vidal, the fool par excellence of all Provence, of
     whom the tale tells how he ran mad, as a wolf, because of his love
     for Loba of Penautier, and how men hunted him with dogs through the
     mountains of Cabaret and brought him for dead to the dwelling of
     this Loba (she-wolf) of Penautier, and how she and her Lord had him
     healed and made welcome, and he stayed some time at that court. He
     speaks:


   When I but think upon the great dead days
   And turn my mind upon that splendid madness,
   Lo! I do curse my strength
   And blame the sun his gladness;
   For that the one is dead
   And the red sun mocks my sadness.

   Behold me, Vidal, that was fool of fools!
   Swift as the king wolf was I and as strong
   When tall stags fled me through the alder brakes,
   And every jongleur knew me in his song,
   And the hounds fled and the deer fled
   And none fled over long.

   Even the grey pack knew me and knew fear.
   God! how the swiftest hind's blood spurted hot
   Over the sharpened teeth and purpling lips!
   Hot was that hind's blood yet it scorched me not
   As did first scorn, then lips of the Penautier!
   Aye ye are fools, if ye think time can blot

   From Piere Vidal's remembrance that blue night,
   God! but the purple of the sky was deep!
   Clear, deep, translucent, so the stars me seemed
   Set deep in crystal; and because my sleep
   --Rare visitor--came not,--the Saints I guerdon
   For that restlessness--Piere set to keep

   One more fool's vigil with the hollyhocks.
   Swift came the Loba, as a branch that's caught,
   Tom, green and silent in the swollen Rhone,
   Green was her mantle, close, and wrought
   Of some thin silk stuff that's scarce stuff at all,
   But like a mist wherethrough her white form fought,

   And conquered! Ah God! conquered!
   Silent my mate came as the night was still.
   Speech? Words? Faugh! Who talks of words and love?!
   Hot is such love and silent,
   Silent as fate is, and as strong until
   It faints in taking and in giving all.

   Stark, keen, triumphant, till it plays at death.
   God! she was white then, splendid as some tomb
   High wrought of marble, and the panting breath
   Ceased utterly. Well, then I waited, drew,
   Half-sheathed, then naked from its saffron sheath
   Drew full this dagger that doth tremble here.

   Just then she woke and mocked the less keen blade.
   Ah God, the Loba! and my only mate!
   Was there such flesh made ever and unmade!
   God curse the years that turn such women grey!
   Behold here Vidal, that was hunted, flayed,
   Shamed and yet bowed not and that won at last.

   And yet I curse the sun for his red gladness,
   I that have known strath, garth, brake, dale,
   And every run-way of the wood through that great madness,
   Behold me shrivelled as an old oak's trunk
   And made men's mock'ry in my rotten sadness!

   No man hath heard the glory of my days:
   No man hath dared and won his dare as I:
   One night, one body and one welding flame!
   What do ye own, ye niggards! that can buy
   Such glory of the earth? Or who will win
   Such battle-guerdon with his "prowesse high"?

   O Age gone lax! O stunted followers,
   That mask at passions and desire desires,
   Behold me shrivelled, and your mock of mocks;
   And yet I mock you by the mighty fires
   That burnt me to this ash.
             *  *  *  *  *  *  *
   Ah! Cabaret! Ah Cabaret, thy hills again!
             *  *  *  *  *  *  *
   Take your hands off me!...  [_Sniffing the air_.
                           Ha! this scent is hot!



   Ballad of the Goodly Fere[1]


   Simon Zelotes speaketh it somewhile after the Crucifixion.


   Ha' we lost the goodliest fere o' all
   For the priests and the gallows tree?
   Aye lover he was of brawny men,
   O' ships and the open sea.

   When they came wi' a host to take Our Man
   His smile was good to see,
   "First let these go!" quo' our Goodly Fere,
   "Or I'll see ye damned," says he.

   Aye he sent us out through the crossed high spears
   And the scorn of his laugh rang free,
   "Why took ye not me when I walked about
   Alone in the town?" says he.

   Oh we drank his "Hale" in the good red wine
   When we last made company,
   No capon priest was the Goodly Fere
   But a man o' men was he.

   I ha' seen him drive a hundred men
   Wi' a bundle o' cords swung free,
   That they took the high and holy house
   For their pawn and treasury.

   They'll no' get him a' in a book I think
   Though they write it cunningly;
   No mouse of the scrolls was the Goodly Fere
   But aye loved the open sea.

   If they think they ha' snared our Goodly Fere
   They are fools to the last degree.
   "I'll go to the feast," quo' our Goodly Fere,
   "Though I go to the gallows tree."

   "Ye ha' seen me heal the lame and blind,
   And wake the dead," says he,
   "Ye shall see one thing to master all:
   'Tis how a brave man dies on the tree."

   A son of God was the Goodly Fere
   That bade us his brothers be.
   I ha' seen him cow a thousand men.
   I have seen him upon the tree.

   He cried no cry when they drave the nails
   And the blood gushed hot and free,
   The hounds of the crimson sky gave tongue
   But never a cry cried he.

   I ha' seen him cow a thousand men
   On the hills o' Galilee,
   They whined as he walked out calm between,
   Wi' his eyes like the grey o' the sea.

   Like the sea that brooks no voyaging
   With the winds unleashed and free,
   Like the sea that he cowed at Genseret
   Wi' twey words spoke' suddently.

   A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
   A mate of the wind and sea,
   If they think they ha' slain our Goodly Fere
   They are fools eternally.

   I ha' seen him eat o' the honey-comb
   Sin' they nailed him to the tree.


[Footnote 1: Fere = Mate, Companion.]


_*** The Publisher desires to state that the "Ballad of the
Goodly Fere"--by the wish of the Author--is reproduced exactly
as it appeared in the "English Review."_



   Hymn III


   From the Latin of Marc Antony Flaminius, sixteenth century.


   As a fragile and lovely flower unfolds its gleaming
       foliage on the breast of the fostering earth, if
       the dew and the rain draw it forth;
   So doth my tender mind flourish, if it be fed with the
       sweet dew of the fostering spirit,
   Lacking this, it beginneth straightway to languish,
       even as a floweret born upon dry earth, if the
       dew and the rain tend it not.



   Sestina for Ysolt


   There comes upon me will to speak in praise
   Of things most fragile in their loveliness;
   Because the sky hath wept all this long day
   And wrapped men's hearts within its cloak of greyness,
   Because they look not down I sing the stars,
   Because 'tis still mid-March I praise May's flowers.

   Also I praise long hands that lie as flowers
   Which though they labour not are worthy praise,
   And praise deep eyes like pools wherein the stars
   Gleam out reflected in their loveliness,
   For whoso look on such there is no greyness
   May hang about his heart on any day.

   The other things that I would praise to-day?
   Besides white hands and all the fragile flowers,
   And by their praise dispel the evening's greyness?
   I praise dim hair that worthiest is of praise
   And dream upon its unbound loveliness,
   And how therethrough mine eyes have seen the stars.

   Yea, through that cloud mine eyes have seen the stars
   That drift out slowly when night steals the day,
   Through such a cloud meseems their loveliness
   Surpasses that of all the other flowers.
   For that one night I give all nights my praise
   And love therefrom the twilight's coming greyness.

   There is a stillness in this twilight greyness
   Although the rain hath veiled the flow'ry stars,
   They seem to listen as I weave this praise
   Of what I have not seen all this grey day,
   And they will tell my praise unto the flowers
   When May shall bid them in in loveliness.

   O ye I love, who hold this loveliness
   Near to your hearts, may never any greyness
   Enshroud your hearts when ye would gather flowers,
   Or bind your eyes when ye would see the stars;
   But alway do I give ye flowers by day,
   And when day's plucked I give ye stars for praise.

   But most, thou Flower, whose eyes are like the stars,
   With whom my dreams bide all the live-long day,
   Within thy hands would I rest all my praise.



   Portrait


   From "La Mère Inconnue."


   Now would I weave her portrait out of all dim splendour.
   Of Provence and far halls of memory,
   Lo, there come echoes, faint diversity
   Of blended bells at even's end, or
   As the distant seas should send her
   The tribute of their trembling, ceaselessly
   Resonant. Out of all dreams that be,
   Say, shall I bid the deepest dreams attend her?

   Nay! For I have seen the purplest shadows stand
   Alway with reverent chere that looked on her,
   Silence himself is grown her worshipper
   And ever doth attend her in that land
   Wherein she reigneth, wherefore let there stir
   Naught but the softest voices, praising her.



   "Fair Helena" by Rackham


   "_What I love best in all the world?_"


   When the purple twilight is unbound,
   To watch her slow, tall grace
            and its wistful loveliness,
   And to know her face
            is in the shadow there,
   Just by two stars beneath that cloud--
   The soft, dim cloud of her hair,
   And to think my voice
            can reach to her
   As but the rumour of some tree-bound stream,
   Heard just beyond the forest's edge,
   Until she all forgets I am,
   And knows of me
   Naught but my dream's felicity.



   Laudantes Decem Pulchritudinis

   Johannae Templi


   I

   When your beauty is grown old in all men's songs,
   And my poor words are lost amid that throng,
   Then you will know the truth of my poor words,
   And mayhap dreaming of the wistful throng
   That hopeless sigh your praises in their songs,
   You will think kindly then of these mad words.

   II

   I am torn, torn with thy beauty,
   O Rose of the sharpest thorn!
   O Rose of the crimson beauty,
   Why hast thou awakened the sleeper?
   Why hast thou awakened the heart within me,
   O Rose of the crimson thorn?

   III

   The unappeasable loveliness
             is calling to me out of the wind,
   And because your name
             is written upon the ivory doors,
   The wave in my heart is as a green wave, unconfined,
   Tossing the white foam toward you;
   And the lotus that pours
   Her fragrance into the purple cup,
   Is more to be gained with the foam
   Than are you with these words of mine.

   IV

   _He speaks to the moonlight concerning the Beloved_.

   Pale hair that the moon has shaken
   Down over the dark breast of the sea,
   O magic her beauty has shaken
   About the heart of me;
   Out of you have I woven a dream
   That shall walk in the lonely vale
   Betwixt the high hill and the low hill,
   Until the pale stream
   Of the souls of men quench and grow still.

   V

   _Voices speaking to the sun_.

   Red leaf that art blown upward and out and over
   The green sheaf of the world,
   And through the dim forest and under
   The shadowed arches and the aisles,
   We, who are older than thou art,
   Met and remembered when his eyes beheld her
   In the garden of the peach-trees,
   In the day of the blossoming.

   VI

   I stood on the hill of Yrma
               when the winds were a-hurrying,
   With the grasses a-bending
               I followed them,
   Through the brown grasses of Ahva
               unto the green of Asedon.
   I have rested with the voices
               in the gardens of Ahthor,
   I have lain beneath the peach-trees
               in the hour of the purple:

   Because I had awaited in
               the garden of the peach-trees,
   Because I had feared not
               in the forest of my mind,
   Mine eyes beheld the vision of the blossom
   There in the peach-gardens past Asedon.

   O winds of Yrma, let her again come unto me,
   Whose hair ye held unbound in the gardens of Ahthor!

   VII

   Because of the beautiful white shoulders and the rounded breasts
   I can in no wise forget my beloved of the peach-trees,
   And the little winds that speak when the dawn is unfurled
   And the rose-colour in the grey oak-leaf's fold

   When it first comes, and the glamour that rests
   On the little streams in the evening; all of these
   Call me to her, and all the loveliness in the world
   Binds me to my beloved with strong chains of gold.

   VIII

   If the rose-petals which have fallen upon my eyes
   And if the perfect faces which I see at times
   When my eyes are closed--
   Faces fragile, pale, yet flushed a little, like petals of roses:
   If these things have confused my memories of her
   So that I could not draw her face
   Even if I had skill and the colours,
   Yet because her face is so like these things
   They but draw me nearer unto her in my thought
   And thoughts of her come upon my mind gently,
   As dew upon the petals of roses.

   IX

   _He speaks to the rain_.

   O pearls that hang on your little silver chains,
   The innumerable voices that are whispering
   Among you as you are drawn aside by the wind,
   Have brought to my mind the soft and eager speech
   Of one who hath great loveliness,

   Which is subtle as the beauty of the rains
   That hang low in the moonshine and bring
   The May softly among us, and unbind
   The streams and the crimson and white flowers and reach
   Deep down into the secret places.

   X

   The glamour of the soul hath come upon me,
   And as the twilight comes upon the roses,
   Walking silently among them,
   So have the thoughts of my heart
   Gone out slowly in the twilight
   Toward my beloved,
   Toward the crimson rose, the fairest.



   Aux Belles de Londres


   I am aweary with the utter and beautiful weariness
   And with the ultimate wisdom and with things terrene,
   I am aweary with your smiles and your laughter,
   And the sun and the winds again
   Reclaim their booty and the heart o' me.



   Francesca


   You came in out of the night
   And there were flowers in your hands,
   Now you will come out of a confusion of people,
   Out of a turmoil of speech about you.

   I who have seen you amid the primal things
   Was angry when they spoke your name
   In ordinary places.
   I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind,
   And that the world should dry as a dead leaf,
   Or as a dandelion seed-pod and be swept away,
   So that I might find you again,
   Alone.



   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 sun-set,
   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 Hipolytus Capilupus, Early Cent XVI.

   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 bound'ries unto Hind thou wast
   Where scarce Fame's volant self the way had cast.



   Plotinus


   As one that would draw through 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.



   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?



   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 I Dante for a space and am
   One François 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.



   The Eyes


   Rest Master, for we be a-weary, 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 colours,
   Green of the wood-moss and flower colours,
   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.



   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.



   Song


   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.



   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 colour, 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.



   Nils Lykke


   Beautiful, infinite memories
   That are a-plucking at my heart,
   Why will you be ever calling and a-calling,
   And a-murmuring in the dark there?
   And a-reaching out your long hands
   Between me and my beloved?

   And why will you be ever a-casting
   The black shadow of your beauty
   On the white face of my beloved
   And a-glinting in the pools of her eyes?



   A Song of the Virgin Mother


   _In the play "Los Pastores de Belen."_

      From the Spanish of Lope de Vega.


   As ye go through these palm-trees
   O holy angel;
   Sith sleepeth my child here
   Still ye the branches.

   O Bethlehem palm-trees
   That move to the anger
   Of winds in their fury,
   Tempestuous voices,
   Make ye no clamour,
   Run ye less swiftly,
   Sith sleepeth the child here
   Still ye your branches.

   He the divine child
   Is here a-wearied
   Of weeping the earth-pain,
   Here for his rest would he
   Cease from his mourning,
   Only a little while,
   Sith sleepeth this child here
   Stay ye the branches.

   Cold be the fierce winds,
   Treacherous round him.
   Ye see that I have not
   Wherewith to guard him,
   O angels, divine ones
   That pass us a-flying,
   Sith sleepeth my child here
   Stay ye the branches.



   Planh for the Young English King


   _That is, Prince Henry Plantagenet, elder brother to
   Richard "Coeur de Lion."_

   From the Provençal of Bertrans de Born "Si tuit li dol elh
                      plor elh marrimen."


   If all the grief and woe and bitterness,
   All dolour, ill and every evil chance
   That ever came upon this grieving world
   Were set together they would seem but light
   Against the death of the young English King.
   Worth lieth riven and Youth dolorous,
   The world o'ershadowed, soiled and overcast,
   Void of all joy and full of ire and sadness.

   Grieving and sad and full of bitterness
   Are left in teen the liegemen courteous,
   The joglars supple and the troubadours.
   O'er much hath ta'en Sir Death that deadly warrior
   In taking from them the young English King,
   Who made the freest hand seem covetous.
   'Las! Never was nor will be in this world
   The balance for this loss in ire and sadness!

   O skilful Death and full of bitterness,
   Well mayst thou boast that thou the best chevalier
   That any folk e'er had, hast from us taken;
   Sith nothing is that unto worth pertaineth
   But had its life in the young English King,
   And better were it, should God grant his pleasure
   That he should live than many a Irving dastard
   That doth but wound the good with ire and sadness.

   From this faint world, how full of bitterness
   Love takes his way and holds his joy deceitful,
   Sith no thing is but turneth unto anguish
   And each to-day 'vails less than yestere'en,
   Let each man visage this young English King
   That was most valiant mid all worthiest men!
   Gone is his body fine and amorous,
   Whence have we grief, discord and deepest sadness.

   Him, whom it pleased for our great bitterness
   To come to earth to draw us from misventure,
   Who drank of death for our salvacioun,
   Him do we pray as to a Lord most righteous
   And humble eke, that the young English King
   He please to pardon, as true pardon is,
   And bid go in with honoured companions
   There where there is no grief, nor shall be sadness.



   Alba Innominata


   From the Provençal.


   In a garden where the whitethorn spreads her leaves
   My lady hath her love lain close beside her,
   Till the warder cries the dawn--Ah dawn that grieves!
   Ah God! Ah God! That dawn should come so soon!

   "Please God that night, dear night should never cease,
   Nor that my love should parted be from me,
   Nor watch cry 'Dawn'--Ah dawn that slayeth peace!
   Ah God! Ah God! That dawn should come so soon!

   "Fair friend and sweet, thy lips! Our lips again!
   Lo, in the meadow there the birds give song!
   Ours be the love and Jealousy's the pain!
   Ah God! Ah God! That dawn should come so soon!

   "Sweet friend and fair take we our joy again
   Down in the garden, where the birds are loud,
   Till the warder's reed astrain
   Cry God! Ah God! That dawn should come so soon!

   "Of that sweet wind that comes from Far-Away
   Have I drunk deep of my Beloved's breath,
   Yea! of my Love's that is so dear and gay.
   Ah God! Ah God! That dawn should come so soon!"

   _Envoi_.

   Fair is this damsel and right courteous,
   And many watch her beauty's gracious way.
   Her heart toward love is no wise traitorous.
   Ah God! Ah God! That dawns should come so soon!



   Planh


   _It is of the white thoughts that he saw in the Forest_.


   White Poppy, heavy with dreams,
   O White Poppy, who art wiser than love,
   Though I am hungry for their lips
           When I see them a-hiding
   And a-passing out and in through the shadows
   --There in the pine wood it is,
   And they are white, White Poppy,
   They are white like the clouds in the forest of the sky
   Ere the stars arise to their hunting.

   O White Poppy, who art wiser than love,
   I am come for peace, yea from the hunting
   Am I come to thee for peace.
   Out of a new sorrow it is,
   That my hunting hath brought me.

   White Poppy, heavy with dreams,
   Though I am hungry for their lips
           When I see them a-hiding
   And a-passing out and in through the shadows
   --And it is white they are--
   But if one should look at me with the old hunger in her eyes,
   How will I be answering her eyes?

   For I have followed the white folk of the forest.

   Aye! It's a long hunting
   And it's a deep hunger I have when I see them a-gliding
   And a-flickering there, where the trees stand apart.

   But oh, it is sorrow and sorrow
   When love dies-down in the heart.



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

Personae

_Choicely Printed at the Chiswick Press on fine paper. Foolscap Octavo,
2s. 6d. net_

SOME EARLY REVIEWS

_The Observer_ says:--"It is something, after all, intangible and
indescribable that makes the real poetry. Criticism and praise alike
give no idea of it Everyone who pretends to know it when he sees it,
should read and keep this little book."

_The Bookman_:--"No new book of poems for years past has had such a
freshness of inspiration, such a strongly individual note, or been more
alive with undoubtable promise."

_The Daily Chronicle_:--" All his poems are like this, from beginning to
end, and in every way, his own, and in a world of his own. For brusque
intensity of effect we can hardly compare them to any other work. It is
the old miracle that cannot be defined, nothing more than a subtle
entanglement of words, so that they rise out of their graves and sing."

From a 3 1/2 page detailed critique, by Mr. Edward Thomas, in _The
English Review_.--"He has ... hardly any of the superficial good
qualities of modern versifiers;... He has not the current melancholy or
resignation or unwillingness to live; nor the kind of feeling for nature
that runs to minute description and decorative metaphor. He cannot be
usefully compared with any living writers;... full of personality and
with such power to express it, that from the first to the last lines of
most of his poems he holds us steadily in his own pure, grave,
passionate world.... The beauty of it ('In praise of Ysolt') is the
beauty of passion, sincerity and intensity, not of beautiful words and
images and suggestions;... the thought dominates the words and is
greater than they are. Here ('Idyl for Glaucus') the effect is full of
human passion and natural magic, without any of the phrases which a
reader of modern verse would expect in the treatment of such a subject.
This admirable poet...."

_The Oxford Magazine_:--"This is a most exciting book of poems."

_The Evening Standard_:--"A queer little book which will irritate many
readers."

_The Morning Post_:--" Mr. Ezra Pound ... immediately compels our
admiration by his fearlessness and lack of self-consciousness."

_The Isis_(Oxford):--"This book has about it the breath of the open
air,... physically and intellectually the verse seems to reproduce the
personality with a brief fulness and adequacy. It is only in flexible,
lithe measures, such as those which Coventry Patmore chose in his
'Unknown Eros,' and Mr. Pound chooses here that a fully suitable form
for the recital of spiritual experience is to be found. Mr. Pound has a
true and invariable feeling for the measures he employs ... this
wonderful little book...."

_The Daily Telegraph_:--"A poet with individuality.... Thread of true
beauty.... lifts it out of the ruck of those many volumes, the writers
or which toe the line of poetic convention, and please for no more than
a single reading."

_Mr. Punch_, concerning a certain Mr. Ezekiel Ton:--"By far the newest
poet going, whatever other advertisements may say;" and announced as
"the most remarkable thing in poetry since Robert Browning," says:--"He
has succeeded where all others have failed, in evolving a blend of the
imagery of the unfettered west, the vocabulary of Wardour Street, and
the sinister abandon of Borgaic Italy."

Mr. Scott-James, in _The Daily News_:--"At first the whole thing may
seem to be mere madness and rhetoric, a vain exhibition of force and
passion without beauty. But, as we read on, these curious metres of his
seem to have a law and order of their own; the brute force of Mr.
Pound's imagination seems to impart some quality of infectious beauty to
his words.... With Mr. Pound there is no eking out of thin sentiment
with a melody or a song. He writes out of an exuberance of incontinently
struggling ideas and passionate convictions.... He plunges straight into
the heart of his theme, and suggests virility in action combined with
fierceness, eagerness, and tenderness.... he has individuality, passion,
force, and an acquaintance with things that are profoundly moving." Mr.
Scott-James begins his half-column review of Mr. Pound's book with a
remark that he would "Like much more space in which to discuss his
work," and also notes a certain use of spondee and dactyl which "Comes
in strangely and, as we first read it, with the appearance of discord,
but afterwards seems to gain a curious and distinctive vigour."





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