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Full text of "Ripostes of Ezra Pound"

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12 



.V 







RIPOSTES OF 
EZRA POUND 



BOOKS BY THE 
SAME AUTHOR 



POEMS 

PERSONAL 

EXULTATIONS 

CANZONI 

PROSE 

THE SPIRIT OF ROMANCE 



RIPOSTES 

OF 

EZRA POUND 



WHERETO ARE APPENDED 

THE COMPLETE POETICAL 

WORKS OF 

T. E. H U L M E 

WITH PREFATORY NOTE 




MCMXII 

STEPHEN SWIFT AND CO., LTD. 

16 KING STREET, COVENT GARDEN 

CONDON 



Gird ou thy star, We'll have this out with fate. 



TO 

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS 



CONTENTS 



VAGI 



S1LET .... .9 

IN EXITUM CU1USDAM . . . . n 

APPARUIT 12 

THE TOMB AT AKR AAR . . . 14 

PORTRAIT D'UNE FEMME . . . . 17 

N.Y. . 20 

A GIRL 21 

"PHASELLUS ILLE " 22 

AN OBJECT .... 23 

QUIES 24 

THE SEAFARER *5 

ECHOES: 1 31 

ECHOES : II. . . . . . . . 33 

AN IMMORALITY ...... 34 

DIEU ! QU'lL LA FAIT 35 

SALVE PONTIFEX ...... 36 

A o'y)/ a ........ 42 

THE NEEDLE 43 

SUB MARE 45 

PLUNGE 46 



A VIRGINAL 48 

PAN IS DEAD 50 

THE PICTURE 51 

OF JACOPO DEL SELLAIO . . . . 52 

THE RETURN ....... 53 

EFFECTS OF MUSIC UPON A COMPANY OF 
PEOPLE 

I. DEUX MOVEMENTS . . . . 55 

II. FROM A THING BY SCHUMANN . 57 

THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 
OF T. E. HULME 

PREFATORY NOTE 58 

AUTUMN 60 

MANA ABODA . . . . . . . 6 1 

ABOVE THE DOCK ...... 62 

THE EMBANKMENT 63 

CONVERSION 64 



8 



RIPOSTES 



SILET 

WHEN I behold how black, im- 
mortal ink 
Drips from my deathless pen 

ah, well-away ! 
Why should we stop at all for what I 

think ? 
There is enough in what I chance to say. 

It is enough that we once came together ; 
What is the use of setting it to rime ? 
When it is autumn do we get spring 

weather, 
Or gather may of harsh northwindish 

time? 

9 



It is enough that we once came together ; 
What if the wind have turned against the 

rain ? 

It is enough that we once came together ; 
Time has seen this, and will not turn 

again ; 

And who are we, who know that last 

intent, 
To plague to-morrow with a testament ! 



ro 



IN EXITUM CUIUSDAM 

On a certain one's departure 

" rTpIME'S bitter flood " ! Oh, that's 
all very well, 

But where's the old friend hasn't 

fallen off, 

Or slacked his hand-grip when you first 
gripped fame ? 

I know your circle and can fairly tell 
What you have kept and what you've left 

behind : 

I know my circle and know very well 
How many faces I'd have out of mind. 



ii 



APPARUIT 

GOLDEN rose the house, in the 
portal I saw 
thee, a marvel, carven in subtle 

stuff, a 

portent. Life died down in the lamp and 
flickered, 

caught at the wonder. 

Crimson, frosty with dew, the roses bend 

where 

thou afar moving in the glamorous sun 
drinkst in life of earth, of the air, the 

tissue 

golden about thee. 

Green the ways, the breath of the fields 

is thine there, 

open lies the land, yet the steely going 
darkly hast thou dared and the dreaded 
aether 

parted before thee. 
12 



Swift at courage thou in the shell of gold, 

cast- 
ing a-loose the cloak of the body, earnest 
straight, then shone thine oriel and the 

stunned light 

faded about thee. 

Half the graven shoulder, the throat 

aflash with 

strands of light inwoven about it, loveli- 
est of all things, frail alabaster, ah me ! 
swift in departing, 

Clothed in goldish weft, delicately perfect, 
gone as wind ! The cloth of the magical 

hands ! 
Thou a slight thing, thou in access of 

cunning 

dar'dst to assume this ? 



THE TOMB AT AKR QAAR 

I AM thy soul, Nikoptis. I have 
watched 
These five millennia, and thy dead 

eyes 

Moved not, nor ever answer my desire, 
And thy light limbs, wherethrough I 

leapt aflame, 
Burn not with me nor any saffron thing. 

See, the light grass sprang up to pillow 

thee, 
And kissed thee with a myriad grassy 

tongues ; 
But not thou me. 

I have read out the gold upon the 

wall, 
And wearied out my thought upon the 

signs. 
And there is no new thing in all this 

place. 



I have been kind. See, I have left the 

jars sealed, 
Lest thou shouldst wake and whimper 

for thy wine. 
And all thy robes I have kept smooth on 

thee. 

thou unmindful ! How should I forget ! 
Even the river many days ago, 

The river, thou wast over young. 
And three souls came upon Thee ' 

And I came. 

And I flowed in upon thee, beat them off ; 

1 have been intimate with thee, known 

thy ways. 
Have I not touched thy palms and 

finger-tips, 
Flowed in, and through thee and about 

thy heels ? 
How * came I in ' ? Was I not thee 

and Thee ? 

And no sun comes to rest me in this place, 
And I am torn against the jagged dark, 

15 



And no light beats upon me, and you say 
No word, day after day. 

Oh ! I could get me out, despite the marks 
And all their crafty work upon the door, 
Out through the glass-green fields. . . . 

Yet it is quiet here : 
I do not go." 



16 



PORTRAIT D'UNE FEMME 

YOUR mind and you are our Sargasso 
| Sea, 

London has swept about you this 

score years 

And bright ships left you this or that in fee : 
Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things, 
Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed 

wares of price. 
Great minds have sought you lacking 

someone else. 

You have been second always. Tragical ? 
No. You preferred it to the usual thing : 
One dull man, dulling and uxorious, 
One average mind with one thought less, 

each year. 
Oh, you are patient, I have seen you 

sit 
Hours, where something might have 

floated up. 
And now you pay one. Yes, you richly 

pay. 

17 2 



You are a person of some interest, one 
comes to you 

And takes strange gain away : 

Trophies fished up ; some curious sugges- 
tion ; 

Fact that leads nowhere ; and a tale for 
two, 

Pregnant with mandrakes, or with some- 
thing else 

That might prove useful and yet never 
proves, 

That never fits a corner or shows 
use, 

Or finds its hour upon the loom of 
days : 

The tarnished, gaudy, wonderful old 
work ; 

Idols and ambergris and rare inlays, 

These are your riches, your great store ; 
and yet 

For all this sea-hoard of deciduous 
things, 

Strange woods half sodden, and new 
brighter stuff : 

18 



In the slow float of differing light and 

deep, 
No ! there is nothing ! In the whole 

and all, 

Nothing that's quite your own. 
Yet this is you. 



N.Y. 

MY City, my beloved, my white ! 
Ah, slender, 
Listen ! Listen to me, and I 

will breathe into thee a soul. 
Delicately upon the reed, attend me ! 

Now do I know that I am mad, 

For here are a million people surly with 

traffic ; 

This is no maid. 
Neither could I play upon any reed if I had 

one. 

My City, my beloved, 

Thou art a maid with no breasts, 

Thou art slender as a silver reed. 

Listen to me, attend me ! 

And I will breathe into thee a soul, 

And thou shalt live for ever. 



20 



A GIRL 

THE tree has entered my hands, 
The sap has ascended my arms, 
The tree has grown in my breast 
Downward, 
The branches grow out of me, like arms. 

Tree you are, 

Moss you are, 

You are violets with wind above them. 

A child so high you are, 

And all this is folly to the world. 



21 



'PHASELLUS ILLE" 

THIS papier-mache, which you see, 
my friends, 

Saith 'twas the worthiest of editors. 
Its mind was made up in " the seventies," 
Nor hath it ever since changed that con- 
coction. 

It works to represent that school of thought 
Which brought the hair-cloth chair to such 

perfection, 

Nor will the horrid threats of Bernard Shaw 
Shake up the stagnant pool of its convic- 
tions ; 
Nay, should the deathless voice of all the 

world 

Speak once again for its sole stimulation, 
Twould not move it one jot from left to 
right. 

Come Beauty barefoot from the Cyclades, 

She'd find a model for St Anthony 

In this thing's sure decorum and behaviour. 



22 



AN OBJECT 

THIS thing, that hath a code and 
not a core, 
Hath set acquaintance where 

might be affections, 
And nothing now 
Disturbeth his reflections. 



QUIES 

THIS is another of our ancient loves. 
Pass and be silent, Rullus, for 

the day 
Hath lacked a something since this 

lady passed ; 

Hath lacked a something. Twas but 
marginal. 



24 



THE SEAFARER 

(From the early A nglo-Saxon text) 

MAY I for my own self song's truth 
reckon, 
Journey's jargon, how I in harsh 

days 

Hardship endured oft. 
Bitter breast-cares have I abided, 
Known on my keel many a care's hold, 
And dire sea-surge, and there I oft 

spent 

Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head 
While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly 

afflicted, 

My feet were by frost benumbed. 
Chill its chains are ; chafing sighs 
Hew my heart round and hunger begot 
Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not 
That he on dry land loveliest liveth, 
List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea, 
Weathered the winter, wretched outcast 
Deprived of my kinsmen ; 

25 



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

There I heard naught save the harsh sea 

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

Did for my games the gannet's clamour, 

Sea-fowls' loudness was for me laughter, 

The mews' singing all my mead-drink. 

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

In icy feathers ; full oft the eagle screamed 

With spray on his pinion. 

Not any protector 

May make merry man faring needy. 

This he little believes, who aye in win- 
some life 

Abides 'mid burghers some heavy busi- 
ness, 

Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary 
oft 

Must bide above brine. 

Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north, 

Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth 
then 

26 



Corn of the coldest. Nathless there 

knocketh now 
The heart's thought that I on high 

streams 

The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone. 
Moaneth alway my mind's lust 
That I fare forth, that I afar hence 
Seek out a foreign fastness. 
For this there's no mood-lofty man over 

earth's midst, 
Not though he be given his good, but will 

have in his youth greed ; 
Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to 

the faithful 

But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare 
Whatever his lord will. 
He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring- 
having 
Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's 

delight 
Nor any whit else save the wave's 

slash, 
Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth 

on tjie water. 

27 



Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty 

of berries, 

Fields to fairness, land fares brisker, 
All this admonisheth man eager of mood, 
The heart turns to travel so that he then 

thinks 

On flood-ways to be far departing. 
Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying, 
He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow, 
The bitter heart's blood. Burgher knows 

not 

He the prosperous man what some per- 
form 

Where wandering them widest draweth. 
So that but now my heart burst from my 

breast-lock, 

My mood 'mid the mere-flood, 
Over the whale's acre, would wander wide. 
On earth's shelter cometh oft to me, 
Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer, 
Whets for the whale-path the heart 

irresistibly, 

O'er tracks of ocean ; seeing that anyhow 
My lord deems to me this dead life 
28 



On loan and on land, I believe not 
That any earth-weal eternal standeth 
Save there be somewhat calamitous 
That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain. 
Disease or oldness or sword-hate 
Beats out the breath from doom-gripped 

body. 
And for this, every earl whatever, for those 

speaking after- 
Laud of the living, boasteth some last 

word, 

That he will work ere he pass onward, 
Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his 

malice, 

Daring ado, . . . 

So that all men shall honour him after 
And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the 

English, 

Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast, 
Delight mid the doughty. 

Days little durable, 
And all arrogance of earthen riches, 
There come now no kings nor Caesars 
Nor gold-giving lords like those gone. 
29 



Howe'er in mirth most magnified, 
Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest, 
Drear all this excellence, delights un- 

durable ! 

Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth. 
Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed 

low. 

Earthly glory ageth and seareth. 
No man at all going the earth's gait, 
But age fares against him, his face paleth, 
Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone 

companions, 

Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven, 
Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose 

life ceaseth, 

Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry, 
Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart, 
And though he strew the grave with gold, 
His born brothers, their buried bodies 
Be an unlikely treasure hoard. 



ECHOES 

I 

GUIDO ORLANDO, SINGING 

BEFITS me praise thine empery, 
Lady of Valour, 
Past all disproving ; 
Thou art the flower to me 

Nay, by Love's pallor 
Of all good loving. 

Worthy to reap men's praises 
Is he who'd gaze upon 

Truth's mazes. 
In like commend is he, 
Who, loving fixedly, 
Love so refineth, 

Till thou alone art she 

In whom love's vested ; 
As branch hath fairest flower 

Where fruit's suggested. 



This great joy comes to me, 

To me observing 
How swiftly thou hast power 

To pay my serving. 



ECHOES 
II* 

THOU keep'st thy rose-leaf 
Till the rose-time will be over, 
Think'st thou that Death will 

kiss thee ? 
Think'st thou that the Dark House 

Will find thee such a lover 
As I ? Will the new roses miss thee ? 

Prefer my cloak unto the cloak of dust 
'Neath which the last year lies, 

For thou shouldst more mistrust 
Time than my eyes. 

* Asclepiades, Julianus ^Egyptus. 



33 



S 



AN IMMORALITY 

ING we for love and idleness, 
Naught else is worth the having. 



Though I have been in many a land, 
There is naught else in living. 

And I would rather have my sweet, 
Though rose-leaves die of grieving, 

Than do high deeds in Hungary 
To pass all men's believing. 



34 



DIEU ! QU'IL LA FAIT 

From Charles U Orleans 
For music 

GOD ! that mad'st her well regard 
her, 

How she is so fair and bonny ; 
For the great charms that are upon her 
Ready are all folk to reward her. 

Who could part him from her borders 
When spells are alway renewed on her ? 
God ! that mad'st her well regard her, 
How she is so fair and bonny. 

From here to there to the sea's border, 
Dame nor damsel there's not any 
Hath of perfect charms so many. 
Thoughts of her are of dream's order : 
God ! that mad'st her well regard her. 



35 



SALVE PONTIFEX 

(A. C. S.) 

ONE after one they leave thee, 
High Priest of lacchus, 
Intoning thy melodies as winds 

intone 

The whisperings of leaves on sunlit days. 
And 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 lacchus. 
For the lines of life lie under thy fingers, 
And above the vari-coloured strands 
Thine eyes look out unto the infinitude 
Of the blue waves of heaven, 
And even as Triplex Sisterhood 
Thoufingerest the threads knowing neither 

36 



Cause nor the ending, 

High Priest of lacchus, 

Draw'st forth a multiplicity 

Of strands, and, beholding 

The colour thereof, raisest thy voice 

Towards the sunset, 

O High Priest of lacchus ! 

And out of the secrets of the inmost 
mysteries 

Thou chantest strange far-sourced canti- 
cles : 
O High Priest of lacchus ! 

Life and the ways of Death her 

Twin-born sister, that is life's counter- 
part, 

And of night and the winds of night ; 

Silent voices ministering to the souls 

Of hamadryads that hold council con- 
cealed 

In streams and tree-shadowing 

Forests on hill slopes, 

O High Priest of lacchus, 

All the manifold mystery 

Thou makest a wine of song, 
37 



And maddest thy following even 

With visions of great deeds 

And their futility, 

O High Priest of lacchus ! 

Though thy co-novices are bent to the 
scythe 

Of the magian wind that is voice of Perse- 
phone, 

Leaving thee solitary, master of initiating 

Maenads that come through the 

Vine-entangled ways of the forest 

Seeking, out of all the world, 
Madness of lacchus, 

That being skilled in the secrets of the 
double cup 

They might turn the dead of the world 

Into paeans, 

O High Priest of lacchus, 

Wreathed with the glory of thy years of 
creating 

Entangled music, 
Breathe ! 

Now that the evening cometh upon 
thee, 

38 



Breathe upon us, that low-bowed and 

exultant 
Drink wine of lacchus, 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 lacchus, 
Breathe thou upon us 

Thy magic in parting ! 
Even as they thy co-novices, 
At being mingled with the sea, 
While yet thou madest thy canticles 
Serving upright before the altar 
That is bound about with shadows 
Of dead years wherein thy lacchus 
Looked not upon the hills, that being 
Uncared for, praised not him in entirety. 

High Priest of lacchus, 
Being now near to the border of the 

sands 

39 



Where the sapphire girdle of the sea 

Encinctureth the maiden 
Persephone, 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 Persephone 
That is free for the seasons of plenty ; 
Whereby thou being young art old 
And shalt stand before this Persephone 

Whom thou lovest, 
In darkness, even at that time 
That she being returned to her hus- 
band 

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 lacchus, 
And becoming wave 

Shalt encircle all sands, 
40 



Being transmuted through all 
The girdling of the sea. 

O High Priest of lacchus, 
Breathe thou upon us ! 



Note. This apostrophe was written three years 
before Swinburne's death. 



BE in me as the eternal moods 
of the bleak wind, and not 
As transient things are 

gaiety of flowers. 
Have me in the strong loneliness 

of sunless cliffs 
And of grey waters. 

Let the gods speak softly of us 
In days hereafter, 

The shadowy flowers of Orcus 
Remember Thee. 



42 



THE NEEDLE 

COME, or the stellar tide will slip 
away. 
Eastward avoid the hour of its 

decline, 

Now ! for the needle trembles in my 
soul ! 

Here have we had our vantage, the good 

hour. 
Here we have had our day, your day and 

mine. 

Come now, before this power 
That bears us up, shall turn against the 

pole. 

Mock not the flood of stars, the thing's 

to be. 
O Love, come now, this land turns evil 

slowly. 
The waves bore in, soon will they bear 

away. 

43 



The treasure is ours, make we fast land 

with it. 
Move we and take the tide, with its next 

favour, 
Abide 

Under some neutral force 
Until this course turneth aside. 



44 



SUB MARE 

IT is, and is not, I am sane enough, 
Since you have come this place has 

hovered round me, 

This fabrication built of autumn roses, 
Then there's a goldish colour, different. 

And one gropes in these things as delicate 
Algae reach up and out beneath 
Pale slow green surgings of the under- 
wave, 
'Mid these things older than the names 

they have, 
These things that are familiars of the god. 



45 



PLUNGE 

I WOULD bathe myself in strangeness : 
These comforts heaped upon me, 

smother me ! 

I burn, I scald so for the new, 
New friends, new faces, 
Places ! 

Oh to be out of this, 
This that is all I wanted 

save the new. 
And you, 

Love, you the much, the more de- 
sired ! 
Do I not loathe all walls, streets, 

stones, 

All mire, mist, all fog, 
All ways of traffic ? 
You, I would have flow over me like 

water, 

Oh, but far out of this ! 
Grass, and low fields, and hills, 
And sun, 



Oh, sun enough ! 

Out and alone, among some 

Alien people ! 



47 



A VIRGINAL 

NO, no ! Go from me. I have left 
her lately. 
I will not spoil my sheath with 

lesser brightness, 

For my surrounding atir has a new light- 
ness ; 
Slight are her arms, yet they have bound 

me straitly 
And left me cloaked as with a gauze of 

aether ; 
As with sweet leaves ; as with a subtle 

clearness. 

Oh, I have picked up magic in her near- 
ness 

To sheathe me half in half the things that 
sheathe her. 

No, no ! Go from me. I have still the 

flavour, 
Soft as spring wind that's come from 

birchen bowers. 



Green come the shoots, aye April in the 

branches, 
As winter's wound with her sleight hand 

she staunches, 

Hath of the tress a likeness of the savour : 
As white their bark, so white this lady's 

hours. 



49 



PAN IS DEAD 

PAN is dead. Great Pan is dead. 
Ah ! bow your heads, ye maidens 

all, 
And weave ye him his coronal. 

There is no summer in the leaves, 
And withered are the sedges ; 

How shall we weave a coronal, 
Or gather floral pledges ? 

That I may not say, Ladies. 
Death was ever a churl. 
That I may not say, Ladies. 
How should he show a reason, 
That he has taken our Lord away 
Upon such hollow season ? 



THE PICTURE* 

THE eyes of this dead lady speak to 
me, 
For here was love, was not to be 

drowned out, 
And here desire, not to be kissed away. 

The eyes of this dead lady speak to me. 

* " Venus Reclining," by Jacopo del Sellaio 
(1442-93). 



T 



OF JACOPO DEL SELLAIO 

HIS man knew out the secret ways 

of love, 
No man could paint such things 

who did not know. 



And now she's gone, who was his Cyprian, 
And you are here, who are " The Isles " 
to me. 

And here's the thing that lasts the whole 

thing out : 
The eyes of this dead lady speak to me. 



s 



THE RETURN 

EE, they return ; ah, see the tentative 
Movements, and the slow feet, 
The trouble in the pace and the 

uncertain 
Wavering ! 



See, they return, one, and by one, 
With fear, as half-awakened ; 
As if the snow should hesitate 
And murmur in the wind, 

and half turn back ; 
These were the " Wing'd-with-Awe," 

Inviolable. 

Gods of the winged shoe ! 
With them the silver hounds, 

sniffing the trace of air ! 

Haie ! Haie ! 

These were the swift to harry ; 
53 



These the keen-scented ; 
These were the souls of blood. 

Slow on the leash, 

pallid the leash-men ! 



54 



EFFECTS OF MUSIC 
UPON A COMPANY OF PEOPLE 

I 

DEUX MOVEMENTS 

1. Temple qui fut. 

2. Poissons d'or. 



A SOUL curls back, 
Their souls like petals, 
Thin, long, spiral, 

Like those of a chrysanthemum curl 
Smoke-like up and back from the 
Vavicel, the calyx, 
Pale green, pale gold, transparent, 
Green of plasma, rose-white, 
Spirate like smoke, 
Curled, 
Vibrating, 

Slowly, waving slowly. 
55 



O Flower animate ! 

O calyx ! 

O crowd of foolish people ! 

2 

The petals ! 

On the tip of each the figure 

Delicate. 

See, they dance, step to step. 

Flora to festival, 

Twine, bend, bow, 

Frolic involve ye. 

Woven the step, 

Woven the tread, the moving. 

Ribands they move, 

Wave, bow to the centre. 

Pause, rise, deepen in colour, 

And fold in drowsily. 



II 

FROM A THING BY SCHUMANN 

BREAST high, floating and welling 
Their soul, moving beneath the satin, 
Plied the gold threads, 
Pushed at the gauze above it. 
The notes beat upon this, 
Beat and indented it ; 
Rain dropped and came and fell upon this, 
Hail and snow, 
My sight gone in the flurry ! 

And then across the white silken, 

Bellied up, as a sail bellies to the wind, 

Over the fluid tenuous, diaphanous, 

Over this curled a wave, greenish, 

Mounted and overwhelmed it. 

This membrane floating above, 

And bellied out by the up-pressing soul. 

Then came a mer-host, 

And after them legion of Romans, 

The usual, dull, theatrical ! 



57 



THE 

COMPLETE POETICAL 
WORKS OF T. E. HULME 

PREFATORY NOTE 

IN publishing his Complete Poetical Works 
at thirty,* Mr Hulme has set an enviable 
example to many of his contemporaries 
who have had less to say. 

They are reprinted here for good 
fellowship ; for good custom, a custom 
out of Tuscany and of Provence ; and 
thirdly, for convenience, seeing their small- 
ness of bulk ; and for good memory, 
seeing that they recall certain evenings 
and meetings of two years gone, dull 
enough at the time, but rather pleasant 
to look back upon. 

* Mr Pound has grossly exaggerated my age. 
T. E. H. 

58 



As for the " School of Images/' which 
may or may not have existed, its principles 
were not so interesting as those of the 
" inherent dynamists " or of Les Unani- 
mistes, yet they were probably sounder 
than those of a certain French school 
which attempted to dispense with verbs 
altogether ; or of the Impressionists who 
brought forth : 

" Pink pigs blossoming upon the hillside" ; 

or of the Post-Impressionists who beseech 
their ladies to let down slate-blue hair 
over their raspberry-coloured flanks. 

Ardoise rimed richly ah, richly and 
rarely rimed ! with framboise. 

As for the future, Les Imagistes, the 
descendants of the forgotten school of 
1909, have that in their keeping. 

I refrain from publishing my proposed 
Historical Memoir of their forerunners, 
because Mr Hulme has threatened to 

print the original propaganda. 

E. P. 

59 



AUTUMN 

A TOUCH of cold in the Autumn 
night- 

I walked abroad, 
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a 

hedge 

Like a red-faced farmer. 
I did not stop to speak, but nodded, 
And round about were the wistful stars 
With white faces like town children. 



60 



MANA ABODA 

Beauty is the marking-time, the stationary 
vibration, the feigned ecstasy of an arrested im- 
pulse unable to reach its natural end. 

MANA ABODA, whose bent form 
The sky in arched circle is, 
Seems ever for an unknown grief 

to mourn. 

Yet on a day I heard her cry : 
" 1 weary of the roses and the singing 

poets 
Josephs all, not tall enough to try." 



61 




ABOVE THE DOCK 

k BOVE the quiet dock in mid night, 
Tangled in the tall mast's corded 

height, 
Hangs the moon. What seemed so far 

away 

Is but a child's balloon, forgotten after 
play. 



THE EMBANKMENT 

(The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a 
cold, bitter night.) 

ONCE, in finesse of fiddles found I 
ecstasy, 
In the flash of gold heels on the 

hard pavement. 
Now see I 

That warmth's the very stuff of poesy. 
Oh, God, make small 
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky, 
That I may fold it round me and in 
comfort lie. 



CONVERSION 

E~;HTHEARTED i walked into .the 
If valley wood 

In the time of hyacinths, 
Till beauty like a scented cloth 
Cast over, stifled me. I was bound 
Motionless and faint of breath 
By loveliness that is her own eunuch. 

Now pass I to the final river 
Ignominiously, in a sack, without sound, 
As any peeping Turk to the Bosphorus. 



FINIS 



PRINTED BY NF.II.L AND CO., LTD., EDINBURGH. 



Mr. Ezra Pound leapt into fame with 
11 Personae " and " Exultations." More 
recently he has been translating and 
expounding the Troubadours ; but in 
this stimulating volume he reappears 
as a writer of poems as beautiful, 
thoughtful and provocative as any he 
has produced. Appended are poems 
by Mr. T. E. Hulme, the meta- 
physician, who achieves great rhyth- 
mical beauty in curious verse-forms. 



STEPHEN SWIFT