Ezra Pound Poem

Homage to Sextus Propertius, IX.

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The twisted rhombs ceased their clamour of accompaniment;
The scorched laurel lay in the fire-dust;
The moon still declined to descend out of heaven,

But the black ominous owl hoot was audible.

And one raft bears our fates
                          on the veiled lake towards Avernus
Sails spread on Cerulean waters, I would shed tears
                for two;
I shall live, if she continue in life,
              If she dies, I shall go with her.
Great Zeus, save the woman,
              or she will sit before your feet in a veil,
              and tell out the long list of her troubles.

Persephone and Dis, Dis, have mercy upon her,
There are enough women in hell,
                              quite enough beautiful women,
lope, and Tyro, and Pasiphae, and the formal girls of Achaia,
And out of Troad, and from the Campania,
Death has his tooth in the lot,
                            Avernus lusts for the lot of them,
Beauty is not eternal, no man has perennial fortune,
Slow foot, or swift foot, death delays but for a season.

My light, light of my eyes,
                        you are escaped from great peril,
Go back to Great Dian’s dances bearing suitable gifts,
Pay up your vow of night watches
                                    to Dian goddess of virgins,
And unto me also pay debt:
The ten nights of your company you have
                                    promised me.

Homage to Sextus Propertius, X.
Homage to Sextus Propertius, VIII.


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