Ezra Pound Poem

Homage to Sextus Propertius, VII.

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Me happy, night, night full of brightness;
Oh couch made happy by my long delectations;
How many words talked out with abundant candles;
Struggles when the lights were taken away;
Now with bared breasts she wrestled against me,
                      Tunic spread in delay;
And she then opening my eyelids fallen in sleep,
Her lips upon them; and it was her mouth saying:

In how many varied embraces, our changing arms,
Her kisses, how many, lingering on my lips.
‘Turn not Venus into a blinded motion,
            Eyes are the guides of love,
Paris took Helen naked coming from the bed of Menelaus,
Endymion’s naked body, bright bait for Diana,’
              –such at least is the story.

While our fates twine together, sate we our eyes with love;
For long night comes upon you
                            and a day when no day returns.
Let the gods lay chains upon us
                        so that no day shall unbind them.

Fool who would set a term to love’s madness,
For the sun shall drive with black horses,
              earth shall bring wheat from barley,
The flood shall move toward the fountain
              Ere love know moderations,
              The fish shall swim in dry streams.
No, now while it may be, let not the fruit of life cease.
              Dry wreaths drop their petals,
                            their stalks are woven in baskets,
To-day we take the great breath of lovers,
                    to-morrow fate shuts us in.

Though you give all your kisses
                                you give but few.

Nor can I shift my pains to other,
              Hers will I be dead,
If she confer such nights upon me,
                                long is my life, long in years,
If she give me many,
                God am I for the time.

Homage to Sextus Propertius, VIII.
Homage to Sextus Propertius, VI.


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