Ezra Pound Poem

Langue d’Oc

Please log in or register to do it.


 When the nightingale to his mate
 Sings day-long and night late
 My love and I keep state
 In bower,
 In flower,
 ”Till the watchman on the tower
        “Up! Thou rascal, Rise,
        I see the white
                       And the night

Compleynt of a gentleman who has
been waiting outside for some time.

O plasmatour and true celestial light,
Lord powerful, engirdled all with might,
Give my good-fellow aid in fools’ despite
Who stirs not forth this night,
                                     And day comes on.
‘Sst! my good fellow, art awake or sleeping?
Sleep thou no more. I see the star upleaping
That hath the dawn in keeping,
                                     And day comes on!
‘Hi! Harry, hear me, for I sing aright
Sleep not thou now, I hear the bird in flight
That plaineth of the going of the night,
                                     And day comes on!
‘Come now! Old swenkin! Rise up from thy bed,
I see the signs upon the welkin spread,
If thou come not, the cost be on thy head.
                                     And day comes on!
‘And here I am since going down of sun,
And pray to God that is St. Mary’s son,
To bring thee safe back, my companion.
                                    And day comes on.
‘And thou out here beneath the porch of stone
Badest me to see that a good watch was done,
And now thou’lt none of me, and wilt have none
                                    Of song of mine.
                               (Bass voice from inside)
‘Wait, my good fellow. For such joy I take
With her venust and noblest to my make
To hold embraced, and will not her forsake
For yammer of the cuckold,
                                   Though day break.’
      (Girart Bornello)


When the springtime is sweet
And the birds repeat
Their new song in the leaves.
‘Tis meet
A man go where he will.

But from where my heart is set
No message I get;
My heart all wakes and grieves;
Or luck, I must have my fill.

Our love comes out
Like the branch that turns about
On the top of the hawthorne,
With frost and hail at night
Suffers despite
‘Till the sun come, and the green leaf on the bough.

I remember the young day
When we set strife away,
And she gave me such gesning,
Her love and her ring:
God grant I die not by any man’s stroke
‘Till I have my hand ‘neath her cloak.

I care not for their clamour
Who have come between me and my charmer,
For I know how words run loose,
Big talk and little use.
Spoilers of pleasure,
We take their measure.
             (Guilhem de Peitieu)

Descant on a Theme by Cerclamon

When the sweet air goes bitter,
And the cold birds twitter
Where the leaf falls from the twig,
I sough and sing

             that Love goes out
             Leaving me no power to hold him.

Of love I have naught
Save trouble and sad thought,
And nothing is grievous
             as I desirous,
Wanting only what
No man can get or has got.

With the noblest that stands in men’s sight,
If all the world be in despite
             I care not a glove.
Where my love is, there is a glitter of sun;
God give me life, and let my course run

            ‘Till I have her I love
            To lie with and prove.

I do not live, nor cure me,
Nor feel my ache great as it is,
For love will give
            me no respite,
Nor do I know when I turn left or right
            nor when I go out.

            For in her is all my delight
            And all that can save me.

I shake and burn and quiver
From love, awake and in swevyn,
Such fear I have she deliver
                                            me not from pain,
            Who know not how to ask her;
            Who can not.
Two years, three years I seek
And though I fear to speak out,
            Still she must know it.

If she won’t have me now, Death is my portion,
            Would I had died that day
             I came into her sway.
God! How softly this kills!
When her love look steals on me.
Killed me she has, I know not how it was,
            For I would not look on a woman.

Joy I have none, if she make me not mad
            Or set me quiet, or bid me chatter.
Good is it to me if she flout
            Or turn me inside out, and about.
            My ill doth she turn sweet.

How swift it is.
             For I am traist and loose,
             I am true, or a liar,
             All vile, or all gentle,
             Or shaking between,
                                              as she desire,
I, Cerclamon, sorry and glad,
             The man whom love had
                                                      and has ever;
             Alas! who’er it please or pain,
             She can me retain.

I am gone from one joy,
From one I loved never so much,
She by one touch
Reft me away;
So doth bewilder me
I can not say my say
                                  nor my desire,
And when she looks on me
It seems to me
                        I lose all wit and sense.

The noblest girls men love
‘Gainst her I prize not as a glove
Worn and old.
Though the whole world run rack
And go dark with cloud,
Light is
Where she stands,
And a clamour loud
                                in my ears.


In orchard under the hawthorne
She has her lover till morn,
Till the traist man cry out to warn
Them. God how swift the night,
                                         And day comes on.

O Plasmatour, that thou end not the night,
Nor take my beloved from my sight,
Nor I, nor tower-man, look on daylight,
‘Fore God, How swift the night,
                                        And day comes on.

‘Lovely thou art, to hold me close and kisst,
Now cry the birds out, in the meadow mist,
Despite the cuckold, do thou as thou list,
So swiftly goes the night
                                        And day comes on.

‘My pretty boy, make we our play again
Here in the orchard where the birds complain,
‘Till the traist watcher his song unrein,
Ah God! How swift the night
                                       And day comes on.’

‘Out of the wind that blows from her,
That dancing and gentle is and thereby pleasanter,
Have I drunk a draught, sweeter than scent of myrrh.
Ah God! How swift the night.
                                        And day comes on.’

Venust the lady, and none lovelier,
For her great beauty, many men look on her,
Out of my love will her heart not stir.
By God, how swift the night.
                                         And day comes on.



I only, and who elrische pain support
Know out love’s heart o’erborne by overlove,
For my desire that is so firm and straight
And unchanged since I found her in my sight
And unturned since she came within my glance,
That far from her my speech springs up aflame;
Near her comes not. So press the words to arrest it.
I am blind to others, and their retort
I hear not. In her alone, I see, move,
Wonder…. And jest not. And the words dilate
Not truth; but mouth speaks not the heart outright:
I could not walk roads, flats, dales, hills, by chance,
To find charm’s sum within one single frame
As God hath set in her t’assay and test it.
And I have passed in many a goodly court
To find in hers more charm than rumour thereof …
In solely hers. Measure and sense to mate,
Youth and beauty learned in all delight,
Gentrice did nurse her up, and so advance
Her fair beyond all reach of evil fame,
To clear her worth, no shadow hath oppresst it.
Her contact flats not out, falls not off short….
Let her, I pray, guess out the sense hereof
For never will it stand in open prate
Until my inner heart stand in daylight,
So that heart pools him when her eyes entrance,
As never doth the Rhone, fulled and untame,
Pool, where the freshest tumult hurl to crest it.
Flimsy another’s joy, false and distort,
No paregale that she springs not above …
Her love-touch by none other mensurate.
To have it not? Alas! Though the pains bite
Deep, torture is but galzeardy and dance,
For in my thought my lust hath touched his aim.
God! Shall I get no more! No fact to best it!
No delight I, from now, in dance or sport,
Nor will these toys a tinkle of pleasure prove,
Compared to her, whom no loud profligate
Shall leak abroad how much she makes my right.
Is this too much? If she count not mischance
What I have said, then no. But if she blame,
Then tear ye out the tongue that hath expresst it.
The song begs you: Count not this speech ill chance,
But if you count the song worth your acclaim,
Arnaut cares lyt who praise or who contest it.

Moeurs Contemporaines
Homage to Sextus Propertius, XII.


Already reacted for this post.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *