Ezra Pound Poem

The Bellaires

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The good Bellaires
Do not understand the conduct of this world’s affairs.
In fact they understood them so badly
That they have had to cross the Channel.
Nine lawyers, four counsels, five judges and three
proctors of the King,
Together with the respective wives, husbands, sisters
and heterogeneous connections of the good Bellaires,
Met to discuss their affairs;
But the good Bellaires have so little understood their
That now there is no one at all
Who can understand any affair of theirs. Yet
Fourteen hunters still eat in the stables of
The good Squire Bellaire;
But these may not suffer attainder,
For they may not belong to the good Squire Bellaire
But to his wife.
On the contrary, if they do not belong to his wife,
He will plead
A ‘freedom from attainder’
For twelve horses and also for twelve boarhounds
From Charles the Fourth;
And a further freedom for the remainder
Of horses, from Henry the Fourth.
But the judges,
Being free of mediaeval scholarship,
Will pay no attention to this,
And there will be only the more confusion,
Replevin, estoppel, espavin and what not.

Nine lawyers, four counsels, etc.,
Met to discuss their affairs,
But the sole result was bills
From lawyers to whom no one was indebted,
And even the lawyers
Were uncertain who was supposed to be indebted to

Wherefore the good Squire Bellaire
Resides now at Agde and Biaucaire,
To Carcassonne, Pui, and Alais
He fareth from day to day,
Or takes the sea air
Between Marseilles
And Beziers.
And for all this I have considerable regret,
For the good Bellaires
Are very charming people.

The Study in Aesthetics


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