would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can’t remember.
Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?
I don’y enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical
with these two faethery maniacs,
I don’t enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.
I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song
is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique
at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.
As cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.
But the vestibule’s comfy for tea
And Howard is riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me
Now here is a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know that I wanted to ask you-
Is trifle sufficient for sweet?
Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I’m afraid the preserve’s full of stones;
Beg pardon, I’m soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world go wild.
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.
Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!’ and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.
In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.
I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
one thing.You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine