Of myrtles, whose life hangs with all its threads unstrung.

A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M.

They have watered the street,

It shines in the glare of lamps,

Cold, white lamps,

And lies

Like a slow-moving river,

Barred with silver and black.

Cabs go down it,

One,

And then another.

Between them I hear the shuffling of feet.

Tramps doze on the window-ledges,

Night-walkers pass along the sidewalks.

The city is squalid and sinister,

With the silver-barred street in the midst,

Slow-moving,

A river leading nowhere.

Opposite my window,

The moon cuts,

Clear and round,

Through the plum-coloured night.

She cannot light the city;

It is too bright.

It has white lamps,

And glitters coldly.

I stand in the window and watch the moon.

She is thin and lustreless,

But I love her.

I know the moon,

And this is an alien city.

Astigmatism

To Ezra Pound

With much friendship and admiration and some differences of opinion

The Poet took his walking-stick

Of fine and polished ebony.

Set in the close-grained wood

Were quaint devices;

Patterns in ambers,

And in the clouded green of jades.

The top was of smooth, yellow ivory,

And a tassel of tarnished gold

Hung by a faded cord from a hole

Pierced in the hard wood,

Circled with silver.

For years the Poet had wrought upon this cane.

His wealth had gone to enrich it,

His experiences to pattern it,

His labour to fashion and burnish it.

To him it was perfect,

A work of art and a weapon,

A delight and a defence.

The Poet took his walking-stick

And walked abroad.

Peace be with you, Brother.

The Poet came to a meadow.

Sifted through the grass were daisies,

Open-mouthed, wondering, they gazed at the sun.

The Poet struck them with his cane.

The little heads flew off, and they lay

Dying, open-mouthed and wondering,

On the hard ground.

"They are useless. They are not roses," said the Poet.

Peace be with you, Brother. Go your ways.

The Poet came to a stream.

Purple and blue flags waded in the water;

In among them hopped the speckled frogs;

The wind slid through them, rustling.

The Poet lifted his cane,

And the iris heads fell into the water.

They floated away, torn and drowning.

"Wretched flowers," said the Poet,

"They are not roses."

Peace be with you, Brother. It is your affair.

The Poet came to a garden.

Dahlias ripened against a wall,

Gillyflowers stood up bravely for all their short stature,

And a trumpet-vine covered an arbour

With the red and gold of its blossoms.

Red and gold like the brass notes of trumpets.

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