For the death of Ezra Pound

8. For the death of Ezra Pound

One face the less reflected in wrinkles on the Grand Canal :
One shrivelled leaf the more whirled far from Kensington Gardens :
The jealously guarded rights of flesh resigned ,
Our Spartan steps naked now into new battle .

O dear master !

Exile , prophet , rune-caster , last of the troubadours ,
In perpetuum ave atque vale .

[Received new in 1968]

At the time of his death Marion would remember that Jocelyn was attracted by all Pound’s given roles. For Jocelyn too there was a shadow of Good-bye for ever.

Fur of silk and eyes of jade

Fur of silk and eyes of jade
Raise? [Marion’s insertion]
Rouse a tempest in my heart .
Utter havoc they have made
So adorable thou art :
Toms there be, longhaired & lusty
Young and brave , but none like Trusty
Purr and follow when I call
Up the tree , along the wall :
Soon beneath the moon may we
Sing together merrily :
Thou my Valentine shalt be

Thomasina

14 Feb. 1954.

On the reverse side of Warm your tootsies I will keep

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost :
(The well-fashioned horse-shoe fire-new from the forge
Beaten as bright as the shield of St George )
Consider the cause , consider the cost
For the want of a nail the shoe was lost
( And all for the want of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a shoe the horse was lost :
( The spirited war-horse highstepping and bold
Proud in his trappings of scarlet and gold )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost
( And all for the sake of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a horse the soldier was lost :
( The gallant young soldier arrayed for the ride
With plumes in his helmet and sword by his side )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a horse the soldier was lost .
( And all for the sake of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a soldier the battle was lost
( The bravely fought battle , decisive and stern
Where many came riding and did not return . )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a soldier the battle was lost
( And all for the want of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost :
( The well endowed kingdom , with cities and men
Meadow and mountain and forest and fen . )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost .
( And all for the sake of a horseshoe nail . )

3rd December 1951

Farewell to Sir Guy on his curveting steed

Farewell to Sir Guy on his curveting steed ,
Sing laurel , sing myrtle , sing ivy :
Then lean from your window to wish him good speed
For the lily grows fair in the field , lady .

There’s mirth in the meadow and bliss in the bower ,
Sing laurel , sing myrtle , sing ivy :
Then sit by your window and broider a flower ,
For the lily grows fair in the field , lady .

Their horns in the forest ring sudden and clear ,
Sing laurel , sing myrtle , sing ivy :
The huntsmen are blowing the mort of the deer ,
For the lily grows fair in the field , lady .

The huntsmen are bringing a burden with care ,
Sing laurel , sing myrtle , sing ivy :
Then lean from your window and see what they bear
For the lily lies low in the field , lady .

The horns they are silent , the bells they are loud ,
Sing laurel , sing myrtle , sing ivy :
Then sit by your window and fashion his shroud ,
For the lily lies dead in the field , lady .

When shafts are sped home then the heart it must bleed
Sing laurel , sing myrtle , sing ivy :
Farewell to Sir Guy on his curveting steed ,
For the lily lies dead in the field , lady .

19th May 1951

Fly forth my waking soul to find that sphere

Fly forth my waking soul to find that sphere
Beyond the vision of the farthest star
Where voices on the wind chant high and clear
A song more rich than songs of mortals are.

Receive that music, and forget the earth
Where dead in life my sleeping body lies
Deaf, paralysed, dumb, blind since mortal birth
Lent fleeting power to ears, hands, lips and eyes .

Yet sing, for such captivity is blest
When lovers meet who have been parted long :
Fly home, my soul, to welcome your dear guest
With some faint echo of the perfect song .

Till death enlarge our joy, content to rest
Where those arms circle, where those lips are pressed.

23 August 1950