100 Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body.  i like what it does,
i like its hows.  i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz
of your electric furr,and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

i will wade out
                        till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
                                       Alive
                                                 with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
                                       in the sleeping curves of my body
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
                                            Will i complete the mystery
                                            of my flesh
I will rise
               After a thousand years
lipping
flowers
             And set my teeth in the silver of the moon

Humanity i love you
because you would rather black the boots of
success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both

parties and because you
unflinchingly applaud all
songs containing the words country home and
mother when sung at the old howard

Humanity i love you because
when you’re hard up you pawn your
intelligence to buy a drink and when
you’re flush pride keeps

you from the pawn shop and
because you are continually committing
nuisances but more
especially in your own house

Humanity i love you because you
are perpetually putting the secret of
life in your pants and forgetting
it’s there and sitting down

on it
and because you are
forever making poems in the lap
of death Humanity

i hate you

123.0k
If
If

If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn’t a lie,
Life would be delight,—
But things couldn’t go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn’t be I.

If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I’d be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn’t be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair,—
Yet they’d all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn’t be we.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

i have found what you are like
the rain,

            (Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

easily the pale club of the wind
and swirled justly souls of flower strike

the air in utterable coolness

deeds of green thrilling light
                                  with thinned

newfragile yellows

                      lurch and.press

—in the woods
                      which
                              stutter
                                        and

                                              sing
And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather than anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut
quietly)almost,
                  your kiss

91.9k
My Love

my love
thy hair is one kingdom
  the king whereof is darkness
thy forehead is a flight of flowers

thy head is a quick forest
  filled with sleeping birds
thy breasts are swarms of white bees
  upon the bough of thy body
thy body to me is April
in whose armpits is the approach of spring

thy thighs are white horses yoked to a chariot
  of kings
they are the striking of a good minstrel
between them is always a pleasant song

my love
thy head is a casket
  of the cool jewel of thy mind
the hair of thy head is one warrior
  innocent of defeat
thy hair upon thy shoulders is an army
  with victory and with trumpets

thy legs are the trees of dreaming
whose fruit is the very eatage of forgetfulness

thy lips are satraps in scarlet
  in whose kiss is the combinings of kings
thy wrists
are holy
  which are the keepers of the keys of thy blood
thy feet upon thy ankles are flowers in vases
  of silver

in thy beauty is the dilemma of flutes

  thy eyes are the betrayal
of bells comprehended through incense

82.0k
If I Believe

if i believe
in death be sure
of this
it is

because you have loved me,
moon and sunset
stars and flowers
gold crescendo and silver muting

of seatides
i trusted not,
                    one night
when in my fingers

drooped your shining body
when my heart
sang between your perfect
breasts

darkness and beauty of stars
was on my mouth petals danced
against my eyes
and down

the singing reaches of
my soul
spoke
the green-

greeting pale-
departing irrevocable
sea
i knew thee death.

                              and when
i have offered up each fragrant
night,when all my days
shall have before a certain

face become
white
perfume
only,
          from the ashes
then
thou wilt rise and thou
wilt come to her and brush

the mischief from her eyes and fold
her
mouth the new
flower with

thy unimaginable
wings,where dwells the breath
of all persisting stars

it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips,which i have loved,should touch
another’s,and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart,as mine in time not far away;
if on another’s face your sweet hair lay
in such silence as i know,or such
great writhing words as,uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be,i say if this should be—
you of my heart,send me a little word;
that i may go unto him,and take his hands,
saying,Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face,and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands

73.6k
In The Rain-

in the rain-
darkness,     the sunset
being sheathed i sit and
think of you

the holy
city which is your face
your little cheeks the streets
of smiles

your eyes half-
thrush
half-angel and your drowsy
lips where float flowers of kiss

and
there is the sweet shy pirouette
your hair
and then

your dancesong
soul.     rarely-beloved
a single star is
uttered,and i

think
       of you

who knows if the moon’s
a baloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their baloon,
why then
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited,where

always
            it’s
                   Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

as is the sea marvelous
from god’s
hands which sent her forth
to sleep upon the world

and the earth withers
the moon crumbles
one by one
stars flutter into dust

but the sea
does not change
and she goes forth out of hands and
she returns into hands

and is with sleep….

love,
    the breaking

of your
        soul
        upon
my lips

let’s live suddenly without thinking

under honest trees,
                        a stream
does.the brain of cleverly-crinkling
-water pursues the angry dream
of the shore. By midnight,
                                a moon
scratches the skin of the organised hills

an edged nothing begins to prune

let’s live like the light that kills
and let’s as silence,
                            because Whirl’s after all:
(after me)love,and after you.
I occasionally feel vague how
vague idon’t know tenuous Now-
spears and The Then-arrows making do
our mouths something red,something tall

52.2k
I Will Be

i will be
    M o ving in the Street of her

    bodyfee 1 inga ro undMe the traffic of
    lovely;muscles-sinke x p i r i n    g S
            uddeni
    Y         totouch
                             the curvedship of
                                                         Her-
    ….kiss      her:hands
                                    will play on,mE as
    dea d tunes OR s-crap p-y lea Ves flut te rin g
    from Hideous trees or

         Maybe Mandolins
                                      1 oo k-
         pigeons fly ingand

    whee(:are,SpRiN,k,LiNg an in-stant with sunLight
    then)!-
    ing all go BlacK wh-eel-ing

    oh
        ver
              mYveRylitTle

    street
    where
    you will come,

                             at twi li ght
    s(oon & there’s
    a             m oo
)n.

a connotation of infinity
sharpens the temporal splendor of this night

when souls which have forgot frivolity
in lowliness,noting the fatal flight
of worlds whereto this earth’s a hurled dream

down eager avenues of lifelessness

consider for how much themselves shall gleam,
in the poised radiance of perpetualness.
When what’s in velvet beyond doomed thought

is like a woman amorous to be known;
and man,whose here is alway worse than naught,
feels the tremendous yonder for his own—

on such a night the sea through her blind miles

of crumbling silence seriously smiles

it is at moments after i have dreamed
of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
when(being fool to fancy)i have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile
(it was through tears always)and silence moulds
such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms
are filled with fascination, when my breast
wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

—turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
i watch the roses of the day grow deep.

my love is building a building
around you,a frail slippery
house,a strong fragile house
(beginning at the singular beginning

of your smile)a skilful uncouth
prison, a precise clumsy
prison(building thatandthis into Thus,
Around the reckless magic of your mouth)

my love is building a magic, a discrete
tower of magic and(as i guess)

when Farmer Death(whom fairies hate)shall

crumble the mouth-flower fleet
He’ll not my tower,
                        laborious, casual

where the surrounded smile
                                hangs

                                          breathless

if I should sleep with a lady called death
get another man with firmer lips
to take your new mouth in his teeth
(hips pumping pleasure into hips).

Seeing how the limp huddling string
of your smile over his body squirms
kissingly, I will bring you  every spring
handfuls of little normal worms.

Dress deftly your flesh in stupid stuffs,
phrase the immense weapon of your hair.
Understanding why his eye laughs,
I will bring you every year

something which is worth the whole,
an inch of nothing for your soul.

48.2k
Listen

listen
beloved
i dreamed
  it appeared that you thought to
  escape me and became a great
  lily atilt on
  insolent
  waters    but i was aware of
  fragrance and i came riding upon
  a horse of porphyry    into the
  waters i rode down the red
  horse shrieking    from splintering
  foam caught you clutched you upon my
  mouth
listen
beloved
  i dreamed    in my dream you had
  desire to thwart me and became
  a little bird and hid
  in a tree of tall marble
  from a great way i distinguished
  singing and i came
  riding upon a scarlet sunset
  trampling the night    easily
  from the shocked impossible
  tower i caught
  you strained you
  broke you upon my blood
listen
  beloved i dreamed
  i thought you would have deceived
  me and became a star in the kingdom
  of heaven
  through day and space i saw you close
  your eyes    and i came riding
  upon a thousand crimson years arched with agony
  i reined them in tottering before
  the throne and as
  they shied at the automaton moon from
  the transplendant hand of sombre god
  i picked you
as an apple is picked by the little peasants for their girls

it is funny, you will be dead some day.
By you the mouth hair eyes,and i mean
the unique and nervously obscene

need;it’s funny.  They will all be dead

knead of lustfulhunched deeplytoplay
lips and stare the gross fuzzy-pash
—dead—and the dark gold delicately smash….
grass,and the stars,of my shoulder in stead.

It is a funny,thing.  And you will be

and i and all the days and nights that matter
knocked by sun moon jabbed jerked with ecstasy
….tremble (not knowing how much better

than me will you like the rain’s face and

the rich improbable hands of the Wind)

41.3k
The Sky Was

the
     sky
           was
can    dy    lu
minous
            edible
spry
        pinks shy
lemons
greens    coo    1 choc
olate
s.

  un    der,
  a    lo
co
mo
      tive        s  pout
                               ing
                                     vi
                                     o
                                     lets

your little voice
                    Over the wires came leaping
and i felt suddenly
dizzy
     With the jostling and shouting of merry flowers
wee skipping high-heeled flames
courtesied before my eyes
                             or twinkling over to my side
Looked up
with impertinently exquisite faces
floating hands were laid upon me
I was whirled and tossed into delicious dancing
up
Up
with the pale important
                          stars and the Humorous
                                                  moon
dear girl
How i was crazy how i cried when i heard
                                            over time
and tide and death
leaping
Sweetly
          your voice

40.7k
The Rose

the rose
is dying the
lips of an old man murder

the petals
hush

mysteriously invisible mourners move
with prose faces and sobbing,garments
The symbol of the rose

motionless
with grieving feet and
wings
mounts

against the margins of steep song
a stallion swetneess    ,the

lips of an old man murder
the petals.

40.5k
Cruelly,Love

cruelly,love
walk the autumn long;
the last flower in whose hair,
they lips are cold with songs

for which is
first to wither,to pass?
shallowness of sunlight
falls,and cruelly,
across the grass
Comes the
moon

love,walk the
autumn
love,for the last
flower in the hair withers;
thy hair is acold with
dreams,
love thou art frail

—walk the longness of autumn
smile dustily to the people,
for winter
who crookedly care.

nobody loses all the time

i had an uncle named
Sol who was a born failure and
nearly everybody said he should have gone
into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
of all to use a highfalootin phrase
luxuries that is or to
wit farming and be
it needlessly
added

my Uncle Sol’s farm
failed because the chickens
ate the vegetables so
my Uncle Sol had a
chicken farm till the
skunks ate the chickens when

my Uncle Sol
had a skunk farm but
the skunks caught cold and
died and so
my Uncle Sol imitated the
skunks in a subtle manner

or by drowning himself in the watertank
but somebody who’d given my Uncle Sol a Victor
Victrola and records while he lived presented to
him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
scruptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and
i remember we all cried like the Missouri
when my Uncle Sol’s coffin lurched because
somebody pressed a button
(and down went
my Uncle
Sol

and started a worm farm)

why did you go
little fourpaws?
you forgot to shut
your big eyes.

where did you go?
like little kittens
are all the leaves
which open in the rain.

little kittens who
are called spring,
is what we stroke
maybe asleep?

do you know?or maybe did
something go away
ever so quietly
when we weren’t looking.

34.3k
My Mind Is

my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and
taste and smell and hearing and sight keep hitting and
chipping with sharp fatal tools
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of
chrome and execute strides of cobalt
nevertheless i
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am
becoming something a little different, in fact
myself
Hereupon helpless i utter lilac shrieks and scarlet
bellowings.

notice the convulsed orange inch of moon
perching on this silver minute of evening.

We’ll choose the way to the forest—no offense
to you,white town whose spires softly dare.
Will take the houseless wisping rune
of road lazily carved on sharpening air.

Fields lying miraculous in violent silence

fill with microscopic whithering
…(that’s the Black People, chérie,
who live under stones.) Don’t be afraid

and we will pass the simple ugliness
of exact tombs,where a large road crosses
and all the people are minutely dead.

Then you will slowly kiss me

when god lets my body be

from each brave eye shall sprout a tree
fruit that dangles therefrom

the purpled world will dance upon
between my lips which did sing

a rose shall beget the spring
that maidens whom passion wastes

will lay between their little breasts
my strong fingers beneath the snow

into strenuous birds shall go
my love walking in the grass

their wings will touch with her face
and all the while shall my heart be
with the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

26.3k
Suppose

suppose
Life is an old man carrying flowers on his head.

young death sits in a café
smiling,a piece of money held between
his thumb and first finger

(i say “will he buy flowers” to you
and “Death is young
life wears velour trousers
life totters,life has a beard” i

say to you who are silent.—”Do you see
Life?he is there and here,
or that, or this
or nothing or an old man 3 thirds
asleep,on his head
flowers,always crying
to nobody something about les
roses les bluets
                    yes,
                              will He buy?
Les belles bottes—oh hear
,pas chères”)

and my love slowly answered I think so.  But
I think I see someone else

there is a lady,whose name is Afterwards
she is sitting beside young death,is slender;
likes flowers.

the mind is its own beautiful prisoner.
Mind looked long at the sticky moon
opening in dusk her new wings

then decently hanged himself,one afternoon.

The last thing he saw was you
naked amid unnaked things,

your flesh,a succinct wandlike animal,
a little strolling with the futile purr
of blood;your sex squeaked like a billiard-cue
chalking itself,as not to make an error,
with twists spontaneously methodical.
He suddenly tasted worms windows and roses

he laughed,and closed his eyes as a girl closes
her left hand upon a mirror.

between the breasts
of bestial
Marj lie large
men who praise

Marj’s cleancornered strokable
body      these men’s
fingers toss trunks
shuffle sacks spin kegs they

curl
loving
around
beers

      the world has
these men’s hands but their
bodies big and boozing
belong to

Marj
the greenslim purse of whose
face opens
on a fatgold

grin
hooray
hoorah for the large
men who lie

between the breasts
of bestial Marj
for the strong men
who

sleep between the legs of Lil

my girl’s tall with hard long eyes
as she stands,with her long hard hands keeping
silence on her dress,good for sleeping
is her long hard body filled with surprise
like a white shocking wire, when she smiles
a hard long smile it sometimes makes
gaily go clean through me tickling aches,
and the weak noise of her eyes easily files
my impatience to an edge—my girl’s tall
and taut, with thin legs just like a vine
that’s spent all of its life on a garden-wall,
and is going to die.  When we grimly go to bed
with these legs she begins to heave and twine
about me,and to kiss my face and head.

i have loved,let us see if that’s all.
Bit into you as teeth,in the stone
of a musical fruit.  My lips pleasantly groan
on your taste.  Jumped the quick wall

of your smile into stupid gardens
if this were not enough(not really enough
pulled one before one the vague tough

exquisite

              flowers, whom hardens
richly, darkness. On the whole
possibly have i loved….?you)
                                    sheath before sheath

stripped to the Odour.  (and here’s what WhoEver will know
Had you as bite teeth;
i stood with you as a foal

stands but as the trees,lay,which grow

Thy fingers make early flowers
of all things.
thy hair mostly the hours love:
a smoothness which
sings,saying
(though love be a day)
do not fear,we will go amaying.

thy whitest feet crisply are straying.
Always
thy moist eyes are at kisses playing,
whose strangeness much
says;singing
(though love be a day)
for which girl art thou flowers bringing?

To be thy lips is a sweet thing
and small.
Death,thee i call rich beyond wishing
if this thou catch,
else missing.
(though love be a day
and life be nothing,it shall not stop kissing).

when life is quite through with
and leaves say alas,
much is to do
for the swallow,that closes
a flight in the blue;

when love’s had his tears out,
perhaps shall pass
a million years
(while a bee dozes
on the poppies, the dears;

when all’s done and said,and
under the grass
lies her head
by oaks and roses
deliberated.)

the moon is hiding in
her hair.
The
lily
of heaven
full of all dreams,
draws down.

cover her briefness in singing
close her with the intricate faint birds
by daisies and twilights
Deepen her,

Recite
upon her
flesh
the rain’s

pearls singly-whispering.

21.4k
I Like

i like
to think that on
the flower you gave me when we
loved

          the far-
departed mouth sweetly-saluted
lingers.
            if one marvel

seeing the hunger of my
lips for a dead thing,
i shall instruct
him silently with becoming

steps to seek
your face     and i
entreat,by certain foolish perfect
hours

         dead too,
if that he come receive
him as your lover sumptuously
being

kind
because i trust him to
your grace,and for
in his own land

he is called death.

20.8k
The Eagle

1

It was one of those clear,sharp.mustless days
        That summer and man delight in.
Never had Heaven seemed quite so high,
Never had earth seemed quite so green,
Never had the world seemed quite so clean
Or sky so nigh.
        And I heard the Deity’s voice in

  The sun’s warm rays,
        And the white cloud’s intricate maze,
And the blue sky’s beautiful sheen.

         2

I looked to the heavens and saw him there,—
        A black speck downward drifting,
Nearer and nearer he steadily sailed,
Nearer and nearer he slid through space,
In an unending aerial race,
       This sailor who hailed
       From the Clime of the Clouds.—Ever shifting,

  On billows of air
        And the blue sky seemed never so fair,
And the rest of the world kept pace.

         3

On the white of his head the sun flashed bright;
        And he battled the wind with wide pinions,
Clearer and clearer the gale whistled loud,
Clearer and clearer he came into view,—
Bigger and blacker against the blue.
        Then a dragon of cloud
        Gathering all its minions
            Rushed to the fight,
        And swallowed him up in a bite;
And the sky lay empty clear through.

         4

Long I watched.   And at last afar
        Caught sight of a speck in the vastness;
Ever smaller,ever decreasing,
Ever drifting,drifting awayInto the endless realms of day;
        Finally ceasing.
        So into Heaven’s vast fastness
           Vanished that bar
Of black,as a fluttering star
Goes out while still on its way.

         5

So I lost him.   But I shall always see
            In my mind
The warm,yellow sun,and the ether free;
The vista’s sky,and the white cloud trailing,
        Trailing behind,—
And below the young earth’s summer-green arbors,
And on high the eagle,—sailing,sailing
        Into far skies and unknown harbors

when my love comes to see me it’s
just a little like music,a
little more like curving colour(say
orange)
          against silence,or darkness….

the coming of my love emits
a wonderful smell in my mind,

you should see when i turn to find
her how my least heart-beat becomes less.
And then all her beauty is a vise

whose stilling lips murder suddenly me,

but of my corpse the tool her smile makes something
suddenly luminous and precise

—and then we are I and She….

what is that the hurdy-gurdy’s playing

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the merry deer ran before.

Fleeter be they than dappled dreams
the swift sweet deer
the red rare deer.

Horn at hip went my love riding
riding the echo down
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the level meadows ran before.

Softer be they than slippered sleep
the lean lithe deer
the fleet flown deer.

Four fleet does at a gold valley
the famished arrows sang before.

Bow at belt went my love riding
riding the mountain down into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the sheer peaks ran before.

Paler be they than daunting death
the sleek slim deer
the tall tense deer.

Four tall stags at a green mountain
the lucky hunter sang before.

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
my heart fell dead before.

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

            fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked

thee
,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

      beauty       .how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
        (but
true

to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover

          thou answerest


them only with

                          spring)

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand.  I think i too have known
autumn too long

                  (and what have you to say,
wind wind wind—did you love somebody
and have you the petal of somewhere in your heart
pinched from dumb summer?
                            O crazy daddy
of death dance cruelly for us and start

the last leaf whirling in the final brain
of air!)Let us as we have seen see
doom’s integration………a wind has blown the rain

away and the leaves and the sky and the
trees stand:
             the trees stand.  The trees,
suddenly wait against the moon’s face.

Tumbling-hair
              picker of buttercups
                                   violets
dandelions
And the big bullying daisies
                             through the field wonderful
with eyes a little sorry
Another comes
              also picking flowers

a blue woman with sticking out breasts hanging
clothes.  On the line. not so old
for the mother of twelve undershirts(we are told
by is it Bishop Taylor who needs hanging

that marriage is a sure cure for masturbation).

                          A dirty wind,twitches the,clothes which are clean
—this is twilight,
                          a little puppy hopping between
skipping
              children
                            (It is the consummation
of day,the hour)she says to me you big fool
she says i says to her i says Sally
i says
          the


                  mmmoon,begins to,drool

softly,in the hot alley,

a nigger’s voice feels curiously cool
(suddenly-Lights go!on,by schedule

“kitty”. sixteen,5′ 11″,white,prostitute.

ducking always the touch of must and shall,
whose slippery body is Death’s littlest pal,

skilled in quick softness.  Unspontaneous.  cute,

the signal perfume of whose unrepute
focusses in the sweet slow animal
bottomless eyes importantly banal,

Kitty. a whore. Sixteen
                            you corking brute
amused from time to time by clever drolls
fearsomely who do keep their sunday flower.
The babybreasted broad “kitty” twice eight

—beer nothing,the lady’ll have a whiskey-sour—

whose least amazing smile is the most great
common divisor of unequal souls.

15.7k
Epithalamion

I.

Thou aged unreluctant earth who dost
with quivering continual thighs invite
the thrilling rain the slender paramour
to toy with thy extraordinary lust,
(the sinuous rain which rising from thy bed
steals to his wife the sky and hour by hour
wholly renews her pale flesh with delight)
—immortally whence are the high gods fled?

Speak elm eloquent pandar with thy nod
significant to the ecstatic earth
in token of his coming whom her soul
burns to embrace—and didst thou know the god
from but the imprint of whose cloven feet
the shrieking dryad sought her leafy goal,
at the mere echo of whose shining mirth
the furious hearts of mountains ceased to beat?

Wind beautifully who wanderest
over smooth pages of forgotten joy
proving the peaceful theorems of the flowers
—didst e’er depart upon more exquisite quest?
and did thy fortunate fingers sometime dwell
(within a greener shadow of secret bowers)
among the curves of that delicious boy
whose serious grace one goddess loved too well?

Chryselephantine Zeus Olympian
sceptred colossus of the Pheidian soul
whose eagle frights creation,in whose palm
Nike presents the crown sweetest to man,
whose lilied robe the sun’s white hands emboss,
betwixt whose absolute feet anoint with calm
of intent stars circling the acerb pole
poises,smiling,the diadumenos

in whose young chiseled eyes the people saw
their once again victorious Pantarkes
(whose grace the prince of artists made him bold
to imitate between the feet of awe),
thunderer whose omnipotent brow showers
its curls of unendured eternal gold
over the infinite breast in bright degrees,
whose pillow is the graces and the hours,

father of gods and men whose subtle throne
twain sphinxes bear each with a writhing youth
caught to her brazen breasts,whose foot-stool tells
how fought the looser of the warlike zone
of her that brought forth tall Hippolytus,
lord on whose pedestal the deep expels
(over Selene’s car closing uncouth)
of Helios the sweet wheels tremulous—

are there no kings in Argos,that the song
is silent,of the steep unspeaking tower
within whose brightening strictness Danae
saw the night severed and the glowing throng
descend,felt on her flesh the amorous strain
of gradual hands and yielding to that fee
her eager body’s unimmortal flower
knew in the darkness a more burning rain?

                    2.

And still the mad magnificent herald Spring
assembles beauty from forgetfulness
with the wild trump of April:witchery
of sound and odour drives the wingless thing
man forth in the bright air,for now the red
leaps in the maple’s cheek,and suddenly
by shining hordes in sweet unserious dress
ascends the golden crocus from the dead.

On dappled dawn forth rides the pungent sun
with hooded day preening upon his hand
followed by gay untimid final flowers
(which dressed in various tremulous armor stun
the eyes of ragged earth who sees them pass)
while hunted from his kingdom winter cowers,
seeing green armies steadily expand
hearing the spear-song of the marching grass.

A silver sudden parody of snow
tickles the air to golden tears,and hark!
the flicker’s laughing yet,while on the hills
the pines deepen to whispers primeval and throw
backward their foreheads to the barbarous bright
sky,and suddenly from the valley thrills
the unimaginable upward lark
and drowns the earth and passes into light

(slowly in life’s serene perpetual round
a pale world gathers comfort to her soul,
hope richly scattered by the abundant sun
invades the new mosaic of the ground
—let but the incurious curtaining dusk be drawn
surpassing nets are sedulously spun
to snare the brutal dew,—the authentic scroll
of fairie hands and vanishing with the dawn).

Spring,that omits no mention of desire
in every curved and curling thing,yet holds
continuous intercourse—through skies and trees
the lilac’s smoke the poppy’s pompous fire
the pansy’s purple patience and the grave
frailty of daises—by what rare unease
revealed of teasingly transparent folds—
with man’s poor soul superlatively brave.

Surely from robes of particoloured peace
with mouth flower-faint and undiscovered eyes
and dim slow perfect body amorous
(whiter than lilies which are born and cease
for being whiter than this world)exhales
the hovering high perfume curious
of that one month for whom the whole years dies,
risen at length from palpitating veils.

O still miraculous May!O shining girl
of time untarnished!O small intimate
gently primeval hands,frivolous feet
divine!O singular and breathless pearl!
O indefinable frail ultimate pose!
O visible beatitude sweet sweet
intolerable!silence immaculate
of god’s evasive audible great rose!

                    3.

Lover,lead forth thy love unto that bed
prepared by whitest hands of waiting years,
curtained with wordless worship absolute,
unto the certain altar at whose head
stands that clear candle whose expecting breath
exults upon the tongue of flame half-mute,
(haste ere some thrush with silver several tears
complete the perfumed paraphrase of death).

Now is the time when all occasional things
close into silence,only one tree,one
svelte translation of eternity
unto the pale meaning of heaven clings,
(whose million leaves in winsome indolence
simmer upon thinking twilight momently)
as down the oblivious west’s numerous dun
magnificence conquers magnificence.

In heaven’s intolerable athanor
inimitably tortured the base day
utters at length her soft intrinsic hour,
and from those tenuous fires which more and more
sink and are lost the divine alchemist,
the magus of creation,lifts a flower—
whence is the world’s insufferable clay
clothed with incognizable amethyst.

Lady at whose imperishable smile
the amazed doves flicker upon sunny wings
as if in terror of eternity,
(or seeming that they would mistrust a while
the moving of beauteous dead mouths throughout
that very proud transparent company
of quivering ghosts-of-love which scarcely sings
drifting in slow diaphanous faint rout),

queen in the inconceivable embrace
of whose tremendous hair that blossom stands
whereof is most desire,yet less than those
twain perfect roses whose ambrosial grace,
goddess,thy crippled thunder-forging groom
or the loud lord of skipping maenads knows,—
having Discordia’s apple in thy hands,
which the scared shepherd gave thee for his doom—

O thou within the chancel of whose charms
the tall boy god of everlasting war
received the shuddering sacrament of sleep,
betwixt whose cool incorrigible arms
impaled upon delicious mystery,
with gaunt limbs reeking of the whispered deep,
deliberate groping ocean fondled o’er
the warm long flower of unchastity,

imperial Cytherea,from frail foam
sprung with irrevocable nakedness
to strike the young world into smoking song—
as the first star perfects the sensual dome
of darkness,and the sweet strong final bird
transcends the sight,O thou to whom belong
th ehearts of lovers!—I beseech thee bless
thy suppliant singer and his wandering word.

15.5k
One!

(one!)
the wisti-twisti barber
-pole is climbing

people high,up-in

tenements talk.in sawdust Voices
                                    a:whispering drunkard passes

15.5k
Being

being
twelve
who hast merely
gonorrhea

            Oldeyed
child, to
ambitious weeness
of boots

tiny
add
death
what

shall?

this is the garden:colours come and go,
frail azures fluttering from night’s outer wing
strong silent greens silently lingering,
absolute lights like baths of golden snow.
This is the garden:pursed lips do blow
upon cool flutes within wide glooms,and sing
(of harps celestial to the quivering string)
invisible faces hauntingly and slow.

This is the garden. Time shall surely reap
and on Death’s blade lie many a flower curled,
in other lands where other songs be sung;
yet stand They here enraptured,as among
the slow deep trees perpetual of sleep
some silver-fingered fountain steals the world.

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