Friday, August 27, 2004

Cold War.


“A cento from Francis Thompson”


The flying fringes of the sun’s cloak frush
The garrulous leaves among!
Young Century, born to hear
His dear nonentity--
The obdurate seasons thwart;

Sad tree, whose perishing boughs
Through the unsustaining ether.
In thy feasting-flagon’s impurpurate glows!
Her Muse, that died with her auroral dews!

Whose amethyst
Songs cannot hymn in.
This outworn vesture, tenantless of thee,
When the stars pitch the golden tents
And all so sickened is his countenance,

A silvern segregation, globed complete
To lie as in an oubliette of God,
In this Avenian sky,
And as it came,
Yet thy child still?


Fate, in her extreme blindness,
Ere Winter throws
Or if these levies of impuissant rhyme
Carveth all too painfully,
Behold, I pace amidst the gloom:
With double potence of the black and white.


O Halcyon! was thine auspice not of rest?
The stealthy terror of the sinuous pard,
Call up a burning blot:
Of destinate verse.

Why should amazement be our satellite?
The blank desert, blank and tan:
Let even the slug-abed snail upon the thorn
Then laid upon the snarling sea;

Star gathering.
I, the boundless strict Savannah
Now all things show amiss;
All the savour, all the touch,

Behind this dim and mortal jelly. Ah!

08 25 04

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