Postlude

Postlude

Now that I have cooled to you
Let there be gold of tarnished masonry,
Temples soothed by the sun to ruin
That sleep utterly.
Give me hand for the dances,
Ripples at Philae, in and out,
And lips, my Lesbian,
Wall flowers that once were flame.

Your hair is my Carthage
And my arms the bow,
And our words arrows
To shoot the stars
Who from that misty sea
Swarm to destroy us.

But you there beside me -
Oh, how shall I defy you,
Who wound me in the night
With breasts shining
Like Venus and like Mars?
The night that is shouting Jason
When the loud eaves rattle
As with waves above me
Blue at the prow of my desire.
Oh prayers in the dark,
Oh incense to Poseidon
Calm in Atlantis


from The Collected Poems: Volume I 1909-1939 (New Directions, 1986), used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. The recording was made on May 5, 1945 at the Recording Laboratory, Library of Congress, Washington DC, and is used with permission of the Library of Congress.

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