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Title: Des Imagistes: An Anthology

Editor: Ezra Pound

Release date: December 28, 2015 [eBook #50782]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jana Srna, Elizabeth Oscanyan and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
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«Καὶ κείνα Σικελά, καὶ ἐν Αἰτναίαισιν ἔπαιζεν
ἀόσι, καὶ μέλος ᾖδε τὸ Δώριον.»
Επιτάφιος Βίωνος
“And she also was of Sikilia and was gay in
the valleys of Ætna, and knew the Doric


Copyright, 1914
Albert and Charles Boni



Richard Aldington
Choricos     7
To a Greek Marble     10
Au Vieux Jardin     11
Lesbia     12
Beauty Thou Hast Hurt Me Overmuch     13
Argyria     14
In the Via Sestina     15
The River     16
Bromios     17
To Atthis     19
H. D.
Sitalkas     20
Hermes of the Ways I     21
Hermes of the Ways II     22
Priapus     24
Acon     26
Hermonax     28
Epigram     30
F. S. Flint
I     31
II Hallucination     32
III     33
IV     34
V The Swan     35
6Skipwith Cannéll
Nocturnes     36
Amy Lowell
In a Garden     38
William Carlos Williams
Postlude     39
James Joyce
I Hear an Army     40
Ezra Pound
Δώρια     41
The Return     42
After Ch’u Yuan     43
Liu Ch’e     44
Fan-Piece for Her Imperial Lord     45
Ts’ai Chi’h     46
Ford Madox Hueffer
In the Little Old Market-Place     47
Allen Upward
Scented Leaves from a Chinese Jar     51
John Cournos after K. Tetmaier
The Rose     54
To Hulme (T. E.) and Fitzgerald     57
Vates, the Social Reformer     59
Fragments Addressed by Clearchus H. to Aldi     62
Bibliography     63



The ancient songs
Pass deathward mournfully.
Cold lips that sing no more, and withered wreaths,
Regretful eyes, and drooping breasts and wings—
Symbols of ancient songs
Mournfully passing
Down to the great white surges,
Watched of none
Save the frail sea-birds
And the lithe pale girls,
Daughters of Okeanus.
And the songs pass
From the green land
Which lies upon the waves as a leaf
On the flowers of hyacinth;
And they pass from the waters,
The manifold winds and the dim moon,
And they come,
Silently winging through soft Kimmerian dusk,
To the quiet level lands
That she keeps for us all,
That she wrought for us all for sleep
In the silver days of the earth’s dawning—
Proserpina, daughter of Zeus.
And we turn from the Kuprian’s breasts,
8And we turn from thee,
Phoibos Apollon,
And we turn from the music of old
And the hills that we loved and the meads,
And we turn from the fiery day,
And the lips that were over sweet;
For silently
Brushing the fields with red-shod feet,
With purple robe
Searing the flowers as with a sudden flame,
Thou hast come upon us.
And of all the ancient songs
Passing to the swallow-blue halls
By the dark streams of Persephone,
This only remains:
That we turn to thee,
That we turn to thee, singing
One last song.
O Death,
Thou art an healing wind
That blowest over white flowers
A-tremble with dew;
Thou art a wind flowing
Over dark leagues of lonely sea;
Thou art the dusk and the fragrance;
Thou art the lips of love mournfully smiling;
9Thou art the pale peace of one
Satiate with old desires;
Thou art the silence of beauty,
And we look no more for the morning
We yearn no more for the sun,
Since with thy white hands,
Thou crownest us with the pallid chaplets,
The slim colourless poppies
Which in thy garden alone
Softly thou gatherest.
And silently,
And with slow feet approaching,
And with bowed head and unlit eyes,
We kneel before thee:
And thou, leaning towards us,
Caressingly layest upon us
Flowers from thy thin cold hands,
And, smiling as a chaste woman
Knowing love in her heart,
Thou sealest our eyes
And the illimitable quietude
Comes gently upon us.
Richard Aldington


Πότνια, πότνια
White grave goddess,
Pity my sadness,
O silence of Paros.
I am not of these about thy feet,
These garments and decorum;
I am thy brother,
Thy lover of aforetime crying to thee,
And thou hearest me not.
I have whispered thee in thy solitudes
Of our loves in Phrygia,
The far ecstasy of burning noons
When the fragile pipes
Ceased in the cypress shade,
And the brown fingers of the shepherd
Moved over slim shoulders;
And only the cicada sang.
I have told thee of the hills
And the lisp of reeds
And the sun upon thy breasts,
And thou hearest me not,
Πότνια, πότνια,
Thou hearest me not.
Richard Aldington


I have sat here happy in the gardens,
Watching the still pool and the reeds
And the dark clouds
Which the wind of the upper air
Tore like the green leafy boughs
Of the divers-hued trees of late summer;
But though I greatly delight
In these and the water lilies,
That which sets me nighest to weeping
Is the rose and white colour of the smooth flag-stones,
And the pale yellow grasses
Among them.
Richard Aldington


Use no more speech now;
Let the silence spread gold hair above us
Fold on delicate fold;
You had the ivory of my life to carve.
Use no more speech.
.   .   .   .
And Picus of Mirandola is dead;
And all the gods they dreamed and fabled of,
Hermes, and Thoth, and Christ, are rotten now,
Rotten and dank.
.   .   .   .
And through it all I see your pale Greek face;
Tenderness makes me as eager as a little child
To love you
You morsel left half cold on Caesar’s plate.
Richard Aldington


The light is a wound to me.
The soft notes
Feed upon the wound.
Where wert thou born
O thou woe
That consumest my life?
Whither comest thou?
Toothed wind of the seas,
No man knows thy beginning.
As a bird with strong claws
Thou woundest me,
O beautiful sorrow.
Richard Aldington


O you,
O you most fair,
Swayer of reeds, whisperer
Among the flowering rushes,
You have hidden your hands
Beneath the poplar leaves,
You have given them to the white waters.
Sea-child cold from waves,
Slight reed that sang so blithely in the wind,
White cloud the white sun kissed into the air;
Pan mourns for you.
White limbs, white song,
Pan mourns for you.
Richard Aldington


O daughter of Isis,
Thou standest beside the wet highway
Of this decayed Rome,
A manifest harlot.
Straight and slim art thou
As a marble phallus;
Thy face is the face of Isis
As she is carven in basalt.
And my heart stops with awe
At the presence of the gods,
There beside thee on the stall of images
Is the head of Osiris
Thy lord.
Richard Aldington


I drifted along the river
Until I moored my boat
By these crossed trunks.
Here the mist moves
Over fragile leaves and rushes,
Colourless waters and brown fading hills.
She has come from beneath the trees,
Moving within the mist,
A floating leaf.
O blue flower of the evening,
You have touched my face
With your leaves of silver.
Love me for I must depart.
Richard Aldington


The withered bonds are broken.
The waxed reeds and the double pipe
Clamour about me;
The hot wind swirls
Through the red pine trunks.
Io! the fauns and the satyrs.
The touch of their shagged curled fur
And blunt horns!
They have wine in heavy craters
Painted black and red;
Wine to splash on her white body.
She shrinks from the cold shower—
Afraid, afraid!
Let the Maenads break through the myrtles
And the boughs of the rohododaphnai.
Let them tear the quick deers’ flesh.
Ah, the cruel, exquisite fingers!
I have brought you the brown clusters,
The ivy-boughs and pine-cones.
Your breasts are cold sea-ripples,
But they smell of the warm grasses.
18Throw wide the chiton and the peplum,
Maidens of the Dew.
Beautiful are your bodies, O Maenads,
Beautiful the sudden folds,
The vanishing curves of the white linen
About you.
Hear the rich laughter of the forest,
The cymbals,
The trampling of the panisks and the centaurs.
Richard Aldington.

(After the Manuscript of Sappho now in Berlin)

Atthis, far from me and dear Mnasidika,
Dwells in Sardis;
Many times she was near us
So that we lived life well
Like the far-famed goddess
Whom above all things music delighted.
And now she is first among the Lydian women
As the mighty sun, the rose-fingered moon,
Beside the great stars.
And the light fades from the bitter sea
And in like manner from the rich-blossoming earth;
And the dew is shed upon the flowers,
Rose and soft meadow-sweet
And many-coloured melilote.
Many things told are remembered of sterile Atthis.
I yearn to behold thy delicate soul
To satiate my desire.  .  .  .
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
Richard Aldington


Thou art come at length
More beautiful
Than any cool god
In a chamber under
Lycia’s far coast,
Than any high god
Who touches us not
Here in the seeded grass.
Aye, than Argestes
Scattering the broken leaves.
H. D.


The hard sand breaks,
And the grains of it
Are clear as wine.
Far off over the leagues of it,
The wind,
Playing on the wide shore,
Piles little ridges,
And the great waves
Break over it.
But more than the many-foamed ways
Of the sea,
I know him
Of the triple path-ways,
Who awaiteth.
Facing three ways,
Welcoming wayfarers,
He whom the sea-orchard
Shelters from the west,
From the east
Weathers sea-wind;
Fronts the great dunes.
22Wind rushes
Over the dunes,
And the coarse, salt-crusted grass
It whips round my ankles!
Small is
This white stream,
Flowing below ground
From the poplar-shaded hill,
But the water is sweet.
Apples on the small trees
Are hard,
Too small,
Too late ripened
By a desperate sun
That struggles through sea-mist.
The boughs of the trees
Are twisted
By many bafflings;
Twisted are
The small-leafed boughs.
But the shadow of them
Is not the shadow of the mast head
Nor of the torn sails.
23Hermes, Hermes,
The great sea foamed,
Gnashed its teeth about me;
But you have waited,
Where sea-grass tangles with
H. D.


I saw the first pear
As it fell.
The honey-seeking, golden-banded,
The yellow swarm
Was not more fleet than I,
(Spare us from loveliness!)
And I fell prostrate,
Thou hast flayed us with thy blossoms;
Spare us the beauty
Of fruit-trees!
The honey-seeking
Paused not,
The air thundered their song,
And I alone was prostrate.
O rough-hewn
God of the orchard,
I bring thee an offering;
Do thou, alone unbeautiful
(Son of the god),
Spare us from loveliness.
The fallen hazel-nuts,
Stripped late of their green sheaths,
25The grapes, red-purple,
Their berries
Dripping with wine,
Pomegranates already broken,
And shrunken fig,
And quinces untouched,
I bring thee as offering.
H. D.

(After Joannes Baptista Amaltheus)

Bear me to Dictaeus,
And to the steep slopes;
To the river Erymanthus.
I choose spray of dittany,
Cyperum frail of flower,
Buds of myrrh,
All-healing herbs,
Close pressed in calathes.
For she lies panting,
Drawing sharp breath,
Broken with harsh sobs,
She, Hyella,
Whom no god pitieth.
Haunting the groves,
Who dwell in wet caves,
For all the whitish leaves of olive-branch,
And early roses,
And ivy wreathes, woven gold berries,
Which she once brought to your altars,
27Bear now ripe fruits from Arcadia,
And Assyrian wine
To shatter her fever.
The light of her face falls from its flower,
As a hyacinth,
Hidden in a far valley,
Perishes upon burnt grass.
Bring gifts,
Bring your Phoenician stuffs,
And do you, fleet-footed nymphs,
Bring offerings,
Illyrian iris,
And a branch of shrub,
And frail-headed poppies.
H. D.


Gods of the sea;
Leaving warm meads
For the green, grey-green fastnesses
Of the great deeps;
And Palemon,
Bright striker of sea-shaft,
Hear me.
Let all whom the sea loveth,
Come to its altar front,
And I
Who can offer no other sacrifice to thee
Bring this.
Broken by great waves,
The wavelets flung it here,
This sea-gliding creature,
This strange creature like a weed,
Covered with salt foam,
Torn from the hillocks
Of rock.
I, Hermonax,
Caster of nets,
Risking chance,
Plying the sea craft,
Came on it.
29Thus to sea god
Cometh gift of sea wrack;
I, Hermonax, offer it
To thee, Ino,
And to Palemon.
H. D.

(After the Greek)

The golden one is gone from the banquets;
She, beloved of Atimetus,
The swallow, the bright Homonoea:
Gone the dear chatterer.
H. D.


London, my beautiful,
it is not the sunset
nor the pale green sky
shimmering through the curtain
of the silver birch,
nor the quietness;
it is not the hopping
of birds
upon the lawn,
nor the darkness
stealing over all things
that moves me.
But as the moon creeps slowly
over the tree-tops
among the stars,
I think of her
and the glow her passing
sheds on men.
London, my beautiful,
I will climb
into the branches
to the moonlit tree-tops,
that my blood may be cooled
by the wind.
F. S. Flint


I know this room,
and there are corridors:
the pictures, I have seen before;
the statues and those gems in cases
I have wandered by before,—
stood there silent and lonely
in a dream of years ago.
I know the dark of night is all around me;
my eyes are closed, and I am half asleep.
My wife breathes gently at my side.
But once again this old dream is within me,
and I am on the threshold waiting,
wondering, pleased, and fearful.
Where do those doors lead,
what rooms lie beyond them?
I venture. . . .
But my baby moves and tosses
from side to side,
and her need calls me to her.
Now I stand awake, unseeing,
in the dark,
and I move towards her cot. . . .
I shall not reach her . . . There is no direction. . . .
I shall walk on. . . .
F. S. Flint


Immortal? . . . No,
they cannot be, these people,
nor I.
Tired faces,
eyes that have never seen the world,
bodies that have never lived in air,
lips that have never minted speech,
they are the clipped and garbled,
blocking the highway.
They swarm and eddy
between the banks of glowing shops
towards the red meat,
the potherbs,
the cheapjacks,
or surge in
before the swift rush
of the clanging trams,—
pitiful, ugly, mean,
Immortal? . . .
In a wood,
watching the shadow of a bird
leap from frond to frond of bracken,
I am immortal.
But these?
F. S. Flint


The grass is beneath my head;
and I gaze
at the thronging stars
in the night.
They fall . . . they fall. . . .
I am overwhelmed,
and afraid.
Each leaf of the aspen
is caressed by the wind,
and each is crying.
And the perfume
of invisible roses
deepens the anguish.
Let a strong mesh of roots
feed the crimson of roses
upon my heart;
and then fold over the hollow
where all the pain was.
F. S. Flint


Under the lily shadow
and the gold
and the blue and mauve
that the whin and the lilac
pour down on the water,
the fishes quiver.
Over the green cold leaves
and the rippled silver
and the tarnished copper
of its neck and beak,
toward the deep black water
beneath the arches,
the swan floats slowly.
Into the dark of the arch the swan floats
and into the black depth of my sorrow
it bears a white rose of flame.
F. S. Flint


Thy feet,
That are like little, silver birds,
Thou hast set upon pleasant ways;
Therefore I will follow thee,
Thou Dove of the Golden Eyes,
Upon any path will I follow thee,
For the light of thy beauty
Shines before me like a torch.
Thy feet are white
Upon the foam of the sea;
Hold me fast, thou bright Swan,
Lest I stumble,
And into deep waters.
Long have I been
But the Singer beneath thy Casement,
And now I am weary.
I am sick with longing,
O my Belovéd;
Therefore bear me with thee
Upon our road.
With the net of thy hair
Thou hast fished in the sea,
And a strange fish
Hast thou caught in thy net;
For thy hair,
Holdeth my heart
Within its web of gold.
I am weary with love, and thy lips
Are night-born poppies.
Give me therefore thy lips
That I may know sleep.
I am weary with longing,
I am faint with love;
For upon my head has the moonlight
As a sword.
Skipwith Cannéll


Gushing from the mouths of stone men
To spread at ease under the sky
In granite-lipped basins,
Where iris dabble their feet
And rustle to a passing wind,
The water fills the garden with its rushing,
In the midst of the quiet of close-clipped lawns.
Damp smell the ferns in tunnels of stone,
Where trickle and plash the fountains,
Marble fountains, yellowed with much water.
Splashing down moss-tarnished steps
It falls, the water;
And the air is throbbing with it;
With its gurgling and running;
With its leaping, and deep, cool murmur.
And I wished for night and you.
I wanted to see you in the swimming-pool,
White and shining in the silver-flecked water.
While the moon rode over the garden,
High in the arch of night,
And the scent of the lilacs was heavy with stillness.
Night and the water, and you in your whiteness, bathing!
Amy Lowell


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 Philæ, 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’re 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!
O prayers in the dark!
O incense to Poseidon!
Calm in Atlantis.
William Carlos Williams


I hear an army charging upon the land,
And the thunder of horses plunging; foam about their knees:
Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,
Disdaining the rains, with fluttering whips, the Charioteers.
They cry into the night their battle name:
I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter.
They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,
Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.
They come shaking in triumph their long grey hair:
They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore.
My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?
My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?
James Joyce


Be in me as the eternal moods
of the bleak wind, and not
As transient things are—
gaiety of flowers.
Have me in the strong loneliness
of sunless cliffs
And of grey waters.
Let the gods speak softly of us
In days hereafter,
The shadowy flowers of Orcus
Remember Thee.
Ezra Pound


See, they return; ah, see the tentative
Movements, and the slow feet,
The trouble in the pace and the uncertain
See, they return, one, and by one,
With fear, as half-awakened;
As if the snow should hesitate
And murmur in the wind
and half turn back;
These were the “Wing’d-with-Awe,”
Gods of the winged shoe!
With them the silver hounds
sniffing the trace of air!
Haie! Haie!
These were the swift to harry;
These the keen-scented;
These were the souls of blood.
Slow on the leash,
pallid the leash-men!
Ezra Pound


I will get me to the wood
Where the gods walk garlanded in wisteria,
By the silver-blue flood move others with ivory cars.
There come forth many maidens
to gather grapes for the leopards, my friend.
For there are leopards drawing the cars.
I will walk in the glade,
I will come out of the new thicket
and accost the procession of maidens.
Ezra Pound


The rustling of the silk is discontinued,
Dust drifts over the courtyard,
There is no sound of footfall, and the leaves
Scurry into heaps and lie still,
And she the rejoicer of the heart is beneath them:
A wet leaf that clings to the threshold.
Ezra Pound.


O fan of white silk,
clear as frost on the grass-blade,
You also are laid aside.
Ezra Pound


The petals fall in the fountain,
the orange coloured rose-leaves,
Their ochre clings to the stone.
Ezra Pound.

(To the Memory of A. V.)

It rains, it rains,
From gutters and drains
And gargoyles and gables:
It drips from the tables
That tell us the tolls upon grains,
Oxen, asses, sheep, turkeys and fowls
Set into the rain-soaked wall
Of the old Town Hall.
The mountains being so tall
And forcing the town on the river,
The market’s so small
That, with the wet cobbles, dark arches and all,
The owls
(For in dark rainy weather the owls fly out
Well before four), so the owls
In the gloom
Have too little room
And brush by the saint on the fountain
In veering about.
The poor saint on the fountain!
Supported by plaques of the giver
To whom we’re beholden;
His name was de Sales
And his wife’s name von Mangel.
48(Now is he a saint or archangel?)
He stands on a dragon
On a ball, on a column
Gazing up at the vines on the mountain:
And his falchion is golden
And his wings are all golden.
He bears golden scales
And in spite of the coils of his dragon, without hint of alarm or invective
Looks up at the mists on the mountain.
(Now what saint or archangel
Stands winged on a dragon,
Bearing golden scales and a broad bladed sword all golden?
Alas, my knowledge
Of all the saints of the college,
Of all these glimmering, olden
Sacred and misty stories
Of angels and saints and old glories . . .
Is sadly defective.)
The poor saint on the fountain . . .
On top of his column
Gazes up sad and solemn.
But is it towards the top of the mountain
Where the spindrifty haze is
That he gazes?
Or is it into the casement
Where the girl sits sewing?
There’s no knowing.
49Hear it rain!
And from eight leaden pipes in the ball he stands on
That has eight leaden and copper bands on,
There gurgle and drain
Eight driblets of water down into the basin.
And he stands on his dragon
And the girl sits sewing
High, very high in her casement
And before her are many geraniums in a parket
All growing and blowing
In box upon box
From the gables right down to the basement
With frescoes and carvings and paint . . .
The poor saint!
It rains and it rains,
In the market there isn’t an ox,
And in all the emplacement
For waggons there isn’t a waggon,
Not a stall for a grape or a raisin,
Not a soul in the market
Save the saint on his dragon
With the rain dribbling down in the basin,
And the maiden that sews in the casement.
They are still and alone,
Mutterseelens alone,
And the rain dribbles down from his heels and his crown,
50From wet stone to wet stone.
It’s grey as at dawn,
And the owls, grey and fawn,
Call from the little town hall
With its arch in the wall,
Where the fire-hooks are stored.
From behind the flowers of her casement
That’s all gay with the carvings and paint,
The maiden gives a great yawn,
But the poor saint—
No doubt he’s as bored!
Stands still on his column
Uplifting his sword
With never the ease of a yawn
From wet dawn to wet dawn . . .
Ford Madox Hueffer



Meditating on the glory of illustrious lineage I lifted up my eyes and beheld the bitter purple willows growing round the tombs of the exalted Mings.


Like a breath from hoarded musk,
Like the golden fins that move
Where the tank’s green shadows part—
Living flames out of the dusk—
Are the lightning throbs of love
In the passionate lover’s heart.


A poet, having taken the bridle off his tongue, spoke thus: “More fragrant than the heliotrope, which blooms all the year round, better than vermilion letters on tablets of sendal, are thy kisses, thou shy one!”


I have heard that a certain princess, when she found that she had been married by a demon, wove a wreath of jonquils and sent it to the lover of former days.



The sailor boy who leant over the side of the Junk of Many Pearls, and combed the green tresses of the sea with his ivory fingers, believing that he had heard the voice of a mermaid, cast his body down between the waves.


The emperors of fourteen dynasties, clad in robes of yellow silk embroidered with the Dragon, wearing gold diadems set with pearls and rubies, and seated on thrones of incomparable ivory, have ruled over the Middle Kingdom for four thousand years.


My mother taught me that every night a procession of junks carrying lanterns moves silently across the sky, and the water sprinkled from their paddles falls to the earth in the form of dew. I no longer believe that the stars are junks carrying lanterns, no longer that the dew is shaken from their oars.


To the passionate lover, whose sighs come back to him on every breeze, all the world is like a murmuring sea-shell.



Amid a landscape flickering with poplars, and netted by a silver stream, the Swallow Tower stands in the haunts of the sun. The winds out of the four quarters of heaven come to sigh around it, the clouds forsake the zenith to bathe it with continuous kisses. Against its sun-worn walls a sea of orchards breaks in white foam; and from the battlements the birds that flit below are seen like fishes in a green moat. The windows of the Tower stand open day and night; the winged Guests come when they please, and hold communication with the unknown Keeper of the Tower.

Allen Upward


I remember a day when I stood on the sea shore at Nice, holding a scarlet rose in my hands.

The calm sea, caressed by the sun, was brightly garmented in blue, veiled in gold, and violet, verging on silver.

Gently the waves lapped the shore, and scattering into pearls, emeralds and opals, hastened towards my feet with a monotonous, rhythmical sound, like the prolonged note of a single harp-string.

High in the clear, blue-golden sky hung the great, burning disc of the sun.

White seagulls hovered above the waves, now barely touching them with their snow-white breasts, now rising anew into the heights, like butterflies over the green meadows . . .

Far in the east, a ship, trailing its smoke, glided slowly from sight as though it had foundered in the waste.

I threw the rose into the sea, and watched it, caught in the wave, receding, red on the snow-white foam, paler on the emerald wave.

And the sea continued to return it to me, again and again, at last no longer a flower, but strewn petals on restless water.

So with the heart, and with all proud things. In the end nothing remains but a handful of petals of what was once a proud flower . . .

John Cournos after K. Tetmaier





Is there for feckless poverty
That grins at ye for a’ that!
A hired slave to none am I,
But under-fed for a’ that;
For a’ that and a’ that,
The toils I shun and a’ that,
My name but mocks the guinea stamp,
And Pound’s dead broke for a’ that.
Although my linen still is clean,
My socks fine silk and a’ that,
Although I dine and drink good wine—
Say, twice a week, and a’ that;
For a’ that and a’ that,
My tinsel shows and a’ that,
These breeks ’ll no last many weeks
’Gainst wear and tear and a’ that.
Ye see this birkie ca’ed a bard,
Wi’ cryptic eyes and a’ that,
Aesthetic phrases by the yard;
It’s but E. P. for a’ that,
For a’ that and a’ that,
My verses, books and a’ that,
The man of independent means
He looks and laughs at a’ that.
58One man will make a novelette
And sell the same and a’ that.
For verse nae man can siller get,
Nae editor maun fa’ that.
For a’ that and a’ that,
Their royalties and a’ that,
Wib time to loaf and will to write
I’ll stick to rhyme for a’ that.
And ye may prise and gang your ways
Wi’ pity, sneers and a’ that,
I know my trade and God has made
Some men to rhyme and a’ that,
For a’ that and a’ that,
I maun gang on for a’ that
Wi’ verse to verse until the hearse
Carts off me wame and a’ that.




What shall be said of him, this cock-o’-hoop?
(I’m just a trifle bored, dear God of mine,
Dear unknown God, dear chicken-pox of Heaven,
I’m bored I say), But still—my social friend—
(One has to be familiar in one’s discourse)
While he was puffing out his jets of wit
Over his swollen-bellied pipe, one thinks,
One thinks, you know, of quite a lot of things.
(Dear unknown God, dear, queer-faced God,
Queer, queer, queer, queer-faced God,
You blanky God, be quiet for half minute,
And when I’ve shut up Rates, and sat on Naboth,
I’ll tell you half a dozen things or so.)
There goes a flock of starlings—
Now half a dozen years ago,
(Shut up, you blighted God, and let me speak)
I should have hove my sporting air-gun up
And blazed away—and now I let ’em go—
It’s odd how one changes;
Yes, that’s High Germany.
But still, when he was smiling like a Chinese queen,
Looking as queer (I do assure you, God)
As any Chinese queen I ever saw;
And tiddle-whiddle-whiddling about prose,
Trying to quiz a mutton-headed poetaster,
60And choking all the time with politics—
Why then I say, I contemplated him
And marveled (God! I marveled,
Write it in prose, dear God. Yes, in red ink.)
And marveled, as I said,
At the stupendous quantity of mind
And the amazing quality thereof.
Dear God of mine,
It’s really most amazing, doncherknow,
But really, God, I can’t get off the mark;
Look here, you queer-faced God,
This fellow makes me sick with all his talk,
His ha’penny gibes at Celtic bards
And followers of Dante—honest folk!—
Because, dear God, the rotten beggar goes
And makes a Chinese blue-stocking
From half-digested dreams of Munich-air.
And then—God, why should I write it down?—
But Rates and Naboth
Aren’t half such silly fools as he is (God)
For they are frankly asinine,
While he pretends to sanity,
Modernity, (dear God, dear God).
It’s bad enough, dear God of mine,
That you have set me down in London town,
Endowed me with a tattered velvet coat,
Soft collar and black hat and Greek ambitions;
You might have left me there.
61But now you send
This “vates” here, this sage social reformer
(Yes, God, you rotten Roman Catholic)
To put his hypothetical conceptions
Of what a poor young poetaster would think
Into his own damned shape, and then to attack it
To his own great contemplative satisfaction.
What have I done, O God,
That so much bitterness should flop on me?
Social Reformer! That’s the beggar’s name.
He’d have me write bad novels like himself.
Yes, God, I know it’s after closing time;
And yes, I know I’ve smoked his cigarettes;
But watch that sparrow on the fountain in the rain.
How half a dozen years ago,
(Shut up, you blighted God, and let me speak)
I should have hove my sporting air-gun up
And blazed away—and now I let him go—
It’s odd how one changes;
Yes, that’s High Germany.
R. A.


Πρικε φιφτεεν κενξ
           π. 43

Ἰ ἁυε σατ ἑρε ἁρριε ἰν μι ἀρμχαιρ
(πύτνηβυς, πύτνηβυς) (1)
ὐατχινγ θε στιλλ Ηουνδ ἀνδ θε κιδ
ὐιθ θε δαρκ ἁιρ
ὑιχ θε ὐινδ ὀφ μι ὐπραισεδ ὐοικε
τορε λικε ἀ γρεεν ματτεδ μεσς
(Ὀ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι) (2)
ὀφ ὐετ κοβυεβς ἀνδ σεαυεεδ ἀτ τυιλιγτ,
βυτ τὁυγ Ἰ γρεατλιε δελιγτεδ
(ἠράμαν μὲν ἐγὼ σέθεν, Ἀλδί, πάλαι πότα) (3)
ἰν θησε ἀνδ θε Ἐζρα ὑισκέρς
τἁτ ὑιχ σετς με νιρεστ το ὐεεπινγ
(ὁ δὲ Κλέαρχος εἶπε) (4)
ἰς θε κλασσικαλ ῥυθμ ὀφ θε ραρε σπεεχες,
Ὠ θε ὐνσπωκεν σπεεχες
Notes. (1) A vehicle conducting passengers from Athens,
the capital of Greece, to the temple of the winds,
which stands in a respectable suburb.
(2) Rendered by Butler, “O God! O Montreal!”
(3) Sappho!!!!!!
(4) Xenophon’s Anabasis.
F. M. H.

Prike phiphteen kenx
           p. 43

I haue sat here harrie in mi armchair
(pυtnêbus, pυtnêbus) (1)
uatching the still Êound and the kid
uith the dark hair
huich the uind oph mi upraised uoike
tore like a green matted mess
(Ô andres Athênaioi) (2)
oph uet kobuebs and seaueed at tuiligt,
but thoug I greatlie deligted
(êraman men egô sethen, Aldi, palai pota) (3)
in thêse and the Ezra huiskers
that huich sets me nirest to ueeping
(ho de Klearchos eipe) (4)
is the klassikal rhythm oph the rare speeches,
Ô the unspôken speeches

Price fifteen cents
          p. 43

I have sat here Harry in my armchair
(Putney-bus, Putney-bus) (1)
watching the still hound and the kid
with the dark hair
which the wind of my upraised voice
tore like a green matted mess
(Ô andres Athênaioi) (2)
of wet cobwebs and seaweed at twilight,
but though I greatly delighted
(êraman men egô sethen, Aldi, palai pota) (3)
in these and the Ezra whiskers
that which sets me nearest to weeping
(ho de Klearchos eipe) (4)
is the classical rhythm of the rare speeches,
O the unspoken speeches


F. S. Flint—“The Net of the Stars.” Published by Elkin Mathews, 4 Cork St., London, W.

Ezra Pound—Collected Poems (Personae, Exultations, Canzoni, Ripostes). Published by Elkin Mathews.


“The Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti.” Published by Small, Maynard & Co., Boston.

The Canzoni of Arnaut Daniel. R. F. Seymour & Co., Fine Arts Bldg., Chicago.


“The Spirit of Romance.” A study of mediaeval poetry. Dent & Sons. London.

Ford Madox Hueffer—“Collected Poems.” Published by Max Goschen, 20 Gt. Russel St., London. Forty volumes of prose with various publishers.

Allen Upward—Author of “The New Word,” “The Divine Mystery,” etc., etc.

The “Scented Leaves” appears in “Poetry” for September 1913.

William Carlos Williams—“The Tempers.” Published by Elkin Mathews.

Amy Lowell—“A Dome of Many Coloured Glass.” Published by Houghton, Mifflin, Boston.

Transcriber's Notes

On page 37, "popies" was replaced by "poppies".

The humorous poem written with Greek characters on page 62 has also been rendered in their Latin equivalents for the benefit of those who cannot pronounce the Greek and also in Latin look-alikes. It appears that, in the first line, the rho's should have been pi's, making the 5th word ἁππιε or happie; it was left as printed. Or, this might have been addressed to the editor of "Poetry" whose name was Harriet Monroe.

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without comment.