Beata l'Alma

1

Time ends when vision sees its lapse in
liberty. The seven
 sleepers quit their den and wild
  lament-
ations fill out voiceless bodies. Echoes only are.

You will never understand the mind's
misanthropy, nor see
 that all is foul and fit to
  screech in.
It is an eye's anarchy: men are ghoulish stumps

and the air a river of opaque
filth. God! I cannot see
 to design these stark reaches, these
  bulging
contours pressed against me in the maddening dark.

A blindman's buff and no distilling
of song for the woeful
 scenes of agony. Never
  will rest
the mind an instant in its birdlike flutterings.

Could I impress my voice on the plastic darkness, or lift an
 inviolate lanthorn from
a ship
in the storm I might have ease. But why? No
  fellows
would answer my hullallo, and my
  lanthorn would lurch on the
 mast till it dipped under the
   wet waves
and the hissing darkness healed the wide wound of light.

A cynic race—to bleak ecstasies
  we are driven by our
 sombre destiny. Men's shouts
   are not
glad enough to echo in our groin'd hearts. We know

war and its dead, and famine's bleach'd bones;
  black rot overreaching
 the silent pressure of life
   in fronds
of green ferns and in the fragile shell of white flesh.

2

New children must be born of gods in
  a deathless land, where the
 uneroded rocks bound clear
   from cool
glassy tarns, and no flaw is in mind or flesh.

Sense and image they must refashion—
  they will not recreate
 love: love ends in hate; they will
   not use
words: words lie. The structure of events alone is

comprehensible and to single
  perceptions communication is not essential.
   Art ends;
the individual world alone is valid

and that gives ease. The water is still;
  the rocks are hard and vein'd,
 metalliferous, yielding
   an ore
of high worth. In the sky the unsullied sun lake.
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