Epistle to the Rapalloan

Ezra, whom not with eye nor with ear have I ever
(But nevertheless as one by a rhyme-beat, one
By the break of his syllables, one by a slow breath) known,
By doubts that in common between us two deliver
Better your face to me than the photograph,
Which besides they say lies — they say, that is, you were never
The beautiful boy with the sullen mouth, the giver
Of ambiguous apples — Ezra, you that could laugh

When the rest of them followed your hearse in five-years-ago's mud,
When the rest of them talked of the promise of youth cut off
By a fever, a flush in the cheek, an ironical cough
(That did in truth, they were right enough there, bring blood),

Ezra, I've read again your Sixteen Cantos:
There's a word for my praise — if there's a rhyme for cantos!
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