Transit

A woman I have never seen before
Steps from the darkness of her town-house door
At just that crux of time when she is made
So beautiful that she or time must fade.

What use to claim that as she tugs her gloves
A phantom heraldry of all the loves
Blares from the lintel? That the staggered sun
Forgets, in his confusion, how to run?

Still, nothing changes as her perfect feet
Click down the walk that issues in the street,
Leaving the stations of her body there
Like whips that map the countries of the air.

Two Wishes XI

In the silence of the night Death descended from God toward the earth. He hovered above a city and pierced the dwellings with his eyes. He say the spirits floating on wings of dreams, and the people who were surrendered to the Slumber.

When the moon fell below the horizon and the city became black, Death walked silently among the houses -- careful to touch nothing -- until he reached a palace. He entered through the bolted gates undisturbed, and stood by the rich man's bed; and as Death touched his forehead, the sleeper's eyes opened, showing great fright.

Two Songs of a Fool

I

A speckled cat and a tame hare
Eat at my hearthstone
And seep there;
And both look up to me alone
For learning and defence
As I look up to Providence.

I start out of my sleep to think
Some day I may forget
Their food and drink;
Or, the house door left unshut,
The hare may run till it's found
The horn's sweet note and the tooth of the hound.

Two Roses

A humble wild-rose, pink and slender,
Was plucked and placed in a bright bouquet,
Beside a Jacqueminot’s royal splendour,
And both in my lady’s boudoir lay.

Said the haughty bud, in a tone of scorning,
‘I wonder why you are called a rose?
Your leaves will fade in a single morning;
No blood of mine in your pale cheek glows.

‘Your course green stalk shows dust of the highway,
You have no depths of fragrant bloom;
And what could you learn in a rustic byway
To fit you to lie in my lady’s room?

Two Or Three A Recipe To Make A Cuckold

Two or three visits, and two or three bows,
Two or three civil things, two or three vows,
Two or three kisses, with two or three sighs,
Two or three Jesus's - and let me dies-
Two or three squeezes, and two or three towses,
With two or three thousand pound lost at their houses,
Can never fail cuckolding two or three spouses.

Two centuries

Two centuries' winter storms have lashed the changing sands of Falmouth's shore,
Deep-voiced, the winds, swift winged, wild, have echoed there the ocean's roar.
But though the north-east gale unleashed, rage-blind with power, relentless beat,
The sturdy light-house sheds its beam on waves churned white beneath the sleet.
And still when cold and fear are past, and fields are sweet with spring-time showers,
Mystic, the gray age-silent hills breathe out their souls in fair mayflowers.

Twilight on Sixth Avenue at Ninth Street

Over the tops of the houses
Twilight and sunset meet.
The green, diaphanous dusk
Sinks to the eager street.

Astray in the tangle of roofs
Wanders a wind of June.
The dial shines in the clock-tower
Like the face of a strange-scrawled moon.

The narrowing lines of the houses
Palely begin to gleam,
And the hurrying crowds fade softly
Like an army in a dream.

Twenty-Pound Stone

It nests in the hollow of my pelvis, I carry it with both hands, as if
offering my stomach, as if it were pulling me forward.

At night the sun leaks from it, it turns cold, I sleep with it
beside my head, I breath for it.

Sometimes I dream of hammers.

I am hammering it back into sand, the sand we melt into glass,
the glass we blow into bottles.

This stone is fifteen green bottles with nothing inside.

Twelve Years

The line
that remained, that
became true: . . . your
house in Paris -- become
the alterpiece of your hands.

Breathed through thrice,
shone through thrice.
...................

It's turning dumb, turning deaf
behind our eyes.
I see the poison flower
in all manner of words and shapes.

Go. Come.
Love blots out its name: to
you it ascribes itself.

translated by Michael Hamburger

Twas CrisisAll the length had passed

'Twas Crisis—All the length had passed—
That dull—benumbing time
There is in Fever or Event—
And now the Chance had come—

The instant holding in its claw
The privilege to live
Or warrant to report the Soul
The other side the Grave.

The Muscles grappled as with leads
That would not let the Will—
The Spirit shook the Adamant—
But could not make it feel.

The Second poised—debated—shot—
Another had begun—
And simultaneously, a Soul
Escaped the House unseen—

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