The Modernist Web
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ford Madox Ford
George Bernard Shaw
William Butler Yeats
A Draft of XXX Cantos
GREAT bulk, huge man, thesaurus;
Ecbatan, the clock ticks and fades out
The bride awaiting the god's touch; Ecbatan,
City of patterned streets; again the vision:
Down in the viæ stradæ, toga'd the crowd, and arm'd,
Rushing on populous business,
and from parapet looked down
and North was Egypt,
the celestial Nile, blue deep,
cutting low barren land,
Old men and camels
working the water-wheels;
Measureless seas and stars,
the souls ascending,
Sparks like a partridge covey,
Like the “ciocco”, brand struck in the game.
“Et omniformis”: Air, fire, the pale soft light.
Topaz I manage, and three sorts of blue;
but on the barb of time.
The fire? always, and the vision always,
Ear dull, perhaps, with the vision, flitting
And fading at will. Weaving with points of gold,
Gold-yellow, saffron... The roman shoe, Aurunculeia’s
And come shuffling feet, and cries “Da nuces!
“Nuces!” praise, and Hymenæus “brings the girl to her man”
Or “here Sextus had seen her.”
Titter of sound about me, always.
and from “Hesperus…”
Hush of the older song: “Fades light from sea-crest,
“And in Lydia walks with pair’d women
“Peerless among the pairs, that once in Sardis
Fades the light from the sea, and many things
“Are set abroad and brought to mind of thee,”
And the vinestocks lie untended, new leaves come to the shoots,
North wind nips on the bough, and seas in heart
Toss up chill crests,
And the vine stocks lie untended
And many things are set abroad and brought to mind
Of thee, Atthis, unfruitful.
The talks ran long in the night.
And from Mauleon, fresh with a new earned grade,
In maze of approaching rain-steps, Poicebot—
The air was full of women,
And Savairic Mauleon
Gave him his land and knight’s fee, and he wed the woman.
Came lust of travel on him, of
And out of England a knight with slow-lifting eyelids
Lei fassa furar a del,
put glamour upon her...
And left her an eight months gone.
“Came lust of woman upon him,”
Poicebot, now on North road from Spain
(Sea-change, a grey in the water)
And in small house by town’s edge
Found a woman, changed and familiar face;
Hard night, and parting at morning.
And Pieire won the singing, Pieire de Maensac,
Song or land on the throw, and was
And had De Tierci’s wife and with the war they made:
Troy in Auvergnat
While Menelaus piled up the church at port
He kept Tyndarida. Dauphin stood with de Maensac.
John Borgia is bathed at last. (Clock-tick pierces the vision)
Tiber, dark with the cloak, wet cat gleaming in patches.
Click of the hooves, through garbage,
Clutching the greasy stone. “And the cloak floated.”
Slander is up betimes.
But Varchi of Florence,
Steeped in a different year, and pondering Brutus,
Then “Σίγα μαλ' αὖθις δευτὲραν!
“Dog-eye!! ” (to Alessandro)
“Whether for love of Florence,” Varchi leaves it,
Saying “I saw the man, came up with him at Venice,
“I, one wanting the facts,
“And no mean labour... Or for a privy spite?”
Our Benedetto leaves it,
But: “I saw the man. Se pia?
For Lorenzaccio had thought of stroke in the open
But uncertain (for the Duke went never unguarded)
“And would have thrown him from wall
“Yet feared this might not end him,” or lest Alessandro
Know not by whom death came, O se credesse
“If when the foot slipped, when death came upon him,
“Lest cousin Duke Alessandro think he had fallen alone,
“No friend to aid him in falling.”
The lake of ice there below me.
And all of this, runs Varchi, dreamed out beforehand
In Perugia, caught in the star-maze by Del Carmine,
Cast on a natal paper, set with an exegesis, told,
All told to Alessandro, told thrice over,
Who held his death for a doom.
In abuleia. But Don Lorenzino
Whether for love of Florence ... but
“O se morisse, credesse caduto da sè”
Schiavoni, caught on the wood-barge,
Gives out the afterbirth, Giovanni Borgia,
Trails out no more at nights, where Barabello
Prods the Pope’s elephant, and gets no crown, where Mozarello
Takes the Calabrian roadway, and for ending
Is smothered beneath a mule,
a poet’s ending,
Down a stale well-hole, oh a poet’s ending. “Sanazarro
“Alone out of all the court was faithful to him”
For the gossip of Naples' trouble drifts to North,
Fracastor (lightning was midwife) Cotta, and Ser D'Alviano,
Al poco giorno ed al gran cerchio d'ombra,
Talk the talks out with Navighero,
Burner of yearly Martials,
(The slavelet is mourned in vain)
And the next comer says "Were nine wounds,
"Four men, white horse. Held on the saddle before him..."
Hooves clink and slick on the cobbles.
Schiavoni... cloak... "Sink the damn thing!"
Splash wakes that chap on the wood-barge.
Tiber catching the nap, the moonlit velvet,
A wet cat gleaming in patches.
"Se pia," Varchi,
"O empia, ma risoluto
"E terribile deliberazione."
Both sayings run in the wind,
Ma se morisse!
A Draft of XXX Cantos