Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOMAGE TO SEXTUS PROPERTIUS: 10, by EZRA POUND



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HOMAGE TO SEXTUS PROPERTIUS: 10, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Light, light of my eyes, at an exceeding late hour I was wandering
Last Line: Since that day I have had no pleasant nights.
Subject(s): Propertius, Sextus (50-15 B.c.)


Light, light of my eyes, at an exceeding late hour I was wandering,
And intoxicated,
and no servant was leading me,
And a minute crowed of small boys came from opposite,
I do not know what boys,
And I am afraid of numerical estimate,
And some of them shook little torches,
and others held onto arrows,
And the rest laid their chains upon me,
and they were naked, the lot of them,
And one of the lot was given to lust.

"That incensed female has consigned him to our pleasure."
So spoke. And the noose was over my neck.
And another said "Get him plumb in the middle!
Shove along there, shove along!"
And another broke in upon this:
"He thinks that we are not gods."
"And she has been waiting for the scoundrel,
and in a new Sidonian night cap,
And with more than Arabian odours,
God knows where he has been.
She could scarcely keep her eyes open
enter that much for his bail.
Get along now!"

We were coming near to the house,
and they gave another yank to my cloak,
And it was morning, and I wanted to see if she was alone, and resting,
And Cynthia was alone in her bed.
I was stupefied.
I had never seen her looking so beautiful,
No, not when she was tunick'd in purple.

Such aspect was presented to me, me recently emerged from my visions,
You will observe that pure form has its value.

"You are a very early inspector of mistresses.
Do you think I have adopted your habits?"
There were upon the bed no signs of a voluptuous encounter,
No signs of a second incumbent.

She continued:
"No incubus has crushed his body against me,
Though spirits are celebrated for adultery.
And I am going to the temple of Vesta . . ."
and so on.
Since that day I have had no pleasant nights.







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