Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOMAGE TO SEXTUS PROPERTIUS: 4. DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITH LYGDAMUS, by EZRA POUND



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HOMAGE TO SEXTUS PROPERTIUS: 4. DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITH LYGDAMUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tell me the truths which you hear of our constant young lady
Last Line: After twelve months of discomfort?
Subject(s): Propertius, Sextus (50-15 B.c.)


Tell me the truths which you hear of our constant young lady,
Lygdamus,
And may the bought yoke of a mistress lie with
equitable weight on your shoulders;
For I am swelled up with inane pleasurabilities
and deceived by your reference
To things which you think I would like to believe.

No messenger should come wholly empty,
and a slave should fear plausibilities;
Much conversation is as good as having a home.
Out with it, tell it to me, al of it, from the beginning,
I guzzle with outstretched ears.
Thus? She wept into uncombed hair,
And you saw it.
Vast waters flowed from her eyes?
You, you Lygdamus
Saw her stretched on her bed, --
it was no glimpse in a mirror;
No gawds on her snowy hands, no orfevrerie,
Sad garment draped on her slender arms.
Her escritoires lay shut by the bed-feet.
Sadness hung over the house, and the desolated female attendants
Were desolated because she had told them her dreams.

She was veiled in the midst of that place,
Damp woolly handkerchiefs were stuffed into her undryable eyes,
And a querulous noise responded to our solicitous reprobations.
For which things you will get a reward from me,
Lygdamus?
To say many things is equal to having a home.
And the other woman "has not enticed me
by her pretty manners,
She has caught me with herbaceous poison,
she twiddles the spiked wheel of a rhombus,
She stews puffed frogs, snake's bones, the moulted feathers of screech owls,

She binds me with ravvles of shrouds.
Black spiders spin in her bed!
Let her lovers snore at her in the morning!
May the gout cramp up her feet!
Does he like me to sleep here alone,
Lygdamus?
Will he say nasty things at my funeral?"

And you expect me to believe this
after twelve months of discomfort?





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