Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SLAVE MARKET, by GORDON BOTTOMLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SLAVE MARKET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In bronze (true flesh of thought) stern shifting contours
Last Line: Pass thou and gaze, she is more greatly thine.
Subject(s): Helen Of Troy; Mythology - Classical

IN bronze (true flesh of thought) stern shifting contours.
Drawings wherein the pen-strokes yield and harden
Until each interspace seems ivory.
Paintings where crises of desire have set
A glow between the blending of clear deeps,
And also knowledge of godhead and decay.
Medals with women and bowed unicorns.
A golden snake for Venice ladies' teeth.
Poems in types like agate intaglios.
Pale wine-cups out of Greece stained with dim deeds
Of gods like men, as though with juice of grapes.

Such things, all things that men have made by passion,
Are curst with the old restlessness of beauty,
The loneliness of beauty, the aloofness.
They may remain within a little room
To light a loving one; but death divides them.
They go to make fame certain for some man
So ignorant of them he has grown rich;
He turns from them, he lends them unto nations
Until he is sure that nations know them his.
They shall be found in cities ruinous.
They do not know their tenants, nor their values
Bred by much fingering in the market-house.

Sackt Troy and queens at auction: if thou wert there,
Wouldst thou buy Helen ere her husband came?
Passing from hand to hand so passively
Helen was Helen's secret, Helen's own.
Pass thou and gaze, she is more greatly thine.

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