Wednesday, December 1, 2010

La Figlia Che Piange - by T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

O quam te memorem virgo...

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair -
Lean on a garden urn - 
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair - 
Clasp your flowers to you with a painted surprise - 
Fling them to the ground and turn
With fugitive resentment in your eyes:
But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair.

So I would have had him leave,
So I would have had her stand and grieve,
So he would have left
As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised,
As the mind deserts the body it has used.
I should find
Some way incomparably light and deft,
Some way we both should understand,
Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand.

She turned away, but with the autumn weather
Compelled my imagination many days,
Many days and many hours:
Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers.
And I wonder how they should have been together!
I should have lost a gesture and a pose.
Sometimes these cogitations still amaze
The troubled midnight and the moon's repose.

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