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.V







RIPOSTES OF
EZRA POUND



BOOKS BY THE
SAME AUTHOR



POEMS

PERSONAL

EXULTATIONS

CANZONI

PROSE

THE SPIRIT OF ROMANCE



RIPOSTES

OF

EZRA POUND



WHERETO ARE APPENDED

THE COMPLETE POETICAL

WORKS OF

T. E. H U L M E

WITH PREFATORY NOTE




MCMXII

STEPHEN SWIFT AND CO., LTD.

16 KING STREET, COVENT GARDEN

CONDON



Gird ou thy star, We'll have this out with fate.



TO

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS



CONTENTS



VAGI



S1LET .... .9

IN EXITUM CU1USDAM . . . . n

APPARUIT 12

THE TOMB AT AKR AAR . . . 14

PORTRAIT D'UNE FEMME . . . . 17

N.Y. . 20

A GIRL 21

"PHASELLUS ILLE " 22

AN OBJECT .... 23

QUIES 24

THE SEAFARER *5

ECHOES: 1 31

ECHOES : II. . . . . . . . 33

AN IMMORALITY ...... 34

DIEU ! QU'lL LA FAIT 35

SALVE PONTIFEX ...... 36

A o'y)/ a ........ 42

THE NEEDLE 43

SUB MARE 45

PLUNGE 46



A VIRGINAL 48

PAN IS DEAD 50

THE PICTURE 51

OF JACOPO DEL SELLAIO . . . . 52

THE RETURN ....... 53

EFFECTS OF MUSIC UPON A COMPANY OF
PEOPLE

I. DEUX MOVEMENTS . . . . 55

II. FROM A THING BY SCHUMANN . 57

THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
OF T. E. HULME

PREFATORY NOTE 58

AUTUMN 60

MANA ABODA . . . . . . . 6 1

ABOVE THE DOCK ...... 62

THE EMBANKMENT 63

CONVERSION 64



8



RIPOSTES



SILET

WHEN I behold how black, im-
mortal ink
Drips from my deathless pen

ah, well-away !
Why should we stop at all for what I

think ?
There is enough in what I chance to say.

It is enough that we once came together ;
What is the use of setting it to rime ?
When it is autumn do we get spring

weather,
Or gather may of harsh northwindish

time?

9



It is enough that we once came together ;
What if the wind have turned against the

rain ?

It is enough that we once came together ;
Time has seen this, and will not turn

again ;

And who are we, who know that last

intent,
To plague to-morrow with a testament !



ro



IN EXITUM CUIUSDAM

On a certain one's departure

" rTpIME'S bitter flood " ! Oh, that's
all very well,

But where's the old friend hasn't

fallen off,

Or slacked his hand-grip when you first
gripped fame ?

I know your circle and can fairly tell
What you have kept and what you've left

behind :

I know my circle and know very well
How many faces I'd have out of mind.



ii



APPARUIT

GOLDEN rose the house, in the
portal I saw
thee, a marvel, carven in subtle

stuff, a

portent. Life died down in the lamp and
flickered,

caught at the wonder.

Crimson, frosty with dew, the roses bend

where

thou afar moving in the glamorous sun
drinkst in life of earth, of the air, the

tissue

golden about thee.

Green the ways, the breath of the fields

is thine there,

open lies the land, yet the steely going
darkly hast thou dared and the dreaded
aether

parted before thee.
12



Swift at courage thou in the shell of gold,

cast-
ing a-loose the cloak of the body, earnest
straight, then shone thine oriel and the

stunned light

faded about thee.

Half the graven shoulder, the throat

aflash with

strands of light inwoven about it, loveli-
est of all things, frail alabaster, ah me !
swift in departing,

Clothed in goldish weft, delicately perfect,
gone as wind ! The cloth of the magical

hands !
Thou a slight thing, thou in access of

cunning

dar'dst to assume this ?



THE TOMB AT AKR QAAR

I AM thy soul, Nikoptis. I have
watched
These five millennia, and thy dead

eyes

Moved not, nor ever answer my desire,
And thy light limbs, wherethrough I

leapt aflame,
Burn not with me nor any saffron thing.

See, the light grass sprang up to pillow

thee,
And kissed thee with a myriad grassy

tongues ;
But not thou me.

I have read out the gold upon the

wall,
And wearied out my thought upon the

signs.
And there is no new thing in all this

place.



I have been kind. See, I have left the

jars sealed,
Lest thou shouldst wake and whimper

for thy wine.
And all thy robes I have kept smooth on

thee.

thou unmindful ! How should I forget !
Even the river many days ago,

The river, thou wast over young.
And three souls came upon Thee '

And I came.

And I flowed in upon thee, beat them off ;

1 have been intimate with thee, known

thy ways.
Have I not touched thy palms and

finger-tips,
Flowed in, and through thee and about

thy heels ?
How * came I in ' ? Was I not thee

and Thee ?

And no sun comes to rest me in this place,
And I am torn against the jagged dark,

15



And no light beats upon me, and you say
No word, day after day.

Oh ! I could get me out, despite the marks
And all their crafty work upon the door,
Out through the glass-green fields. . . .

Yet it is quiet here :
I do not go."



16



PORTRAIT D'UNE FEMME

YOUR mind and you are our Sargasso
| Sea,

London has swept about you this

score years

And bright ships left you this or that in fee :
Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,
Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed

wares of price.
Great minds have sought you lacking

someone else.

You have been second always. Tragical ?
No. You preferred it to the usual thing :
One dull man, dulling and uxorious,
One average mind with one thought less,

each year.
Oh, you are patient, I have seen you

sit
Hours, where something might have

floated up.
And now you pay one. Yes, you richly

pay.

17 2



You are a person of some interest, one
comes to you

And takes strange gain away :

Trophies fished up ; some curious sugges-
tion ;

Fact that leads nowhere ; and a tale for
two,

Pregnant with mandrakes, or with some-
thing else

That might prove useful and yet never
proves,

That never fits a corner or shows
use,

Or finds its hour upon the loom of
days :

The tarnished, gaudy, wonderful old
work ;

Idols and ambergris and rare inlays,

These are your riches, your great store ;
and yet

For all this sea-hoard of deciduous
things,

Strange woods half sodden, and new
brighter stuff :

18



In the slow float of differing light and

deep,
No ! there is nothing ! In the whole

and all,

Nothing that's quite your own.
Yet this is you.



N.Y.

MY City, my beloved, my white !
Ah, slender,
Listen ! Listen to me, and I

will breathe into thee a soul.
Delicately upon the reed, attend me !

Now do I know that I am mad,

For here are a million people surly with

traffic ;

This is no maid.
Neither could I play upon any reed if I had

one.

My City, my beloved,

Thou art a maid with no breasts,

Thou art slender as a silver reed.

Listen to me, attend me !

And I will breathe into thee a soul,

And thou shalt live for ever.



20



A GIRL

THE tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast
Downward,
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,

Moss you are,

You are violets with wind above them.

A child so high you are,

And all this is folly to the world.



21



'PHASELLUS ILLE"

THIS papier-mache, which you see,
my friends,

Saith 'twas the worthiest of editors.
Its mind was made up in " the seventies,"
Nor hath it ever since changed that con-
coction.

It works to represent that school of thought
Which brought the hair-cloth chair to such

perfection,

Nor will the horrid threats of Bernard Shaw
Shake up the stagnant pool of its convic-
tions ;
Nay, should the deathless voice of all the

world

Speak once again for its sole stimulation,
Twould not move it one jot from left to
right.

Come Beauty barefoot from the Cyclades,

She'd find a model for St Anthony

In this thing's sure decorum and behaviour.



22



AN OBJECT

THIS thing, that hath a code and
not a core,
Hath set acquaintance where

might be affections,
And nothing now
Disturbeth his reflections.



QUIES

THIS is another of our ancient loves.
Pass and be silent, Rullus, for

the day
Hath lacked a something since this

lady passed ;

Hath lacked a something. Twas but
marginal.



24



THE SEAFARER

(From the early A nglo-Saxon text)

MAY I for my own self song's truth
reckon,
Journey's jargon, how I in harsh

days

Hardship endured oft.
Bitter breast-cares have I abided,
Known on my keel many a care's hold,
And dire sea-surge, and there I oft

spent

Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head
While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly

afflicted,

My feet were by frost benumbed.
Chill its chains are ; chafing sighs
Hew my heart round and hunger begot
Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not
That he on dry land loveliest liveth,
List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea,
Weathered the winter, wretched outcast
Deprived of my kinsmen ;

25



Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-
scur flew,

There I heard naught save the harsh sea

And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan
cries,

Did for my games the gannet's clamour,

Sea-fowls' loudness was for me laughter,

The mews' singing all my mead-drink.

Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on
the stern

In icy feathers ; full oft the eagle screamed

With spray on his pinion.

Not any protector

May make merry man faring needy.

This he little believes, who aye in win-
some life

Abides 'mid burghers some heavy busi-
ness,

Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary
oft

Must bide above brine.

Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north,

Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth
then

26



Corn of the coldest. Nathless there

knocketh now
The heart's thought that I on high

streams

The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone.
Moaneth alway my mind's lust
That I fare forth, that I afar hence
Seek out a foreign fastness.
For this there's no mood-lofty man over

earth's midst,
Not though he be given his good, but will

have in his youth greed ;
Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to

the faithful

But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare
Whatever his lord will.
He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-
having
Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's

delight
Nor any whit else save the wave's

slash,
Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth

on tjie water.

27



Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty

of berries,

Fields to fairness, land fares brisker,
All this admonisheth man eager of mood,
The heart turns to travel so that he then

thinks

On flood-ways to be far departing.
Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying,
He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow,
The bitter heart's blood. Burgher knows

not

He the prosperous man what some per-
form

Where wandering them widest draweth.
So that but now my heart burst from my

breast-lock,

My mood 'mid the mere-flood,
Over the whale's acre, would wander wide.
On earth's shelter cometh oft to me,
Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer,
Whets for the whale-path the heart

irresistibly,

O'er tracks of ocean ; seeing that anyhow
My lord deems to me this dead life
28



On loan and on land, I believe not
That any earth-weal eternal standeth
Save there be somewhat calamitous
That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain.
Disease or oldness or sword-hate
Beats out the breath from doom-gripped

body.
And for this, every earl whatever, for those

speaking after-
Laud of the living, boasteth some last

word,

That he will work ere he pass onward,
Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his

malice,

Daring ado, . . .

So that all men shall honour him after
And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the

English,

Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast,
Delight mid the doughty.

Days little durable,
And all arrogance of earthen riches,
There come now no kings nor Caesars
Nor gold-giving lords like those gone.
29



Howe'er in mirth most magnified,
Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest,
Drear all this excellence, delights un-

durable !

Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth.
Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed

low.

Earthly glory ageth and seareth.
No man at all going the earth's gait,
But age fares against him, his face paleth,
Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone

companions,

Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven,
Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose

life ceaseth,

Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry,
Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart,
And though he strew the grave with gold,
His born brothers, their buried bodies
Be an unlikely treasure hoard.



ECHOES

I

GUIDO ORLANDO, SINGING

BEFITS me praise thine empery,
Lady of Valour,
Past all disproving ;
Thou art the flower to me

Nay, by Love's pallor
Of all good loving.

Worthy to reap men's praises
Is he who'd gaze upon

Truth's mazes.
In like commend is he,
Who, loving fixedly,
Love so refineth,

Till thou alone art she

In whom love's vested ;
As branch hath fairest flower

Where fruit's suggested.



This great joy comes to me,

To me observing
How swiftly thou hast power

To pay my serving.



ECHOES
II*

THOU keep'st thy rose-leaf
Till the rose-time will be over,
Think'st thou that Death will

kiss thee ?
Think'st thou that the Dark House

Will find thee such a lover
As I ? Will the new roses miss thee ?

Prefer my cloak unto the cloak of dust
'Neath which the last year lies,

For thou shouldst more mistrust
Time than my eyes.

* Asclepiades, Julianus ^Egyptus.



33



S



AN IMMORALITY

ING we for love and idleness,
Naught else is worth the having.



Though I have been in many a land,
There is naught else in living.

And I would rather have my sweet,
Though rose-leaves die of grieving,

Than do high deeds in Hungary
To pass all men's believing.



34



DIEU ! QU'IL LA FAIT

From Charles U Orleans
For music

GOD ! that mad'st her well regard
her,

How she is so fair and bonny ;
For the great charms that are upon her
Ready are all folk to reward her.

Who could part him from her borders
When spells are alway renewed on her ?
God ! that mad'st her well regard her,
How she is so fair and bonny.

From here to there to the sea's border,
Dame nor damsel there's not any
Hath of perfect charms so many.
Thoughts of her are of dream's order :
God ! that mad'st her well regard her.



35



SALVE PONTIFEX

(A. C. S.)

ONE after one they leave thee,
High Priest of lacchus,
Intoning thy melodies as winds

intone

The whisperings of leaves on sunlit days.
And the sands are many
And the seas beyond the sands are one
In ultimate, so we here being many
Are unity ; nathless thy compeers,

Knowing thy melody,
Lulled with the wine of thy music
Go seaward silently, leaving thee sentinel
O'er all the mysteries,

High Priest of lacchus.
For the lines of life lie under thy fingers,
And above the vari-coloured strands
Thine eyes look out unto the infinitude
Of the blue waves of heaven,
And even as Triplex Sisterhood
Thoufingerest the threads knowing neither

36



Cause nor the ending,

High Priest of lacchus,

Draw'st forth a multiplicity

Of strands, and, beholding

The colour thereof, raisest thy voice

Towards the sunset,

O High Priest of lacchus !

And out of the secrets of the inmost
mysteries

Thou chantest strange far-sourced canti-
cles :
O High Priest of lacchus !

Life and the ways of Death her

Twin-born sister, that is life's counter-
part,

And of night and the winds of night ;

Silent voices ministering to the souls

Of hamadryads that hold council con-
cealed

In streams and tree-shadowing

Forests on hill slopes,

O High Priest of lacchus,

All the manifold mystery

Thou makest a wine of song,
37



And maddest thy following even

With visions of great deeds

And their futility,

O High Priest of lacchus !

Though thy co-novices are bent to the
scythe

Of the magian wind that is voice of Perse-
phone,

Leaving thee solitary, master of initiating

Maenads that come through the

Vine-entangled ways of the forest

Seeking, out of all the world,
Madness of lacchus,

That being skilled in the secrets of the
double cup

They might turn the dead of the world

Into paeans,

O High Priest of lacchus,

Wreathed with the glory of thy years of
creating

Entangled music,
Breathe !

Now that the evening cometh upon
thee,

38



Breathe upon us, that low-bowed and

exultant
Drink wine of lacchus, that since the

conquering
Hath been chiefly contained in the

numbers

Of them that, even as thou, have woven
Wicker baskets for grape clusters
Wherein is concealed the source of the

vintage,

O High Priest of lacchus,
Breathe thou upon us

Thy magic in parting !
Even as they thy co-novices,
At being mingled with the sea,
While yet thou madest thy canticles
Serving upright before the altar
That is bound about with shadows
Of dead years wherein thy lacchus
Looked not upon the hills, that being
Uncared for, praised not him in entirety.

High Priest of lacchus,
Being now near to the border of the

sands

39



Where the sapphire girdle of the sea

Encinctureth the maiden
Persephone, released for the spring,
Look ! Breathe upon us
The wonder of the thrice encinctured

mystery
Whereby thou being full of years art

young,

Loving even this lithe Persephone
That is free for the seasons of plenty ;
Whereby thou being young art old
And shalt stand before this Persephone

Whom thou lovest,
In darkness, even at that time
That she being returned to her hus-
band

Shall be queen and a maiden no longer,
Wherein thou being neither old nor

young

Standing on the verge of the sea
Shalt pass from being sand,

O High Priest of lacchus,
And becoming wave

Shalt encircle all sands,
40



Being transmuted through all
The girdling of the sea.

O High Priest of lacchus,
Breathe thou upon us !



Note. This apostrophe was written three years
before Swinburne's death.



BE in me as the eternal moods
of the bleak wind, and not
As transient things are

gaiety of flowers.
Have me in the strong loneliness

of sunless cliffs
And of grey waters.

Let the gods speak softly of us
In days hereafter,

The shadowy flowers of Orcus
Remember Thee.



42



THE NEEDLE

COME, or the stellar tide will slip
away.
Eastward avoid the hour of its

decline,

Now ! for the needle trembles in my
soul !

Here have we had our vantage, the good

hour.
Here we have had our day, your day and

mine.

Come now, before this power
That bears us up, shall turn against the

pole.

Mock not the flood of stars, the thing's

to be.
O Love, come now, this land turns evil

slowly.
The waves bore in, soon will they bear

away.

43



The treasure is ours, make we fast land

with it.
Move we and take the tide, with its next

favour,
Abide

Under some neutral force
Until this course turneth aside.



44



SUB MARE

IT is, and is not, I am sane enough,
Since you have come this place has

hovered round me,

This fabrication built of autumn roses,
Then there's a goldish colour, different.

And one gropes in these things as delicate
Algae reach up and out beneath
Pale slow green surgings of the under-
wave,
'Mid these things older than the names

they have,
These things that are familiars of the god.



45



PLUNGE

I WOULD bathe myself in strangeness :
These comforts heaped upon me,

smother me !

I burn, I scald so for the new,
New friends, new faces,
Places !

Oh to be out of this,
This that is all I wanted

save the new.
And you,

Love, you the much, the more de-
sired !
Do I not loathe all walls, streets,

stones,

All mire, mist, all fog,
All ways of traffic ?
You, I would have flow over me like

water,

Oh, but far out of this !
Grass, and low fields, and hills,
And sun,



Oh, sun enough !

Out and alone, among some

Alien people !



47



A VIRGINAL

NO, no ! Go from me. I have left
her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with

lesser brightness,

For my surrounding atir has a new light-
ness ;
Slight are her arms, yet they have bound

me straitly
And left me cloaked as with a gauze of

aether ;
As with sweet leaves ; as with a subtle

clearness.

Oh, I have picked up magic in her near-
ness

To sheathe me half in half the things that
sheathe her.

No, no ! Go from me. I have still the

flavour,
Soft as spring wind that's come from

birchen bowers.



Green come the shoots, aye April in the

branches,
As winter's wound with her sleight hand

she staunches,

Hath of the tress a likeness of the savour :
As white their bark, so white this lady's

hours.



49



PAN IS DEAD

PAN is dead. Great Pan is dead.
Ah ! bow your heads, ye maidens

all,
And weave ye him his coronal.

There is no summer in the leaves,
And withered are the sedges ;

How shall we weave a coronal,
Or gather floral pledges ?

That I may not say, Ladies.
Death was ever a churl.
That I may not say, Ladies.
How should he show a reason,
That he has taken our Lord away
Upon such hollow season ?



THE PICTURE*

THE eyes of this dead lady speak to
me,
For here was love, was not to be

drowned out,
And here desire, not to be kissed away.

The eyes of this dead lady speak to me.

* " Venus Reclining," by Jacopo del Sellaio
(1442-93).



T



OF JACOPO DEL SELLAIO

HIS man knew out the secret ways

of love,
No man could paint such things

who did not know.



And now she's gone, who was his Cyprian,
And you are here, who are " The Isles "
to me.

And here's the thing that lasts the whole

thing out :
The eyes of this dead lady speak to me.



s



THE RETURN

EE, they return ; ah, see the tentative
Movements, and the slow feet,
The trouble in the pace and the

uncertain
Wavering !



See, they return, one, and by one,
With fear, as half-awakened ;
As if the snow should hesitate
And murmur in the wind,

and half turn back ;
These were the " Wing'd-with-Awe,"

Inviolable.

Gods of the winged shoe !
With them the silver hounds,

sniffing the trace of air !

Haie ! Haie !

These were the swift to harry ;
53



These the keen-scented ;
These were the souls of blood.

Slow on the leash,

pallid the leash-men !



54



EFFECTS OF MUSIC
UPON A COMPANY OF PEOPLE

I

DEUX MOVEMENTS

1. Temple qui fut.

2. Poissons d'or.



A SOUL curls back,
Their souls like petals,
Thin, long, spiral,

Like those of a chrysanthemum curl
Smoke-like up and back from the
Vavicel, the calyx,
Pale green, pale gold, transparent,
Green of plasma, rose-white,
Spirate like smoke,
Curled,
Vibrating,

Slowly, waving slowly.
55



O Flower animate !

O calyx !

O crowd of foolish people !

2

The petals !

On the tip of each the figure

Delicate.

See, they dance, step to step.

Flora to festival,

Twine, bend, bow,

Frolic involve ye.

Woven the step,

Woven the tread, the moving.

Ribands they move,

Wave, bow to the centre.

Pause, rise, deepen in colour,

And fold in drowsily.



II

FROM A THING BY SCHUMANN

BREAST high, floating and welling
Their soul, moving beneath the satin,
Plied the gold threads,
Pushed at the gauze above it.
The notes beat upon this,
Beat and indented it ;
Rain dropped and came and fell upon this,
Hail and snow,
My sight gone in the flurry !

And then across the white silken,

Bellied up, as a sail bellies to the wind,

Over the fluid tenuous, diaphanous,

Over this curled a wave, greenish,

Mounted and overwhelmed it.

This membrane floating above,

And bellied out by the up-pressing soul.

Then came a mer-host,

And after them legion of Romans,

The usual, dull, theatrical !



57



THE

COMPLETE POETICAL
WORKS OF T. E. HULME

PREFATORY NOTE

IN publishing his Complete Poetical Works
at thirty,* Mr Hulme has set an enviable
example to many of his contemporaries
who have had less to say.

They are reprinted here for good
fellowship ; for good custom, a custom
out of Tuscany and of Provence ; and
thirdly, for convenience, seeing their small-
ness of bulk ; and for good memory,
seeing that they recall certain evenings
and meetings of two years gone, dull
enough at the time, but rather pleasant
to look back upon.

* Mr Pound has grossly exaggerated my age.
T. E. H.

58



As for the " School of Images/' which
may or may not have existed, its principles
were not so interesting as those of the
" inherent dynamists " or of Les Unani-
mistes, yet they were probably sounder
than those of a certain French school
which attempted to dispense with verbs
altogether ; or of the Impressionists who
brought forth :

" Pink pigs blossoming upon the hillside" ;

or of the Post-Impressionists who beseech
their ladies to let down slate-blue hair
over their raspberry-coloured flanks.

Ardoise rimed richly ah, richly and
rarely rimed ! with framboise.

As for the future, Les Imagistes, the
descendants of the forgotten school of
1909, have that in their keeping.

I refrain from publishing my proposed
Historical Memoir of their forerunners,


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