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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poets Have Chanted Mortality by John Crowe Ransom

It had better been hidden
But the Poets inform:
We are chattel and liege
Of an undying Worm.

Were you, Will, disheartened,
When all Stratford’s gentry
Left their Queen and took service
In his low-lying country?

How many white cities
And grey fleets on the storm
Have proud-builded, hard-battled,
For this undying Worm?

Was a sweet chaste lady
Would none of her lover.
Nay, here comes the Lewd One,
Creeps under her cover!

Have ye said there’s no deathless
Of face, fashion, form,
Forgetting to honor
The extent of the Worm?

O ye laughers and light-lipped,
Ye faithless, infirm,
I can tell you who’s constant,
’Tis the Eminent Worm.

Ye shall trip on no limits,
Neither time ye your term,
In the realms of His Absloute
Highness the Worm.

from The Fugitive, 1922

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