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The Flame

Ezra Pound 1885 (Hailey) – 1972 (Venice)

‘Tis not a game that plays at mates and mating,
Provençe knew;
'Tis not a game of barter, lands and houses,
Provençe knew.
We who are wise beyond your dream of wisdom,
Drink our immortal moments; we 'pass through'.
We have gone forth beyond your bonds and borders,
Provençe knew;
And all the tales of Oisin say but this:
That man doth pass the net of days and hours.
Where time is shrivelled down to time's seed corn
We of the Ever-living, in that light
Meet through our veils and whisper, and of love.

O smoke and shadow of a darkling world,
These, and the rest, and all the rest we knew.
'Tis not a game that plays at mates and mating,
'Tis not a game of barter, lands and houses,
'Tis not 4of days and nights' and troubling years,
Of cheeks grown sunken and glad hair gone gray;
There is the subtler music, the clear light
Where time burns back about th' eternal embers.
We are not shut from all the thousand heavens:
Lo, there are many gods whom we have seen,
Folk of unearthly fashion, places splendid,
Bulwarks of beryl and of chrysoprase.

Sapphire Benacus, in thy mists and thee
Nature herself's turned metaphysical,
Who can look on that blue and not believe?

Thou hooded opal, thou eternal pearl,
O thou dark secret with a shimmering floor,
Through all thy various mood I know thee mine;
If I have merged my soul, or utterly
Am solved and bound in, through aught here on earth,
There canst thou find me, O thou anxious thou,
Who call’st about my gates for some lost me;
I say my soul flowed back, became translucent.
Search not my lips, O Love, let go my hands,
This thing that moves as man is no more mortal.
If thou hast seen my shade sans character,
If thou hast seen that mirror of all moments,
That glass to all things that o'ershadow it,
Call not that mirror me, for I have slipped
Your grasp, I have eluded.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:43 min read
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Ezra Pound

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet and critic of the early modernist movement. more…

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    "The Flame" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Jan. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/13375/the-flame>.

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