xx

Nelson stands on a black pillar,
The electric signs go off and on--
Distilleries and life insurance companies--
The traffic circles, coming and gone,
Past the National Gallery closed and silent
Where in their frames
Other worlds persist, the passions of the artist
Caught like frozen flames:
The Primitives distilling from the cruel
Legend a faith that is almost debonair,
Sebastian calmly waiting the next arrow,
The crucifixion in the candid air:
And Venice lolling in wealth for ever under glass,
Pearls in her hair, panther and velvet:
And the rococo picnic on the grass
With wine and lutes and banter:
And the still life proclaiming with aplomb
The self-content of bread or fruit or vases
And personality like a silent bomb
Lurking in the formal portrait.
Here every day the visitors walk slowly
Rocking along the parquet as if on a ship's deck
Feeling a vague affinity with the pictures
Yet wary of these waves which gently peck

-78-

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Autumn Journal: A Poem
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Note 7
  • I 9
  • II 13
  • III 16
  • IV 22
  • VI 26
  • VII 30
  • VIII 33
  • IX 37
  • X 40
  • XI 44
  • XII 47
  • XIII 50
  • XIV 54
  • XV 57
  • XVI 61
  • XVII 66
  • XVIII 70
  • XIX 75
  • XX 78
  • XXI 81
  • XXII 85
  • XXIII 89
  • XXIV 93
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