• Gerontion

    Posted by Artistter Team September 25, 2016 - 748 views - 0 comments - 0 likes
    Thou hast nor youth nor age
    But as it were an after dinner sleep
    Dreaming of both.






    HERE I am, an old man in a dry 
    month, 
    Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.
    I was neither at the hot gates
    Nor fought in the warm rain
    Nor knee deep in the salt marsh, heaving a cutlass, 5
    Bitten by flies, fought.
    My house is a decayed house,
    And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner,
    Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,
    Blistered in Brussels, patched and peeled in London. 10
    The goat coughs at night in the field overhead;
    Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds.
    The woman keeps the kitchen, makes tea,
    Sneezes at evening, poking the peevish gutter.

    I an old man, 15
    A dull head among windy spaces.

    Signs are taken for wonders. “We would see a sign”:
    The word within a word, unable to speak a word,
    Swaddled with darkness. In the juvescence of the year
    Came Christ the tiger 20

    In depraved May, dogwood and chestnut, flowering judas,
    To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk
    Among whispers; by Mr. Silvero
    With caressing hands, at Limoges
    Who walked all night in the next room; 25
    By Hakagawa, bowing among the Titians;
    By Madame de Tornquist, in the dark room
    Shifting the candles; Fraulein von Kulp
    Who turned in the hall, one hand on the door. Vacant shuttles
    Weave the wind. I have no ghosts, 30
    An old man in a draughty house
    Under a windy knob.

    After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now
    History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
    And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, 35
    Guides us by vanities. Think now
    She gives when our attention is distracted
    And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
    That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late
    What’s not believed in, or if still believed, 40
    In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon
    Into weak hands, what’s thought can be dispensed with
    Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think
    Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
    Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues 45
    Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes.
    These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.

    The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. Think at last
    We have not reached conclusion, when I
    Stiffen in a rented house. Think at last 50
    I have not made this show purposelessly
    And it is not by any concitation
    Of the backward devils
    I would meet you upon this honestly.
    I that was near your heart was removed therefrom 55
    To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition.
    I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it
    Since what is kept must be adulterated?
    I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch:
    How should I use it for your closer contact? 60

    These with a thousand small deliberations
    Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,
    Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,
    With pungent sauces, multiply variety
    In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do, 65
    Suspend its operations, will the weevil
    Delay? De Bailhache, Fresca, Mrs. Cammel, whirled
    Beyond the circuit of the shuddering Bear
    In fractured atoms. Gull against the wind, in the windy straits
    Of Belle Isle, or running on the Horn, 70
    White feathers in the snow, the Gulf claims,
    And an old man driven by the Trades
    To a a sleepy corner.

    Tenants of the house,
    Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season. 75