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Epithalamion Analysis



Author: poem of e.e. cummings Type: poem Views: 32

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I. 


Thou aged unreluctant earth who dost


with quivering continual thighs invite


the thrilling rain the slender paramour


to toy with thy extraordinary lust,


(the sinuous rain which rising from thy bed


steals to his wife the sky and hour by hour


wholly renews her pale flesh with delight)


-immortally whence are the high gods fled?





Speak elm eloquent pandar with thy nod


significant to the ecstatic earth


in token of his coming whom her soul


burns to embrace-and didst thou know the god


from but the imprint of whose cloven feet


the shrieking dryad sought her leafy goal,


at the mere echo of whose shining mirth


the furious hearts of mountains ceased to beat?





Wind beautifully who wanderest


over smooth pages of forgotten joy


proving the peaceful theorems of the flowers


-didst e'er depart upon more exquisite quest?


and did thy fortunate fingers sometime dwell


(within a greener shadow of secret bowers)


among the curves of that delicious boy


whose serious grace one goddess loved too well?





Chryselephantine Zeus Olympian


sceptred colossus of the Pheidian soul


whose eagle frights creation,in whose palm


Nike presents the crown sweetest to man,


whose lilied robe the sun's white hands emboss,


betwixt whose absolute feet anoint with calm


of intent stars circling the acerb pole


poises,smiling,the diadumenos





in whose young chiseled eyes the people saw


their once again victorious Pantarkes


(whose grace the prince of artists made him bold


to imitate between the feet of awe),


thunderer whose omnipotent brow showers


its curls of unendured eternal gold


over the infinite breast in bright degrees,


whose pillow is the graces and the hours,





father of gods and men whose subtle throne


twain sphinxes bear each with a writhing youth


caught to her brazen breasts,whose foot-stool tells


how fought the looser of the warlike zone


of her that brought forth tall Hippolytus,


lord on whose pedestal the deep expels


(over Selene's car closing uncouth)


of Helios the sweet wheels tremulous-





are there no kings in Argos,that the song


is silent,of the steep unspeaking tower


within whose brightening strictness Danae


saw the night severed and the glowing throng


descend,felt on her flesh the amorous strain


of gradual hands and yielding to that fee


her eager body's unimmortal flower


knew in the darkness a more burning rain?





2.


And still the mad magnificent herald Spring


assembles beauty from forgetfulness


with the wild trump of April:witchery


of sound and odour drives the wingless thing


man forth in the bright air,for now the red


leaps in the maple's cheek,and suddenly


by shining hordes in sweet unserious dress


ascends the golden crocus from the dead.





On dappled dawn forth rides the pungent sun


with hooded day preening upon his hand


followed by gay untimid final flowers


(which dressed in various tremulous armor stun


the eyes of ragged earth who sees them pass)


while hunted from his kingdom winter cowers,


seeing green armies steadily expand


hearing the spear-song of the marching grass.





A silver sudden parody of snow


tickles the air to golden tears,and hark!


the flicker's laughing yet,while on the hills


the pines deepen to whispers primeval and throw


backward their foreheads to the barbarous bright


sky,and suddenly from the valley thrills


the unimaginable upward lark


and drowns the earth and passes into light





(slowly in life's serene perpetual round


a pale world gathers comfort to her soul,


hope richly scattered by the abundant sun


invades the new mosaic of the ground


-let but the incurious curtaining dusk be drawn


surpassing nets are sedulously spun


to snare the brutal dew,-the authentic scroll


of fairie hands and vanishing with the dawn).





Spring,that omits no mention of desire


in every curved and curling thing,yet holds


continuous intercourse-through skies and trees


the lilac's smoke the poppy's pompous fire


the pansy's purple patience and the grave


frailty of daises-by what rare unease


revealed of teasingly transparent folds-


with man's poor soul superlatively brave.





Surely from robes of particoloured peace


with mouth flower-faint and undiscovered eyes


and dim slow perfect body amorous


(whiter than lilies which are born and cease


for being whiter than this world)exhales


the hovering high perfume curious


of that one month for whom the whole years dies,


risen at length from palpitating veils.





O still miraculous May!O shining girl


of time untarnished!O small intimate


gently primeval hands,frivolous feet


divine!O singular and breathless pearl!


O indefinable frail ultimate pose!


O visible beatitude sweet sweet


intolerable!silence immaculate


of god's evasive audible great rose!





3.


Lover,lead forth thy love unto that bed


prepared by whitest hands of waiting years,


curtained with wordless worship absolute,


unto the certain altar at whose head


stands that clear candle whose expecting breath


exults upon the tongue of flame half-mute,


(haste ere some thrush with silver several tears


complete the perfumed paraphrase of death).





Now is the time when all occasional things


close into silence,only one tree,one


svelte translation of eternity


unto the pale meaning of heaven clings,


(whose million leaves in winsome indolence


simmer upon thinking twilight momently)


as down the oblivious west's numerous dun


magnificence conquers magnificence.





In heaven's intolerable athanor


inimitably tortured the base day


utters at length her soft intrinsic hour,


and from those tenuous fires which more and more


sink and are lost the divine alchemist,


the magus of creation,lifts a flower-


whence is the world's insufferable clay


clothed with incognizable amethyst.





Lady at whose imperishable smile


the amazed doves flicker upon sunny wings


as if in terror of eternity,


(or seeming that they would mistrust a while


the moving of beauteous dead mouths throughout


that very proud transparent company


of quivering ghosts-of-love which scarcely sings


drifting in slow diaphanous faint rout),





queen in the inconceivable embrace


of whose tremendous hair that blossom stands


whereof is most desire,yet less than those


twain perfect roses whose ambrosial grace,


goddess,thy crippled thunder-forging groom


or the loud lord of skipping maenads knows,-


having Discordia's apple in thy hands,


which the scared shepherd gave thee for his doom-





O thou within the chancel of whose charms


the tall boy god of everlasting war


received the shuddering sacrament of sleep,


betwixt whose cool incorrigible arms


impaled upon delicious mystery,


with gaunt limbs reeking of the whispered deep,


deliberate groping ocean fondled o'er


the warm long flower of unchastity,





imperial Cytherea,from frail foam


sprung with irrevocable nakedness


to strike the young world into smoking song-


as the first star perfects the sensual dome


of darkness,and the sweet strong final bird


transcends the sight,O thou to whom belong


th ehearts of lovers!-I beseech thee bless


thy suppliant singer and his wandering word.






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