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Ted (Edward James) Hughes
1930 - 1998
( )


BOOKS on-line

 

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  The Jaguar
,
  Song

Song
SONG
O lady, when the tipped cup of the moon blessed you
You became soft fire with a clouds grace;
The difficult stars swam for eyes in your face;
You stood, and your shadow was my place:
You turned, your shadow turned to ice,
O my lady.

O lady, when the see caressed you
You were a marble of foam, but dumb.
When will the stone open its tomb?
When will the waves give over their foam?
You will not die, nor come home,
O my lady.

O lady, when the wind kissed you
You made him music, for you were a shaped shell.
I follow the waters and the wind still
Since my heart heard it and all to pieces fell
Which your lovers stole, meaning ill,
O my lady.

O lady, consider when I have lost you
The moons full hands, scattering waste,
The seas hands, dark from the worlds breast,
The worlds decay where the winds hands have passed,
And my head, worn out with love, at rest
In my hands, and my hands full of dust,
O my lady.


The Jaguar

The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.
The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut
Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut/
Fatigued with indolence, tiger and lion

Lie still as the sun. The boa-constriktor's coil
Is a fossil. Cage after cage seems empty, or
Stinks of sleepers from the breathing straw.
It might be painted on a nursery wall.

But who runs llike the rest past these arrives
At a cage where the crowd stands, stares, memerized,
As a child at a dream, at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged
Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes

On a short fierce fuse. Not in boredom -
The eye satisfied to be blind in fire,
By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear -
He spins from the bars, but there's no cage to him

More than to the visionary his cell:
His stride is wildernesses of freedom:
The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.
Over the cage floor the horizons come.


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