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Pound, Ezra: Canto XXX

Portre of Pound, Ezra

Canto XXX (English)

Compleynt, compleynt, I hearde upon a day,
Artemis singing, Artemis, Artemis
Against Pity lifted her wail:
Pity causeth the forests to fail,
Pity slayeth my nymphs,
Pity spareth so many an evil thing.
Pity befouleth April,
Pity is the root and the spring.
Now if no fayre creature followeth me
It is on account of Pity,
It is on account that Pity forbideth them slaye.
All things are made foul in this season,
This is the reason, none may seek purity
Having for foulnesse pity
And things growne awry;
No more do my shaftes fly
To slay.  Nothing is now clean slayne
But rotteth away.
In Paphos, on a day
                              I also heard:
…goeth not with young Mars to playe
But she hath pity on a doddering fool,
She tendeth his fyre,
She keepeth his embers warm.
Time is the evil. Evil.
                                  A day, and a day
Walked the young Pedro baffled,
                                  a day, and a day
After Ignez was murdered.
Came the Lords in Lisboa
                                   a day, and a day
In homage. Seated there
                                          dead eyes,
Dead hair under the crown,
The King still young there beside her.
Came Madame ‘ΎΓΗ
Clothed with the light of the altar
And with the price of the candles.
“Honour? Balls for yr. honour!
Take two million and swallow it.”
              Is come Messire Alfonso
And is departed by boat forFerrara
And has passed here without saying “O”.
Whence have we carved it in metal
Here working in Caesar’s fane:
           To the Prince Caesare Borgia
           Duke of Valent and Aemelia
... and here have I brought cutters of letters
and printers not vile and vulgar
            (in Fano Caesaris)
notable and sufficient compositors
and a die-cutter for greek fonts and hebrew
named Messire Francesco da Bologna
not only for the usual types but he hath excogitated
a new form called cursive or chancellery letters
nor was it Aldous nor any other but it was
this Messire Francesco who hath cut all Aldous his letters
with such grace and charm as is known
    Hieronymous Soncinus 7th July 1503.
and as for the text we have taken it
from that of Messire Laurentius
and from a codex once of the Lords Malatesta...
And in August that year died Pope Alessandro Borgia,
               Il Papa morì
               Explicit canto

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation