Allen Tate

To The Lacedemonians By Allen Tate

To The Lacedemonians By Allen Tate

To The Lacedemonians An old soldier on the night before the veterans reunion talks partly to himself, partly to imaginary comrades: The people—people of my kind, my own People but strange with a white light In the face: the streets hard with motion And the hard eyes that look one way. Listen! the hi... »

Fragment Of A Meditation By Allen Tate

Fragment Of A Meditation By Allen Tate

Fragment Of A Meditation Not yet the thirtieth year, the thirtieth Station where time reverses his light heels To rim both ways, and makes of forward back; Whose long coordinates are birth and death And zero is the origin of breath: Not yet the thirtieth year of gratitude, Not yet suffering but a ye... »

The Cross By Allen Tate

The Cross By Allen Tate

The Cross There is a place that some men know, I cannot see the whole of it Nor how I came there. Long ago Flame burst out of a secret pit Crushing the world with such a light The day-sky fell to moonless black, The kingly sun to hateful night For those, once seeing, turning back: For love so hates ... »

Records By Allen Tate

Records By Allen Tate

Records I. A DREAM At nine years a sickly boy lay down At bedtime on a cot by mother’s bed And as the two darks merged the room became So strange it left the boy half dead: The boy-man on the Ox Road walked along The man he was to be and yet another, It seemed the grandfather of his mother, In... »

Art By Allen Tate

Art By Allen Tate

Art When you are come by ways emptied of light You’ll say goodby, in that indifferent gloom, To the quick draughts of old, yet with polite Anguish of pride recall as an heirloom A dawn when stars dropped gold about your head And, so amazed, you knew not were you dead. For, brother, know that t... »

The Eagle By Allen Tate

The Eagle By Allen Tate

The Eagle Say never the strong heart In the consuming breath Cries out unto the dark The skinny death. Look! whirring on the rind Of aether a white eagle, Shot out of the mind, The windy apple, burning, Hears no more, past compass In his topless flight, The apple wormed, blown up By shells of light;... »

More Sonnets At Christmas I By Allen Tate

More Sonnets At Christmas I By Allen Tate

More Sonnets At Christmas I To Denis Devlin Again the native hour lets down the locks Uncombed and black, but gray the bobbing beard; Ten years ago His eyes, fierce shuttlecocks, Pierced the close net of what I failed: I feared The belly-cold, the grave-clout, that betrayed Me dithering in the drift... »

The Paradigm By Allen Tate

The Paradigm By Allen Tate

The Paradigm For when they meet, the tensile air Like fine steel strains under the weight Of messages that both hearts bear- Pure passion once, now purest hate; Till the taut air like a cold hand Clasped to cold hand and bone to bone Seals them up in their icy land (A few square feet) where into sto... »

False Nightmare By Allen Tate

False Nightmare By Allen Tate

False Nightmare ‘I give the yawp barbaric Of piety and pelf (Who now reads Herrick?) ‘And contradict myself No matter, the verse is large. My five-and-ten cent shelf ‘The continent is: my targe Bigger than Greece. The shock Of Me exceeds its marge ‘Myself the old cock With wi... »

Sonnets Of The Blood Ii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Ii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Ii Near to me as perfection in the blood And more mysterious far, is this, my brother: A light vaulted into your solitude. It studied burns lest you its rage should smother. It is a flame obscure to any eyes, Most like the fire that warms the deepest grave (The cold grave is the... »

Retroduction To American History By Allen Tate

Retroduction To American History By Allen Tate

Retroduction To American History Cats walk the floor at midnight; that enemy of fog, The moon, wraps the bedpost in receding stillness; sleep Collects all weary nothings and lugs away the towers, The pinnacles of dust that feed the subway. What stiff unhappy silence waits on sleep Struts like an off... »

A Pauper By Allen Tate

A Pauper By Allen Tate

A Pauper . . . and the children’s teeth shall be set on edge. I see him old, trapped in a burly house Cold in the angry spitting of a rain Come down these sixty years. Why vehemently Astride the threshold do I wait, marking The ice softly pendent on his broken temple? Upon the silence I cast t... »

The Meaning Of Death By Allen Tate

The Meaning Of Death By Allen Tate

The Meaning Of Death An After-Dinner Speech I rise, gentlemen, it is the pleasant hour. Darkness falls. The night falls. Time, fall no more. Let that be life time falls no more. The threat Of time we in our own courage have forsworn. Let light fall, there shall be eternal light And all the light sha... »

More Sonnets At Christmas Ii By Allen Tate

More Sonnets At Christmas Ii By Allen Tate

More Sonnets At Christmas Ii The day’s at end and there’s nowhere to go, Draw to the fire, even this fire is dying; Get up and once again politely lying Invite the ladies toward the mistletoe With greedy eyes that stare like an old crow. How pleasantly the holly wreaths did hang And how ... »

The Progress Of Œnia By Allen Tate

The Progress Of Œnia By Allen Tate

The Progress Of Œnia His dim, ut fama est, vitiis ad proelia ventum est, his Troiana vides funera principiis. PROPERTIUS. I. MADRIGALE Seed in your heart, warm dust transmuted Gold, blooms in flakes of radiance Arched in your face whereon my days, Brinks of silence, glance. Dream-emptied by some shi... »

Emblems By Allen Tate

Emblems By Allen Tate

Emblems I Maryland, Virginia, Caroline Pent images in sleep Clay valleys rocky hills old fields of pine Unspeakable and deep Out of that source of time my farthest blood Runs strangely to this day Unkempt the fathers waste in solitude Under the hills of clay Far from their woe fled to its thither si... »

Sonnets Of The Blood Iii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Iii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Iii Then, brother, you would never think me vain Or rude, if I should mention dignity; Think little of it. Dignity’s the stain Of mortal sin that knows humility. Let me design the hour when you were born Since, if that’s vain, it’s only childlike so: Like an at... »

Sonnets At Christmas I By Allen Tate

Sonnets At Christmas I By Allen Tate

Sonnets At Christmas I This is the day His hour of life draws near, Let me get ready from head to foot for it Most handily with eyes to pick the year For small feed to reward a feathered wit. Some men would see it an epiphany At ease, at food and drink, others at chase Yet I, stung lassitude, with e... »

Unnatural Love By Allen Tate

Unnatural Love By Allen Tate

Unnatural Love Landor, not that I doubt your word, That you had strove with none At seventy-five and had deferred To nature and art alone; It is rather that at thirty-two From us I see them part After they served, so sweetly, you- Yet nature has no heart: Brother and sister are estranged By his ambi... »

Sonnet To Beauty By Allen Tate

Sonnet To Beauty By Allen Tate

Sonnet To Beauty The wonder of light is your familiar tale, Pert wench, down to the nineteenth century: Mr. Rimbaud the Frenchman’s apostasy Asserts the argument that you are stale, Flat and unprofitable, importunate but paie, Lithe Corpse! His defect of philosophy Impugned, but could not stri... »

Message From Abroad By Allen Tate

Message From Abroad By Allen Tate

Message From Abroad To Andrew Lytle Paris, November 1929 Their faces are bony and sharp but very red, although their ancestors nearly two hundred years have dwelt by the miasmal banks of tidewaters where malarial fever makes men gaunt and dosing with quinine shakes them as with a palsy. Traveller to... »

The Robber Bridegroom By Allen Tate

The Robber Bridegroom By Allen Tate

The Robber Bridegroom (Talk between Bird and Girl) Turn back. Turn, young lady dear A murderer’s house you enter here I was wooed and won little bird (I have watched them come bright girls Out of the rising sun, with curls) The stair is tall the cellar deep The wind coughs in the halls I never... »

Elegy By Allen Tate

Elegy By Allen Tate

Elegy Jefferson Davis: 1808-1889 No more the white refulgent streets. Never the dry hollows of the mind Shall he in fine courtesy walk Again, for death is not unkind. A civil war cast on his fame, The four years’ odium of strife Unbodies his dust; love cannot warm His tall corpuscles to this l... »

Sonnets Of The Blood Vii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Vii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Vii This message hastens lest we both go down Scattered, with no character, to death; Death is untutored, with an ignorant frown For precious identities of breath. But you perhaps will say confusion stood, A vulture, near the heart of all our kin: I’ve heard the echoes in ... »

Pastoral By Allen Tate

Pastoral By Allen Tate

Pastoral The enquiring fields, courtesies And tribulations of the air- Be still and give them peace: The girl in the gold hair With her young man in clover In shadow of the day’s glare And there they were by the river Where a leafs light interval Ringed the deep hurrying mirror; Yet naught the... »

To The Romantic Traditionists By Allen Tate

To The Romantic Traditionists By Allen Tate

To The Romantic Traditionists I have looked at them long, My eyes blur; sourceless light Keeps them forever young Before our ageing sight. You see them-too strict forms Of will, the secret dignity Of our dissolute storms; They grow too bright to be. What were they like? What mark Can signify their c... »

Shadow And Shade By Allen Tate

Shadow And Shade By Allen Tate

Shadow And Shade The shadow streamed into the wall- The wall, break-shadow in the blast; We lingered wordless while a tall Shade enclouded the shadow’s cast. The torrent of the reaching shade Broke shadow into all its parts, What then had been of shadow made Found exigence in fits and starts W... »

Light By Allen Tate

Light By Allen Tate

Light Last night I fled until I came To streets where leaking casements dripped Stale lamplight from the corpse of flame; A nervous window bled. The moon swagged in the air. Out of the mist a girl tossed Spittle of song; a hoarse light Spattered the fog with heavy hair. Damp bells in a remote tower ... »

The Subway By Allen Tate

The Subway By Allen Tate

The Subway Dark accurate plunger down the successive knell Of arch on arch, where ogives burst a red Reverberance of hail upon the dead Thunder like an exploding crucible! Harshly articulate, musical steel shell Of angry worship, hurled religiously Upon your business of humility Into the iron forest... »

Eclogue Of The Liberal And The Poet By Allen Tate

Eclogue Of The Liberal And The Poet By Allen Tate

Eclogue Of The Liberal And The Poet LIBERAL In that place, shepherd, all the men are dead. POET Yes, look at the water grim and black Where immense Europa rears her head, Her face pinched and her breasts slack. LIBERAL I said, shepherd, all the men are dead. POET Shall I turn to the road that goes A... »

Sonnets Of The Blood Ix By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Ix By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Ix Captains of industry, your aimless power Awakens harsh velleities of time: Let you, brother, captaining your hour Be zealous that your numbers are all prime, Lest false division with sly mathematic Plunder the inner mansion of the blood, The Thracian, swollen with pride, besi... »

Ode To Fear By Allen Tate

Ode To Fear By Allen Tate

Ode To Fear Variation on a Theme by Collins Let the day glare: O memory, your tread Beats to the pulse of suffocating night- Night peering from his dark but fire-lit head Burns on the day his tense and secret light. Now they dare not to gloss your savage dream, O beast of the heart, those saints who... »

Winter Mask By Allen Tate

Winter Mask By Allen Tate

Winter Mask To the memory of W. B. Yeats I Towards nightfall when the wind Tries the eaves and casements (A winter wind of the mind Long gathering its will) I lay the mind’s contents Bare, as upon a table, And ask, in a time of war, Whether there is still To a mind frivolously dull Anything wo... »

The Eye By Allen Tate

The Eye By Allen Tate

The Eye To E. E. Cummings I see the horses and the sad streets Of my childhood in an agate eye Roving, under the clean sheets, Over a black hole in the sky. The ill man becomes the child, The evil man becomes the lover; The natural man with evil roiled Pulls down the sphereless sky for cover. I see ... »

Last Days Of Alice By Allen Tate

Last Days Of Alice By Allen Tate

Last Days Of Alice Alice grown lazy, mammoth but not fat, Declines upon her lost and twilight age; Above in the dozing leaves the grinning cat Quivers forever with his abstract rage: Whatever light swayed on the perilous gate Forever sways, nor will the arching grass, Caught when the world clattered... »

The Wolves By Allen Tate

The Wolves By Allen Tate

The Wolves There are wolves in the next room waiting With heads bent low, thrust out, breathing At nothing in the dark; between them and me A white door patched with light from the hall Where it seems never (so still is the house) A man has walked from the front door to the stair. It has all been fo... »

Farewell To Anactoria By Allen Tate

Farewell To Anactoria By Allen Tate

Farewell To Anactoria (Sappho) Never the tramp of foot or horse, Nor lusty cries from ship at sea, Shall I call loveliest on the dark earth- My heart moves lovingly. I say that what one loves is best: The midnight fastness of the heart. Helen, you took the beauty of men With unpitying art! White Par... »

Sonnets Of The Blood V By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood V By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood V Our elder brother whom we had not seen These twenty years until you brought him back From the cyclonic West, where he had been Sent by the shaking fury in the track We know so well, wound in these arteries: You, other brother, I have become strange To you, and you must study w... »

Ode To The Confederate Dead By Allen Tate

Ode To The Confederate Dead By Allen Tate

Ode To The Confederate Dead Row after row with strict impunity The headstones yield their names to the element, The wind whirrs without recollection; In the riven troughs the splayed leaves Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament To the seasonal eternity of death; Then driven by the fierce scrutiny ... »

A Carrion By Allen Tate

A Carrion By Allen Tate

A Carrion (From the French of Charles Baudelaire) Remember now, my Love, what piteous thing We saw on a summer’s gracious day: By the roadside a hideous carrion, quivering On a clean bed of pebbly clay, Her legs flexed in the air like a courtesan, Burning and sweating venomously, Calmly expose... »

The Mediterranean By Allen Tate

The Mediterranean By Allen Tate

The Mediterranean Where we went in the boat was a long bay a slingshot wide, walled in by towering stone– Peaked margin of antiquity’s delay, And we went there out of time’s monotone: Where we went in the black hull no light moved But a gull white-winged along the feckless wave, Th... »

Inside And Outside By Allen Tate

Inside And Outside By Allen Tate

Inside And Outside I Now twenty-four or maybe twenty-five Was the woman’s age, and her white brow was sleek; Lips parted in surprise, the flawless cheek; The long brown hair coiled sullenly alive; Her hands, dropt in her lap, could not arrive At the novel on the table, being weak; Nor breath, ... »

The Trout Map By Allen Tate

The Trout Map By Allen Tate

The Trout Map The Management Area of Cherokee National Forest, interested in fish, Has mapped Tellico and Bald Rivers And North River, with the tributaries Brookshire Branch and Sugar Cove Creek: A fishy map for facile fishery In Marvel’s kind Ocean: drawn in two Colors, blue and red-blue for ... »

Ditty By Allen Tate

Ditty By Allen Tate

Ditty The moon will run all consciences to cover, Night is now the easy peer of day; Little boys no longer sight the plover Streaked in the sky, and cattle go Warily out in search of misty hay. Look at the blackbird, the pretty eager swallow, The buzzard, and all the birds that sail With the smooth ... »

The Ancestors By Allen Tate

The Ancestors By Allen Tate

The Ancestors When the night’s coming and the last light falls A weak child among lost shadows on the floor, It is your listening: pulse heeds the strain Of fore and after, wind shivers the door. What masterful delay commands the blood Breaking its access to the living heart? Consider this, th... »

Mr. Pope By Allen Tate

Mr. Pope By Allen Tate

Mr. Pope When Alexander Pope strolled in the city Strict was the glint of pearl and ”old sedans. Ladies leaned out more out of fear than pity For Pope’s tight back was rather a goat’s than man’s Often one thinks the urn should have more bones Than skeletons provide for speedy... »

The Meaning Of Life By Allen Tate

The Meaning Of Life By Allen Tate

The Meaning Of Life A Monologue Think about it at will: there is that Which is the commentary; there’s that other, Which may be called the immaculate Conception of its essence in itself. It is necessary to distinguish the weights Of the two methods lest the first smother The second, the second... »

Ignis Fatuus By Allen Tate

Ignis Fatuus By Allen Tate

Ignis Fatuus In the twilight of my audacity I saw you flee the world, the burnt highways Of summer gave up their light: I Followed you with the uncommon span Of fear-supported and disbursed eyes. Towards the dark that harries the tracks Of dawn I pursued you only. I fell Companionless. The seething ... »

The Vigil Of Venus By Allen Tate

The Vigil Of Venus By Allen Tate

The Vigil Of Venus I Tomorrow let loveless, let lover tomorrow make love : O spring, singing spring, spring of the world renew! In spring lovers consent and the birds marry When the grove receives in her hair the nuptial dew. Tomorrow may loveless, may lover tomorrow make love. II Tomorrow’s t... »

Death Of Little Boys By Allen Tate

Death Of Little Boys By Allen Tate

Death Of Little Boys When little boys grown patient at last, weary, Surrender their eyes immeasurably to the night, The event will rage terrific as the sea; Their bodies fill a crumbling room with light. Then you will touch at the bedside, torn in two, Gold curls now deftly intricate with gray As th... »

Sonnets Of The Blood Viii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Viii By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Viii Not power nor the casual hand of God Shall keep us whole in our dissevering air, It is a stink upon this pleasant sod So foul, the hovering buzzard sees it fair; I ask you will it end therefore tonight And the moth tease again the windy flame, Or spiders, eating their loves... »

Obituary By Allen Tate

Obituary By Allen Tate

Obituary In memory of S. B. V., 1834-1909 … so what the lame four-poster gathered here Between the lips of stale and seasoned sheets Startles a memory sunlit upon the wall (Motors and urchins contest the city streets) While towards the bed the rigid shadows lean Stung to the patience of all em... »

The Traveller By Allen Tate

The Traveller By Allen Tate

The Traveller To Archibald MacLeish The afternoon with heavy hours Lies vacant on the wanderer’s sight And sunset waits whose cloudy towers Expect the legions of the night Till sullen thunder from the cave Of twilight with deliberate swell Whispers the air his darkening slave To loose the neth... »

Idiot By Allen Tate

Idiot By Allen Tate

Idiot The idiot greens the meadow with his eyes, The meadow creeps implacable and still; A dog barks, the hammock swings, he lies. One two three the cows bulge on the hill. Motion that is not time erects snowdrifts While sister’s hand sieves waterfalls of lace. With a palm fan closer than deat... »

Sonnets At Christmas Ii By Allen Tate

Sonnets At Christmas Ii By Allen Tate

Sonnets At Christmas Ii Ah, Christ, I love you rings to the wild sky And I must think a little of the past: When I was ten I told a stinking lie That got a black boy whipped; but now at last The going years, caught in an accurate glow, Reverse like balls englished upon green baize- Let them return, ... »

Correspondences By Allen Tate

Correspondences By Allen Tate

Correspondences (From the French of Charles Baudelaire) All nature is a temple where the alive Pillars breathe often a tremor of mixed words; Man wanders in a forest of accords That peer familiarly from each ogive. Like thinning echoes tumbling to sleep beyond In a unity umbrageous and infinite, Vas... »

Sonnets Of The Blood Vi By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Vi By Allen Tate

Sonnets Of The Blood Vi The fire I praise was once perduring flame- Till it snuffs with our generation out; No matter, it’s all one, it’s but a name Not as late honeysuckle half so stout; So think upon it how the fire burns blue, Its hottest, when the flame is all but spent; Thank God th... »

Mother And Son By Allen Tate

Mother And Son By Allen Tate

Mother And Son Now all day long the man who is not dead Hastens the dark with inattentive eyes, The woman with white hand and erect head Stares at the covers, leans for the son’s replies At last to her importunate womanhood- Her hand of death laid on the living bed; So lives the fierce composi... »

The Oath By Allen Tate

The Oath By Allen Tate

The Oath It was near evening, the room was cold Half dark; Uncle Ben’s brass bullet-mould And powder-horn and Major Bogan’s face Above the fire in the half-light plainly said: There’s naught to kill but the animated dead. Horn nor mould nor major follows the chase. Being cold I urg... »

Horatian Epode To The Duchess Of Malfi By Allen Tate

Horatian Epode To The Duchess Of Malfi By Allen Tate

Horatian Epode To The Duchess Of Malfi Duchess: Who am I? Bosola: Thou art a box of worm-seed, at best but a salvatory of green mummy. The stage is about to be swept of corpses. You have no more chance than an infusorian Lodged in a hollow molar of an eohippus. Come, now, no prattle of remergence wi... »

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