Poyetry

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dover Beach/Bethlehem Experiment #3

Getting there, but this seems awfully PC


Oh, cry for Matthew Arnold,
As he wanders Dover Beach.
And weep for the poet Yeats,
While he wanders the desert
With his rough beast,
Slouching toward Bethlehem.

And is it not the sorriest sorrow,
Anguish of anguish,
That though they saw the end of time
The end of faith and beauty,
That all the famous faith
That bounded their world
Like a bright sea, girdling and
Uniting

Now shows itself as lies?
As ashes in our mouths
And turning stones beneath our
Bruis├Ęd feet?

Never was there one great faith
Nor one single bright light
That gleamed and suddenly was gone.

No ceremonies of innocence
Dimmed, no best with convictions
Agreed, no sea of faith
Burgeoning round the world.

Those who laid the fires,
And cleaned the grates,
Who raised and brought the produce
To English market
And those who chafed in
Empire or languished
In defeat, their story all untold
Never signed the Magna Carta
Or learned their Latin and their Greek.
The great histories
Of Patroclus or Livy
Skipped over Trojans and Etruscans,
And Gibbon missed the Roman wives.

So does our poetry and art betray
Those overlooked and unspoken.
Cry for those who have no mouth,
And weep for those whose eyes
Were blinded by history and art.

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