from The New Book of Odes

      8                     Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave.

Loud intolerant bells (the shrinking nightflower closes

tenderly round its stars to baulk their hectoring)

orate to deaf hills where the olive stirs and dozes

in easeless age, dim to farce of man’s fathoming.


Shepards away!  They toll throngs to your solitude

and their inquisitive harangue will disembody

shames and delights, all private features of your mood,

flay out your latencies, sieve your hopes, fray your shoddy.


The distant gods enorbed in bright indifference

whom we confess creatures or abstracts of our spirit,

unadored, absorbed into the incoherence,

leave desiccated names: rabbits sucked by a ferret.


            Basil Bunting


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