Where the worms had opened the owls chest,
he could see, inside her frail ribs,
the city of Byzantium. Exquisitely made
of ironwood and brass. The pear trees around
the harem and the warships were perfectly detailed.
No wonder they made that mewing sound, he thought,
calling to each other among the dark arbors
while the cocks crow and answer and a farther
rooster answers that: the sound proceeding
up the mountain, paling and thinning until
it is transparent, like the faint baying of hounds.

Jack Gilbert


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