Monday, August 11, 2008

LIGHT ON THE AVENUE

LIGHTS ON THE AVENUE




And this will pass to nothingness:  These lights 

That change to day the avenue’s dark nights,

And beauty, too, because it will grow old

The extinct crater of the heart turned cold.


Tomorrow dies and quondam love is dead,

No catafalque, and soon lies buried,

The sultry city dries up, long a lake

Of hot desire but blessed for sweet love’s sake.


Where will youth fly, and where is passion flown?

With sorrow ‘tis not well to be alone,

And drop by bitter drop are shed the tears

Till they fall down the corridor of years.


Keen for the prey, why does my gorge so rise

At the world’s unbashed harlotries?

High-heeled, tight-fitted, they are spruced for slaughter,

Scented as sin, eve’s every breathing daughter.



In jeeps, in theaters, the swarming street,

In lightless hovels reached bys sinful feet,

They mill about, incessant cavalcade,

Fling their appointed second and then fade.


What thighs of alabaster and what breasts

Are these, volcanic and with tremulous crests?

What short-stepped gait, what cheongsammed, swaying hips,

What painted lids, what luster of the lips?


They are so many – Psyche, oh, must know –

Against which Cupid bends unerring bow;

 Mother of God, o mother of dear of sorrows.

How close the mark, how instant fly the arrows!


And they shall pass, day turn to sudden night,

Obliterate the boulevard of light.

The whirligig, the mad, mad masquerade

And the procession of the loveless dead.

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