Happiness makes us base
Marston, Sophonisba

Bones wrenched, weak whimper, lids wrinkled, first dazzle known,
World-wonder hardens as bigness, years; brings knowledge, you.
Rank presence-smell a rich mould augurs for roots urged,
Eased by mucous tenderness, to absorb the Word
Which was before began; flesh-dough suffills to spilling
Concave of spirit—so you here I have: but gone,
The soul is tetanous; gun-barrel burnishing
In summer grass, mind lies to tarnish, untouched, undoing,
Though body stir, hand hold a spade, leg lever ground,
Sweat trickle down to loin; these, squat as idols, brood
Infuriate the fire with bellows, blank till sleep
And two-faced dream—‘I want’ voiced treble as once
Crudely through flowers till dunghill cock-crow, crack at East.
Eyes, unwashed jewels, the glass-floor slipping, feel, know Day,
Life, stripped to girders, monochrome. Deceit of instinct,
Figure, feature, form, irrelevant, dismissed,
Ought passes through points fair plotted; and you conform,
Seen yes or no. Before which argument my buts are imprudent.

May 1927

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 12 Number 10, on page 36
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