Classical Figures on Display

Eros; Osiris; gods in bronze:

So love; so death; between them man:

In marble, as in music, once

This measure breaks, the heart is won.


The gold and silver shells, the lion

Of Alexandria in stone;

These, and the flowers, perhaps Chaldean,

Wait through a waning afternoon.


Here nothing is by accident:

Yet figures still pretend to chance:

The hard green gods, marine shells, glint

Like lions’ eyes from marble tents.


Immobile stance, a linen crown -

The double-sceptred monarch reigns:

These flowers, perhaps, were sometime thrown

In resinated burial wines.


The last light falls in marble tones

About the lime-stained body, burns

From the shells of gold, and, dying, drains

The mineral gods of flowering forms.