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    Ezra Pound - What Thou Lovest Well Remains

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    poetictouch

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    Ezra Pound reads What Thou Lovest Well Remains - From his Canto LXXXI - Recorded in Spoleto, Italy 1967

    What Thou Lovest Well Remains
    From Canto LXXXI
    by Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

    What thou lovest well remains,
    the rest is dross
    What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
    What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage
    Whose world, or mine or theirs
    or is it of none?
    First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
    What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
    What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee

    The ant’s a centaur in his dragon world.
    Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
    Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
    Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
    Learn of the green world what can be thy place
    In scaled invention or true artistry,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    Paquin pull down!
    The green casque has outdone your elegance.

    "Master thyself, then others shall thee beare"
    Pull down thy vanity
    Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
    A swollen magpie in a fitful sun,
    Half black half white
    Nor knowst’ou wing from tail
    Pull down thy vanity
    How mean thy hates
    Fostered in falsity,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    I say pull down.

    But to have done instead of not doing
    This is not vanity
    To have, with decency, knocked
    That a Blunt should open
    To have gathered from the air a live tradition
    or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
    this is not vanity.
    Here error is all in the not done,
    all in the diffidence that faltered …