Pastoral

Original Text: 
William Carlos Williams, A Book of Poems. Al Que Quiere! (Boston: The Four Seas Company, 1917): 23-24. York University Library Special Collections 5773.
2hop ingenuously
3about the pavement
4quarreling
5with sharp voices
6over those things
7that interest them.
8But we who are wiser
9shut ourselves in
10on either hand
11and no one knows
12whether we think good
13or evil.
14              Meanwhile,
15the old man who goes about
17walks in the gutter
18without looking up
19and his tread
20is more majestic than
22approaching the pulpit
23of a Sunday.
24                     These things
25astonish me beyond words.

Notes

1] An earlier version (1914) was first published by Rod Townley in The Early Poetry of William Carlos Williams (1975). Back to Line
16] dog-lime: not in the Oxford English Dictionary, "excrement intended for fertilizer." Back to Line
21] Episcopal: of the Anglican church, as naturalized in the United States (from the term for "bishop"). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1915
Publication Notes: 
Others 1.2 (August 1915)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.