General Editor: Marc R. Plamondon

Representative Poetry Online, edition 6.0, is a web anthology of 4,800 poems in English and French by over 700 poets spanning 1400 years.  more about RPO
 
New poet: Émile Nelligan

 

 

 

 

The Statesmen

1How blest the land that counts among
2    Her sons so many good and wise,
3To execute great feats of tongue
4    When troubles rise.
5Behold them mounting every stump,
6    By speech our liberty to guard.
7Observe their courage--see them jump,
8    And come down hard!
9"Walk up, walk up!" each cries aloud,
10    "And learn from me what you must do
11To turn aside the thunder cloud,
12    The earthquake too.
13"Beware the wiles of yonder quack
14    Who stuffs the ears of all that pass.
15I--I alone can show that black
16    Is white as grass."
17They shout through all the day and break
18    The silence of the night as well.
19They'd make--I wish they'd go and make--
20    Of Heaven a Hell.
21A advocates free silver, B
22    Free trade and C free banking laws.
23Free board, clothes, lodging would from me
24    Win wamr applause.
25Lo, D lifts up his voice: "You see
26    The single tax on land would fall
27On all alike." More evenly
28    No tax at all.
29"With paper money," bellows E,
30    "We'll all be rich as lords." No doubt--
31And richest of the lot will be
32    The chap without.
33As many "cures" as addle-wits
34    Who know not what the ailment is!
35Meanwhile the patient foams and spits
36    Like a gin fizz.
37Alas, poor Body Politic,
38    Your fate is all too clearly read:
39To be not altogether quick,
40    Nor very dead.
41You take your exercise in squirms,
42    Your rest in fainting fits between.
43'Tis plain that your disorder's worms--
44    Worms fat and lean.
45Worm Capital, Worm Labor dwell
46    Within your maw and muscle's scope.
47Their quarrels make your life a Hell,
48    Your death a hope.
49God send you find not such an end
50    To ills however sharp and huge!
51God send you convalesce! God send

Notes

52] vermifuge: a means of expelling parasitic worms. Back to Line
 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
Ezra Pound Pisan Cantos, LXXXI
Maps