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Song For The Last Act

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Written by Louise Bogan

Biography | Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes | Email Poem - Song For The Last ActEmail Poem

 Now that I have your face by heart, I look
Less at its features than its darkening frame
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,
Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd's crook.
Beyond, a garden, There, in insolent ease The lead and marble figures watch the show Of yet another summer loath to go Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.
Now that I have your face by heart, I look.
Now that I have your voice by heart, I read In the black chords upon a dulling page Music that is not meant for music's cage, Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.
The staves are shuttled over with a stark Unprinted silence.
In a double dream I must spell out the storm, the running stream.
The beat's too swift.
The notes shift in the dark.
Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.
Now that I have your heart by heart, I see The wharves with their great ships and architraves; The rigging and the cargo and the slaves On a strange beach under a broken sky.
O not departure, but a voyage done! The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.
Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.


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