Whispers of Immortality


     Webster was much possessed by death
     And saw the skull beneath the skin;
     And breastless creatures under ground
     Leaned backward with a lipless grin.

     Daffodil bulbs instead of balls
     Stared from the sockets of the eyes!
     He knew that thought clings round dead limbs
     Tightening its lusts and luxuries.

     Donne, I suppose, was such another
     Who found no substitute for sense;
     To seize and clutch and penetrate,
     Expert beyond experience,

     He knew the anguish of the marrow
     The ague of the skeleton;
     No contact possible to flesh
     Allayed the fever of the bone.
    .    .    .    .    .
     Grishkin is nice: her Russian eye
     Is underlined for emphasis;
     Uncorseted, her friendly bust
     Gives promise of pneumatic bliss.

     The couched Brazilian jaguar
     Compels the scampering marmoset
     With subtle effluence of cat;
     Grishkin has a maisonette;

     The sleek Brazilian jaguar
     Does not in its arboreal gloom
     Distil so rank a feline smell
     As Grishkin in a drawing-room.

     And even the Abstract Entities
     Circumambulate her charm;
     But our lot crawls between dry ribs
     To keep our metaphysics warm.


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