Cino


Italian Campagna 1309, the open road

Bah! I have sung women in three cities,
But it is all the same;
And I will sing of the sun.

Lips, words, and you snare them,
Dreams, words, and they are as jewels,
Strange spells of old deity,
Ravens, nights, allurement:
And they are not;
Having become the souls of song.

Eyes, dreams, lips, and the night goes.
Being upon the road once more,
They are not.
Forgetful in their towers of our tuneing
Once for Wind-runeing
They dream us-toward and
Sighing say, "Would Cino,
Passionate Cino, of the wrinkling eyes,
Gay Cino, of quick laughter,
Cino, of the dare, the jibe,
Frail Cino, strongest of his tribe
That tramp old ways beneath the sun-light,
Would Cino of the Luth were here!"
Once, twice, a year–
Vaguely thus word they:

      "Cino?" "Oh, eh, Cino Polnesi
      The singer is't you mean?"
      "Ah yes, passed once our way,
      A saucy fellow, but . . .
      (Oh they are all one these vagabonds),
      Peste! ‘tis his own songs?
      Or some other's that he sings?
      But you, My Lord, how with your city?"

But you "My Lord," God's pity!
And all I knew were out, My Lord, you
Were Lack-land Cino, e'en as I am,
O Sinistro.

I have sung women in three cities,
But it is all one.
I will sing of the sun.
. . . eh? . . . they mostly had grey eyes,
But it is all one, I will sing of the sun.

      "‘Pollo Phoibee, old tin pan, you
      Glory to Zeus' aegis-day,
      Shield o' steel-blue, th'heaven o'er us
      Hath for boss thy lustre gay!

      ‘Pollo Phoibee, to our way-fare
      Make thy laugh our wander-lied;
      Bid thy ‘fulgence bear away care.
      Cloud and rain-tears pass they fleet!

      Seeking e'er the new-laid rast-way
      To the gardens of the sun . . .
       . . . . . .
      I have sung women in three cities
      But it is all one.

      I will sing of the white birds
      In the blue waters of heaven,
      The clouds that are spray to its sea.


Ezra Pound, Selected Poems of Ezra Pound, New Directions, 1956.