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Title: God Save the King
Author: Howard, Brian [Brian Christian de Claiborne] (1905-1958)
Date of first publication: 1931
Edition used as base for this ebook: Paris: Hours Press, 1931 (first edition)
Date first posted: 11 September 2009
Date last updated: 11 September 2009
Project Gutenberg Canada ebook #382

This ebook was produced by: David T. Jones & the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


And Other Poems


Brian Howard


This is No

Signature—Brian Howard









To My Mother


God Save The King
A Small Crucifixion
Homage to Tennyson
Father and Son
The Listening Child
The Secret
I remember I remember
Two In one
Saying Good-bye to a Phoenix
Love Letter
Entends la douce nuit qui marche
The Figure

J'ai vu des archipels sidéraux! et des îles
Dont les cieux délirants sont ouverts au vogueur:
Est-ce en ces nuits sans fond que tu dors et t'exiles,
Million d'oiseaux d'or, ô future vigueur?



Loops of red gauze, the music swoops
down the glass passage in the wall.
Black, rolling hats on a gold rack:
"The moon is fallen? Not at all.
Lightning's only marble. Frightening?
Only the moon's white marble hair."
"Stammering thunder's wicked hammer!"
"Night's pasodoble in the air.
Tell me about it." "I'm in hell,
I've lost my love, and my religion."
"So has your friend, but then, you know
the Holy Ghost's a carrier pigeon.
He'll fly to you, he flew to me,
flew back again, Faith in his beak.
He also brought my love to tea.
We laughed until we couldn't speak."
"Bring more chartreuse! You've everything,
I've nothing, and I hate the storm.
Fate bids me go." "It isn't late.
Goya's musicians still perform.
Pains of your youth, and Spanish rains
don't last, and hearts heal in the South."
"I am betrayed. So stop this lie!
These fountains merely herald drouth.
Dry death will follow quick, and I
will burn, my tears will turn to steam.
I'll burst in bitter fire . . . you sigh?
Thin sighing, like a vulture's scream!"
"Please write your book, and do not tease
your pleasant present with your past.
But now, enough. They're going to shut."
The ruby tango dies at last.
Loud, flying flowers, odours proud,
die in the mirrors as they go.
Don Quintin's children have gone on.
Don Quintin el Amargao.

Madrid. 1925.

God Save The King



The conversation of a bell
striking across the afternoon
this is what we remember of our early youth.
A torch in the bedclothes is soon put out
by a morning that comes before its time
closing the book before the end of the page.
Charon rings his doorbell all day long, it seems.
The ceaseless anger of a bell
running across a foggy teatime
this is what we remember of our early youth.
Amo. Amas. Amat. Does he really? How wonderful.
A kiss translated from the Greek
we received it in the bootroom, and we prayed
prayed until our heads were cold with a pure sweat
a simple dew, and ignorant.
Not knowing the tomb when it touched us, not seeing
the small, immediate burial of a child
taking this first warning as a gift, which was only
the last tap of an old woodpecker.
Across the harsh field the bell comes like a stone
killing him who was telling us our first story.
He, the lustful elder, the dead woodpecker, is silent, so distressed
to be left alone again by youth, to be so abandoned
perched on the fence alone, in a pair of gold spectacles
with a few red feathers round a broken beak.
In an aseptic chapel, singing for Sunday supper
our voices fail at the high note, the most holy.
In the chapel sits the false eagle, the convert
armoured in Christian brass, sprawling
in a lean nest of Easter lilies.
Here, the only eagle is brass
and the saints have long since expelled the serpent
leaving the lilies, virgins in a vase, open in death
flowers of white soap, washed well, like the dead
starched, like the white cowls of the dead, waxed, smelling of an immortal Sunday.
The last word of the daily bell is said
over a cup of cocoa in the dark.
Ice, coming by night, closes the ewer with a click.
The frosted sponge stiffens against a premature cockcrow.
[5] The cock waits patiently until we're all asleep
and then, before there's been a minute's quiet in which to wake and weep
and go to sleep again, he springs in one leap
straight from the farmyard to the top of the steeple
rattles the cross with his claws, stretches back his head, and screams to all the people
screaming and screaming that dawn is late
that the night is done which is not yet begun
lying, while his crown shakes on his head, his crown of red lead
telling the lie, screaming a false dawn and an unwanted resurrection to the scarcely dead.
We rise, blind
with something that resembled sleep, a brief prostration
blind with torch, dream, or book, a few minutes of these.
A little horizontal straining, a burden born upon the back.
Rise, and shudder forward to split the ice, pour a libation
crush the sponge, and scrub the teeth, in between a sneeze.
A little vertical straining, quotidian harness, assumption of an upright rack.
We rise, blind.
Between the first walls of the day
my friend, it is so difficult to wait for youth
so hard to become young.
To be young only in years is to be old and mad
to wear a false beard, to be a small green peach bearded with snow
its back against the wall, in a February without an end.
[6] We, being too young, are old, and wait
at the bottom of a winter garden, for the sun
and, when the sun comes, we find no strength to grow
being green peaches, small and cold
but only the exchange of light for darkness
of nothing for nothing
only the illumination of a familiar disaster
unseen at night, but long learned by heart.
To hide tears in other tears
for no reason, save that early youth is madness
to hide laughter in counterfeit laughter
this is what we know of our early youth.


To smell autumn is to be seventeen.
C'est un amateur
il est toujours l'élève.
I fall with each wicked leaf
Ego is triumphant in this lowest time
ego in the evening season
the evening that is too sweet, too rich.
To-day there is only a banjo in tears
to-day it is yesterday.
To-morrow, spring will come, a small unicorn bringing a birthday
but I cannot be born again
I cannot give birth to myself again.
Instead, I, an inferior Werther, have permitted the world to bear me a bastard
an old alien baby, and dead.
The narrow hips of my soul
shall engender me nothing. I am a silly Hamlet.
Even now I should be naked, leaning against the light
holding myself, a newborn baby, in my arms.
I should be standing in daylight, with the serpent and the eagle
sitting in consort upon a burning bush, my head.
Instead, my bones are a basket of silly sorrows.


Under the sailing cedar tree, in a heavy August
the elders sat on the lawn, eating a little tea.
The sun was in the silver, and the blue cuckoo, the bird Ophelia
spoke her pure word, down in the field
spoke and spoke again, words of virginal madness.
Mother dwindled towards the vegetables
and grew back to us again, leaning through the afternoon
a daisy on a tide
a bottle of milk in a green afternoon.
But, as dirt gets between the teeth, and sweat creeps between the piano keys
worms into everyone, nails into a cross
so Mars, the loud newspaper boy, rode across our roses
and trampled our teacups into the lawn.
No storm scene destroyed our pastoral symphony, no grand tempest, but instead
as dirt gets into the teeth, the newspaper got in at the garden gate
and we were all filled with hate.
It wasn't for want of washing, of waiting and watching ... ah, no
we were always awfully careful, even at Oddenino.
Black dirt, white dirt, all on a printed page, we didn't believe you
because of Cambridge, Cornwall, vows in a punt
because we were being young so beautifully.
Mother returned from the vegetables, on the run
through the ruins of the minute
sat on a garden chair, and thrust her roots down among the daisies
in search of an older strength.
Father cursed, and Ophelia fell from the bough
snapping a Flanders poppy where she fell.
Father's age, too old, made itself into a monument beside Mother
an evening monument, and the eyelids were a little weary.
We went. We left by the last summer train, never again.
The Thames trembled in its bed, and Big Ben boomed
the Abbey crouched like a beast, growling "All my boys are doomed!"
Straw hats, as hot as butterflies, like butterflies rose on the roar
that met the long, grey princes at the Brandenburger Tor.
"Splendid, splendid" cried Burlington Bertie
all the knuts were so excited
"It doesn't matter now, having empty pockets"
too excited to think of the empty eye-sockets.
Father and Mother stood at home, in the mortal sunrise
that shook on the horizon and refused to move.
They stood, dumb gardeners in a forsaken greenhouse
England, my green house, England, my green thought
in my green shade, yellow sand, emerald isle, silver sea, hearts of oak
white walls, rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves, never waives the rules, but
the thunder's got into the milk, my darling, and the short-horn's got T. B.
and what, we soon began to say, is going to become of me?


There is no air. Only a blue vacuum, the hollow flame of a blow-lamp
a blue, droning flame. An open mouth
a blue, toothless mouth, kissing the young face, and droning.
There is no air, but again and again
explosion, in an exhausted sunshine.
There is a little air, now. It comes with the rain.
Souls, dropped under dust, stir gently, and soon float
between their owners' feet
pieces of bread in a stopped drain.
My brother has lain down to rest a moment
to blow a tired, red bubble in the mud.
I have lived. I am now dead before I am dead.
Where is my eagle, who was to perch, at last, on my shoulder?
Where is my serpent, the eagle's lover
who was to coil about the eagle, and guide his beak?
I came here that I should not sleep before evening
that I should awake once, in the holy strength of the eagle
and that I should awake a second time, in the holy wisdom of the serpent
and now I am dead before I am dead.

Nore. 1928.

A Small Crucifixion

So many faces and so many nails
faces in a huge, winter window, nails in a nice little box.
The young man's being crucified.
Such a cheerful cross, all painted with wild flowers by a Lady
the colours go so well with the blood
flat ferns of blood, thin and hard as wax.
Spider shapes of blood, crawling
behind each hand, and behind the locked feet.
What did he do to you, Lady?
He would not love.
What shall we do to him, Lady?
Crucify him. Crucify him.
Vast winter faces fill the palace places.
White, whistling March puts pretty sparks
of jumping light on each nail's head.
The army and the king sit in a rich ring
hermaphrodites, hostesses, and pious ghosts
watching him jerk, and jerk. He's not yet dead.
Seated upon genuine antiques, we've a good view.
The motor cars come curving up like a lot of cats
while the young man struggles on his tree.
Silly struggles. Snuggle close to me.
Lady! now mark my words, seriously
God made the world that this should be.
Lady, come rest on the red cushion of my heart
and watch the small spider microphone hang in his face, spinning
a world's web to catch a public of flies.
Each little cough
shall be heard by millions.
With blood in his voice, balanced upon infinity
he made his bed, he made his choice, nails are now his trinity.

Nore. 1929.

Homage to Tennyson

"Between the shadows of the vine bunches
Floated the glowing sunlights as she moved."
But all my sins return. Alone I pace
the graveyard of myselves.
Oh for an old, night wood!
I would lie down upon a bank, and watch
the stars bathe in the slowly folding stream
a little stream, caught in its own cold curtains
the permanent curtains of my final sadness.
All those young ghosts that were me, stretched around
half in the ground, heads propt in moss, and wreathed
with shining strings of dew, my own old tears.
I would not look at them, having forgiven
having forgotten all the wrongs I've done
and I've been done. Only your red flower
shakes on the opposite bank like a cup of blood.
Where is this stream, the crystal of my sadness
the luminous, fallen statue of despair?
The stream, the purest portrait of my madness
and the ruby blossom, above all my dead, burning the deep, dark air?

London. 1929.

Father and Son

Bones, bones, bones, bones
nothing but gristle, and a shower of bones
a storm of stones, and little pieces of blood
rolling down a face in the morning.
Hiding in a restaurant, let me turn
to recollections of what must have been my youth.
The buttercups were boiling in the park
le duc se promène avec son passé.
Lama, lama, sabacthani.
The grand Lama, my boy, lives in Thibet. A screw of brown paper
blown into a corner of the monastery throne. Lamas, my son
live high in Thibet, the duke lives in his enormous mansion and is our very kind landlord....
the future frightens me, my boy, because I am old, and was badly educated.
All men are cormorants, all the day
all day's a dream, so choose your eyes carefully
pull them out when it's time. Choose some more.
There is no thing-in-itself. So, if you will, you may see
des clairons, du soleil, des cris et du tambour
... ivre d'amour.
Then, father, I want a body and a whole soul
a whole heart, and a whole head
to crowd itself against my body.
Boy, you can't choose those eyes.
It may come. But instead, you'll often find another boy
another girl, and they'll be twisted
on the black ribs of one stone, on the angry grids of one minute.
Oh, my God, my boy, be warned of me that you must see
under a little red sun like a hole in a dog
boys and girls served on a hot plate of tears.
Oh bones bones and boys and girls
early flesh that began as a vase of light
tied with a sash of grass
in a lap of wild leaves, set upon fur
all this stolen, sat upon, and scraped
into hollow mud, and wincing wind
sour as a wincing, winter wind!
Winter garden, Tiergarten, I went to Berlin when I was young
and I saw women made of knives and forks, and boys
in clothes of snow, and I confirmed both.
That was one virtue.
Because, once, I was like that. I hated missing anything, and that's a sort of virtue.
"Yes"—"Yes," that was my motto, whereas
"Always Merry and Bright" is still the motto of my cronies.
I'm your Daddy, and I done me best
(which is more than I'll do, dear Daddy)
and there was, my boy, an April terrace, a late April terrace
over a loving curve o' the Rhine
a curve like that what old Venus must 'ave 'ad, blesser
I mean the reel old Venus.
There was the terrace and the table
and between the terrace and the table, I.
I was Heidelberg, and Henley—poet—and Sargent, too
and an Irving hero, with my hothouse moustache
. . . all this.
I was your tragic papa, bedight, rather tight, all right
and Lili was there, who grew in Bingen, a sprig of groundsel
ready, each gloaming, for me, the yellow canary out of the Yellow Book
though I really was a Henley youth, of course, both Henleys
and thought Wilde a beast, though . . sorry, too . . of course.
Well, she came upon the terrace, a rising milk fountain
a rock garden, a waltz, my Lili
and there was a grave sunset floating in the hock like a strawberry.
The evening was Schiller, whispering. Mamma Rhine
with the dear barges in her stomach
and each cargo one century of very serious thought.
Well, we devoured our dinner, boy, and kissed the moon.
It became healed, like a sensible girl.
Cronies . . . awfully decent . . . nothing unhealthy . . .
Well . . . but, choose your eyes, for God's sake, my dear boy
in spite of the fact I lost the fight
. . . fought at Arques, Crillon, and you were . . . where was I?
Don't pay any attention. I lost. You win. Choose your eyes.
Father . . .
I want a body, and a whole soul
a whole heart, and a whole head
to crowd between my sins, my body, myself.
Good gracious, what on earth's the good . . . eh?
And now there's no terrace, no trace. All the flights of all the terraces
(the flight of the duchesses)
have crumbled into the Express Dairy Co. Ltd. I think
since I did buy this mist of mimosa
I'll have another dish of Bulgarian Lactic Milk.
Never mind, Daddy, never mind.
Oh, you can't understand time, boy
so you can't understand me, boy.
Under this fringe of withered tears
my moustache is an old flag hung in an old barrack
riddled so long ago with red hot mouths
(rags in the Escorial fidget in the draught)
I was like the hero in "Smoke" once, on the clouded terrace
fruits, and the "old guard," gods and medals
and trophies, épergnes ranged upon the sunset's table
by Youth's butler, God.
The coloured uniforms of Goethe's cavalry, the serious sunset.
Now, I am broken on the wheels of a small table and a small table
between a waitress and a wheezy sin.
My life's a wilderness of ancient lace
frozen as wee and brittle as your mother's fingers
frozen by time's ice, cracked at a kiss.
My life is a quadrille of shadows, with one extraordinary shadow
containing the prophecy of a stone skull
with a roll of black dust on its upper lip.
No drum and no tropics
no Lili, and no trophies, I am at the end.
Now . . . wear wool, and buy a new pair of eyes
every day, my dear boy.
Father . . . I want . . .

Nore. 1929.


Across each Rhodes, beside each sea
the maddened statue of maternity.
The two smooth moons that are her eyes
are not allowed to show surprise.
She is the pelican that broke her breast
to feed the treason in her nest.
O red, returning tide!
She was once a bride.
Blown blind, with huge, sad hands blown hollow
she leans, she leans by the salt, sombre shore.
A silent stone beside a silent harbour
she waits, she waits, nor ever knows them more.

La Napoule. 1929.

The Listening Child

The sound of England from abroad
the echo of our parents' wedding march
reaches us. Like a gramophone in the next house
we hear our father singing in the drawing room, the past.
Beside a hot and silent sea
we listen to the noises of the past.
With mosquitoes for our foreign rain
dropping in long ropes out of these blue clouds
a rope of mosquitoes meets the sea, and spreads out
like treacle pouring upon the floor. A sigh, and the marble day
slides away.
The echo of London, London's country, comes
between the coffee and the smile
(sing, cicada, shine, phosphorous)
the slow-travelling echo has arrived.
A manly voice. A marriage bell.

La Napoule. 1929

The Secret

There is a shadow where a man sometimes sings.
A shadow the shape of a tear. O sun, your help!
The shape of a phallus. The shape of a heart.
Through the hole in my soul I watch him.
It has made the only hole in my soul.
Brothers, sisters, do not shine so bright.
Brothers and sisters, animals, fathers and mothers, too
tell me your wicked secret, for he cannot live.
Giant friends, and dancing relations, you have eaten me
I have been your house. Tell me your secret.
Tell him, the ignorant singer, how one is able to live.
Teach him to dance like you, giant friends, dancing fathers
you, my sister, who hold in your hands a dancing bird
you, my brother, who hold your wife in your arms like a bouquet of blood
Tell me! Tell me! For he cannot live!

La Napoule. 1929.


What is this time when the sun stops
and stands on our little mountain like a street lamp?
A light, white ball that stops at the height of its flight
a frozen game
over violet, winter water.
In the middle of our beginning
there is a temporary death.
I see a strange Mediterranean made of a variety of violets
I have never seen before. Sown by the moon, perhaps.
All is gone from me this morning save life itself.
My hottest tear
is one with the frozen stream
my purest laughter shall reappear
in the peacock's scream.
If this should last, good-bye, my friends.
There is only myself left, and that
is the equivalent of nothing.
When I was with you I was many.
[24] The wind has become still, has become
a large, new flower, made of air.
There is only the world itself left
the world that was in the world.
There is only myself left
myself that was in myself.
Wait, you whom I love, if you will
until the sunset picks the last rose, slowly, and goes.
It will leave, now, only black and white
and I shall be the stranger on this rock.
There is this transparent time when the world stops
and it is then, only, that I am.

La Napoule. 1929.


Branch that flew on the hill this morning
spire of pity, rest in this cold glass.
Branch, fold your wild hands, and pray for me
I am twenty four. Twenty four, and purity still lies before.

La Napoule. 1929.

I remember I remember

The light of lemons, a child's light.
Open the history book in the silent north
and it shines like a child.
And yet I see each bough's a finger
scratching the thin wind's skin
each finger has a nail, each knot of fingers
holds a small knife I used to know.
Ah, the war in the south is ever hateful
the islands of light in the sky, travelling fast
and for me, whose big head's always cracked with thirst
my English house is a sweet glass of water.
But must I always remember my soldier childhood
the knives in the trees?

Nore. 1929.

Two In one

Parfois il parle et dit, "Je suis belle,
et j'ordonne
Que pour l'amour de moi vous
n'aimiez que le Beau;
Je suis l'Ange gardien, la Muse, et
la Madone!"


Among wagging leaves, green pots and red
I wrote you a letter when I was dead.
To-day our tears are telegrams. The rain
on the wires is made of tears. Look at these drops again.
How could I speak or eat alone in the south?
It takes four lips to make a mouth.
During a year's fear I heard a voice say
"Cease to pray, and on a last Friday
at sunrise, stand at the white mouth of the sea
up to your cold loins in water and light, and look for me.
I am the thing, the meaning, and the prize
that stands within the balls of your dumb eyes.
Come, when I fit the sun's ring on the day's hand, come at sunrise."
Summer and winter came together.
Statues of summer stood along the morning
and walked across the sea with hot, white feet.
Light poured from them upon the ships and flowers
till all the ships were flowers, and blinding flowers the fleet.
From the extreme birth-pain at the sea's electric lips
whence the Guardian Angel came, to the clouds of ice
the blessing statues stretched. As we entered the sky, the Muse
in blowing fire flew murmuring by, towards the sacrifice.
As we left summer, our two isles took flight
to new, blue stations high above the sea
as 'twixt vast, chanting statues we four rose
the islands rose on the wind, and smiled at the sight.
It was to be all, all, all in a single day
all summer, morning, and all winter, noon
all love to love, all pain to love away
from the white hot sun, all love, to the cold white moon.
So love, which had broken its golden nests on the gold sea floor
and burst into ships and flowers by the soft sea shore
met us upon the mountain.
It seemed the sun spun round the place
and rose and set at our hearts' pace
yet, springing from each other's mouths
love left time instantly, and won the race.
From side to side, the swinging seasons flow
the green May valley flashes into snow
while we, firm founded on each other's mouths
form the world's centre, to love's centre go.
Those misers' bags, our breasts, were first undone
so did our gold each to the other run
then all our blood ran to each other's mouths.
Can two be two, when two have thus been one?
O branching blood, O twin red tree!
You have so kissed, and mixed with me
with blood for food, and wine for bed
our heart-shaped root on wine was fed
with rock for clock, for leaves the snow
how can we wither, or the woodman know?
What can we do but to new glories grow?
The cross was made, the bread was laid
upon the bleeding stone
the cross was mine, the right was mine
to spurn the cross, alone.
The moment nears, the heart appears
the mountain sings and turns
our two heads change to one, a strange
and blesséd thing, that burns.
What are the stars, poor lonely lights
that hang their cold, chaste chains across the nights?
They wink for tears, who only can aspire
to fuse themselves, as we have done, into one star, one fire.

La Napoule. 1929-1930.

Saying Good-bye to a Phoenix

I am so proud of my rebellious phoenix
he rises, and his wings are blinding gongs.
Over our small, cold London, our dead mother
pour the grey flowers of his ash. Above them
I hear huge, solar songs.
I cry good-bye to my free phoenix
with a sandy throat, and my heart is bared.
But I am a poet, and I can make wings, I shall make wings
and though you have flown alone to roost on the sun to-morrow
the sun's nest shall be shared.

London. 1930.

Love Letter

The fire rolls in the coal
the coal screams with fire.
Sick winter listens on the outer wall, shut out.
Winter is wounded, her nightgown of tall fogs
is striped with cold white blood, she is without fire.
But small spring is shut out, remember, also
also the wife and the mother, summer and autumn together.
The coal it flies and falls
red and red, the spitting pleasure
the swiftest pleasure. And what does this pleasure think
of thought? for it is fire. Of pain? for it is pleasure.
Of time? for it is to-day.
Of love? for it is fastest fire, and th'expense of spirit
and immediate pleasure. Fire.
You will grow no pansy in the loud coal
no pansy grows where the coal falls, fighting.
The grate is a body burning, but where's the pansy
that lifts a long, black song in the breaking pleasure of fire?
[33] The coal flies, the coal dies
there is no earth in that bed.
You will have to come back to earth.
With only a white sheet twisting, how
how can you grow black pansies in a winding sheet?
If you are coal, go to coal
if you are a bed, go to bed
until you remember the earth, the bed of earth
the flower bed, and the gardener.
No flowers live in linen beds
coal beds, beds of fire.
You must have more earth in your desire
you must, you must
lust is not to trust

London. 1930.

Entends la douce nuit qui marche

I love the day, the yellow phoenix, but I love the terrible night.
I have two loves, and one is the day, the peace, the
brother-lover, the phoenix
he is covered with folding veils of silent fire
he sits and swells within a scroll of strong, harmless fire
that can fill the world, and that feeds me, so that I am the world.
This is the day, the gold food, my truth.
I have two loves, and one is the terrible night
the cannibal carnation, the soft storm
beautiful, blind and black, invisible, alive and dead
the carnation face, the lullaby, the kindest poison, the prison.
Oh loud, loud is the night, the flower made of mouths
louder than the day, louder than my heart.
The sun falls, and at once there swings up from the ground,
in at the window
[35] the night, the drooping thunder, the carnation.
It is a burst flower, its blood has burst it, the petals
are waving fans of soft blood.
It is the mounting night.

London. 1930.


I will never give up asking, where are the days?
Still the hero dwindles upon the marble, chained with bones.
Where is the headland, where are the larger clouds?
Where is the place where there are men and women?
We have been insulted by all islands, all voices and times.
Yet I shall ask always, when will the lovers come, where are the days?

London. 1930.

The Figure

Believe in the body in the landscape!
The wind on the rock is a flowing flower.
A gun fires on the mountain, the great sound
flies, like another world, over my hollow past.
The flowers flow across the rock.
The figure stands. A cross, a brown star in the scaffolding
of the half built house. The heart.
The sun bounds out of the mountain
while the gun fires again and again. It is the spring.
The gun fires. And a new sun whistles straight up into the centre of the sky
to hang and throb and flash and shudder.
White flowers and animals pour across the rocks.
The figure stands between the fingers of the coming heart
the slim beams of the heart, the veins
the scaffolding of the house. The heart.
Legs wide, and arms wide. The widest light. The man, the spreading angel.
Cross. Star.
The worlds are one. It is the spring. The landscapes are one.
The mountain is all the mountains. The stream
has swept all the world's water into one. The one rock rises.
The wind lies shining on the rock.
Stand, figure! Stand upon the future, while the past
and the present drop, nails
from your high hands and feet.
Stand, figure, and live, and live! While the future
swings and blazes upon the only landscape.
The new sun roars above. It is all the birds.
Stand, figure! All the flowers burst and roll upon the rocks.
It is the end. The heart is building. It is the beginning.
[39] Stand, figure, brown star, in the heart!

London. 1930.


All a large black summer's death dies in this one moment (this nought)
one afternoon. The sky, pearl in the shut shell, leans, sick asleep
down the slum to the slum. The rain's chains, without one sound sung
thin still chains, hang, hardly seen, locking London unlit.
Tearless, I prepare the leap up, newest, longest, most far
I crouch, one, struck, windless, fireless, heavy, heavy the wound
hoping not, speaking not, I knot the nameless muscle. O Life!
bend down, bend my bow, send my arrow high, now, not low, below.
I am my arrow. I have thick hearts to kill, that have killed me. Yet, I am.
I, still, am. Hurl me hard, high, and I will kill, and live, and still give life, O Life.

London. August 10th. 1930.

[End of God Save the King by Brian Howard]