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Bronze Trumpets and Sea Water


Alembics turn to stranger things

Strange things, but never while we live

Shall magic turn this bronze that sings

To singing water in a sieve.


The trumpets of Caesar's guard

Salute his rigorous bastions

With ordered bruit; the bronze is hard

Though there is silver in the bronze.


Our mutable tongue is like the sea,

Curled wave and shattering thunder-fit;

Dangle in strings of sand shall he

Who smoothes the ripples out of it.


Elinor Wylie



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