Horatian Epode To The Duchess Of Malfi

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Duchess: Who am I?
Bosola: Thou art a box of worm-seed, at best but a
salvatory of green mummy.

The stage is about to be swept of corpses.
You have no more chance than an infusorian
Lodged in a hollow molar of an eohippus.
Come, now, no prattle of remergence with the
ovtws ov.(Greek word)

As (the form requires the myth)
A Greek girl stood once in the prytaneum
Of Carneades, hearing mouthings of Probability,
Then mindful of love dashed her brain on a megalith

So you, O nameless Duchess who die young,
Meet death somewhat lovingly
And I am filled with a pity of beholding skulls.
There was no pride like yours.

Now considerations of the void coming after
Not changed by the "strict gesture" of your death
Split the straight line of pessimism
Into two infinities.

It is moot whether there be divinities
As I finish this play by Webster:
The street-cars are still running however
And the katharsis fades in the warm water of a yawn.

© Allen Tate