written by

« Reload image

To Arthur Mizener

Hit mus be now de Kingdom comiri
And de year of Jubilo . . .

Tail-spinning from the shelves of sky
See how it dips and tacks and tosses
To cast a beam in the mind's eye:
Who will count the gains and the losses
On the Day of Jubilo?

Public accountant with double entry
Enter in red war's final cast
In the black column the pacing sentry,
Old women picking the hogs' mast
For the Day of Jubilo

Lean to the crowded air and hear,
Eavesdropper, how it goes inside
Your own deaf and roaring ear:
Boys caress the machines they ride
On the Day of Jubilo

After the dry and sticking tongue
After our incivility
Who will inflate the poet's lung
Gone flat of this indignity
Till the Day of Jubilo?

Scholar, no dog will have your day
For all your capital's run out,
Wry baby in wet disarray-
Scholar, prepare your meagre clout
For the Day of Jubilo

Under the slip and slide of day
Think, at the end you'll never be
Trapped in a fox-hole of decay
Nor snip nor glide of history
After the Day of Jubilo

All our jubilant eyes are raised,
Jubilo. Over the barbican
On the great Day pure and dazed,
Empty of heart the empty man
Of the Day of Jubilo

Then for the Day of Jubilo
The patient bares his arm at dawn
To suck the blood's transfusing glow
And then when all the blood is gone
(For the Day of Jubilo)

Salt serum stays his arteries
Sly tide threading the ribs of sand,
Till his lost being dries, and cries
For that unspeakable salt land
Beyond the Day of Jubilo.

© Allen Tate