The Anabasis

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In Mem. L. N. L. Ob. MCMXXXII

Noble beyond degree
In a democracy:
Slight woman whose spent grace
Banishes their vision
To the thin trackless air,
Stop now upon the stair
As they have seen you do
Meridional and true,
And with nut-brown hair
Restore location
To them now blinded quite
By the grave s after-light,
For unless it be done
The slave heart all alone
Strives tunelessly
To go where you are gone-
Whether to vaults of air,
Imponderable nowhere,
Or the reducing sea-
The regions that are fair
Beyond heart's mastery.
They try your form to see
(Its lineless agony)
In our philosophy
Which stops, as cold and bare
As headless hair,
As lifeless as your bones,
Obtuse as meadow stones:
Re-corporated be!
(They cry you in despair)
Lest we, a blind race,
Imitate mortality
For all our living's pace,
And drawn into the bliss
Of your dispersed face
Should join, before our place,
Death's long anabasis.

© Allen Tate