Lawrence Durrell
Elegy on the Closing of the French Brothels

(For Henry Miller and George Katsimbalis)
Last of the great autumnal capitals
Disengaging daily like a sword
The civil codes, behaviour, friendship, love,
In houses of shining glass,
On tablecloths stained with pools of light,
By the rambling river's evening scents
Carried our freight of pain so lightly:
And towards evening when the inkwells overturn
And at last the figure which has sat
Motionless for hours, pours himself out
One glass of moonlight, drinks it, and retires.

By the railway arches a stone plinth.
Under the shadows of the lamps the figures.
So many ways of dividing up the self:
Correspondences moving outwards along a line
Of nerves, the memory of letters
Smelling like apples in an empty cupboard,
And at midnight the pall of clocks,
At odds among themselves, the shuffling
Of innumerable packs of cards where each shall see
One day his face instead of fortune's be.

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@темы: d, 20, english-british, durrell, lawrence