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Prayer for His Lady’s Life
by Ezra Pound
[from Canzoni, first published in 1911]



     From Propertius, Elegiae, Lib. III, 26


Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,
Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness.
So many thousand beauties are gone down to Avernus,
Ye might let one remain above with us.

With you is Iope, with you the white-gleaming Tyro,
With you is Europa and the shameless Pasiphae,
And all the fair from Troy and all from Achaia,
From the sundered realms, of Thebes and of aged Priamus;
And all the maidens of Rome, as many as they were,
They died and the greed of your flame consumes them.

     Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,
     Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness.
     So many thousand fair are gone down to Avernus,
     Ye might let one remain above with us. 

 


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