by Ezra Pound
[from Personæ, 1926]
What if I know thy speeches word by word?
And if thou knew’st I knew them wouldst thou speak?
What if I know thy speeches word by word,
And all the time thou sayest them o’er I said,
“Lo, one there was who bent her fair bright head,
Sighing as thou dost through the golden speech.”
Or, as our laughters mingle each with each,
As crushed lips take their respite fitfully,
What if my thoughts were turned in their mid reach
Whispering among them, “The fair dead
Must know such moments, thinking on the grass;
On how white dogwoods murmured overhead
In the bright glad days!”
How if the low dear sound within thy throat
Hath as faint lute-strings in its dim accord
Dim tales that blind me, running one by one
With times told over as we tell by rote;
What if I know thy laughter word by word
Nor find aught novel in thy merriment?