Wednesday, November 12, 2008

741. On A Celtic Mask By Henry Moore - Horace Gregory

The burnished silver mask hangs in white air,
The eyes stick out, the lips raised in a smile:
Where eyes had been, the hawk-winged Hebrides,
Tall, weeping waves against their friendless shores,

Rain in small knives that cut the flesh away,
And Sun the sword that flashes from the sky:
Sea-lion-headed creatures stalk these islands,
And breed their young to stand before their graves.

A crying Magdalen sings from her grotto,
Precarious life-in-death between the waters ––
None see her breasts, flushed limbs and winding hair ––
The women hear her in the new moon's madness.