an embattled wall.
It was not new I think when Arthur was a king, and
plumèd knights before a British wall made brave
clangor of trumpets, that Launcelot came forth.
It was not new I think, and now not it but chivalry is
Without, the wall is brick, with slots for firing, and it
drops straightway into the evil moat, where offal
floats and nameless things are thrown.
Within, the wall is earth; it slants more gently down,
covered with grass and stubbly with cut weeds.
Below it in straw lairs the beggars herd, patiently
whining, stretching out their sores.
And on the top a path runs.
As I walk, lifted above the squalor and the dirt, the
timeless miracle of sunset mantles in the west,
The blue dusk gathers close
And beauty moves immortal through the land.
And I walk quickly, praying in my heart that beauty
will defend me, will heal up the too great wounds
I will not look--to-night I will not look--where at
my feet the little coffins are,
The boxes where the beggar children lie, unburied
I will not look again, for once I saw how one was
broken, torn by the sharp teeth of dogs. A little
tattered dress was there, and some crunched
I need not look. What can it help to look?
Ah, I am past!
And still the sunset glows.
The tall pagoda, like a velvet flower, blossoms against
the sky; the Sacred Mountain fades, and in the
town a child laughs suddenly.
I will hold fast to beauty! Who am I, that I should
die for these?
I will go down. I am too sorely hurt, here on the
Strangely the sight of you moves me.
I have no standard by which to appraise you; the outer
shell of you is all I know.
Yet irresistibly you draw me.
Your small plump body is closely clad in blue brocaded