Monday, 2 February 2009

W. H. Auden - Sonnets from China: VII

He was their servant (some say he was blind),
Who moved among their faces and their things:
Their feeling gathered in him like a wind
And sang. They cried "It is a God that sings",

And honoured him, a person set apart,
Till he grew vain, mistook for personal song
The petty tremors of his mind or heart
At each domestic wrong.

Lines came to him no more; he had to make them
(With what precision was each strophe planned):
Hugging his gloom as peasants hug their land,

He stalked like an assassin through the town,
And glared at men because he did not like them,
But trembled if one passed him with a frown.

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