The cantos of ezra pound [from The Cantos of Ezra Pound (1972)]

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3341 aforesaid room as saw the aforesaid Lord Doge and as it

3342 were all the Venetians and other folk who were in

3343 Venice that day that concurred all for this as it were

3344 miraculous sight. And one of the animals is a male

3345 and the other two female

3346 I John Marchesini Ducal notary of the

3347 Venetians as eyewitness saw the

3348 nativity of these animals thus by

3349 mandate of the said Doge wrote this

3350 and put it in file.

3351 Also a note from Pontius Pilate dated the "year 33."

3352 Two columns (a. d. 1323) for the church of St. Nicholas of the

3353 palace 12 lire gross.

3354 To the procurators of St. Marc for entrance to the

3355 palace, for gilding the images and the lion over the door

3356 ... to be paid ...

3357 Be it enacted:

3358 to Donna Sorantia Soranzo that she come for the

3359 feast of Ascension by night in a covered boat and

3360 alight at the ripa del Palazzo, and when first sees the

3361 Christblood go at once up into the Palace and may

3362 stay in the Palace VIII days to visit the Doge her

3363 father not in that time leaving the palace, nor

3364 descending the palace stair and when she descends it

3365 that she return by night the boat in the like manner

[Page 117]
3366 being covered. To be revoked at the council's pleasure.

3367 accepted by 5 of the council

3368 1335. 3 lire 15 groats to stone for making a lion.

3369 1340. Council of the lords noble, Marc Erizio

3370 Nic. Speranzo, Tomasso Gradonico:

3371 that the hall

3372 be new built over the room of the night watch

3373 and over the columns toward the canal where the walk is ...

3374 ... because of the stink of the dungeons. 1344.

3375 1409... since the most serene Doge can scarce

3376 stand upright in his bedroom ...

3377 vadit pars, two gross lire

3378 stone stair, 1415, for pulchritude of the palace

3379 254 da parte

3380 de non 23

3381 4 non sincere

3382 Which is to say: they built out over the arches

3383 and the palace hangs there in the dawn, the mist,

3384 in that dimness,

3385 or as one rows in from past the murazzi

3386 the barge slow after moon-rise

3387 and the voice sounding under the sail.

3388 Mist gone.

3389 And Sulpicia

3390 green shoot now, and the wood

3391 white under new cortex

3392 "as the sculptor sees the form in the air

3393 before he sets hand to mallet,

3394 "and as he sees the in, and the through,

3395 the four sides

3396 "not the one face to the painter

3397 As ivory uncorrupted:

3398 "Pone metum Cerinthe"
[Page 118]
3399 Lay there, the long soft grass,

3400 and the flute lay there by her thigh,

3401 Sulpicia, the fauns, twig-strong,

3402 gathered about her;

3403 The fluid, over the grass

3404 Zephyrus, passing through her,

3405 "deus nec laedit amantes."

3406 Hic mihi dies sanctus;

3407 And from the stone pits, the heavy voices,

3408 Heavy sound:

3409 "Sero, sero ...

3410 "Nothing we made, we set nothing in order,

3411 "Neither house nor the carving,

3412 "And what we thought had been thought for too long;

3413 "Our opinion not opinion in evil

3414 "But opinion borne for too long.

3415 "We have gathered a sieve full of water."

3416 And from the comb of reeds, came notes and the chorus

3417 Moving, the young fauns: Pone metum,

3418 Metum, nec deus laedit.

3419 And as after the form, the shadow,

3420 Noble forms, lacking life, that bolge, that valley

3421 the dead words keeping form,

3422 and the cry: Civis Romanus.

3423 The clear air, dark, dark,

3424 The dead concepts, never the solid, the blood rite,

3425 The vanity of Ferrara;

3426 Clearer than shades, in the hill road

3427 Springing in cleft of the rock: Phaethusa

3428 There as she came among them,

3429 Wine in the smoke-faint throat,

3430 Fire gleam under smoke of the mountain,

3431 Even there by meadows of Phlegethon
[Page 119]
3432 And against this the flute: pone metum.

3433 Fading, that they carried their guts before them,

3434 And thought then, the deathless,

3435 Form, forms and renewal, gods held in the air,

3436 Forms seen, and then clearness,

3437 Bright void, without image, Napishtim,

3438 Casting his gods back into the vous.

3439 "as the sculptor sees the form in the air ...

3440 "as glass seen under water,

3441 "King Otreus, my father ...

3442 and saw the waves taking form as crystal,

3443 notes as facets of air,

3444 and the mind there, before them, moving,

3445 so that notes needed not move.

3446 ... side toward the piazza, the worst side of the room

3447 that no one has been willing to tackle,

3448 and do it as cheap or much cheaper ...

3449 (signed) Tician, 31 May 1513

3450 It being convenient that there be an end to

3451 the painting of Titian, fourth frame from the door on

3452 the right of the hall of the greater council, begun

3453 by maestro Tyciano da Cadore since its being thus

3454 unfinished holds up the decoration of said hall on

3455 the side that everyone sees. We

3456 move that by authority of this Council maestro Tyciano

3457 aforesaid be constrained to finish said canvas,

3458 and if he have not, to lose the expectancy of the

3459 brokerage on the Fondamenta delli Thodeschi

3460 and moreover to restore all payments recd. on account of

3461 said canvas. 11 Aug. 1522

3462 Ser Leonardus Emo, Sapiens Consilij:

3463 Ser Philippus Capello, Sapiens Terrae Firmae:

[Page 120]
3464 In 1513 on the last day of May was conceded to

3465 Tician of Cadore painter a succession to a brokerage

3466 on the Fondamenta dei Thodeschi, the first to be vacant

3467 In 1516 on the 5th. of december was declared that

3468 without further waiting a vacancy he shd. enter that

3469 which had been held by the painter Zuan Bellin on

3470 condition that he paint the picture of the land battle

3471 in the Hall of our Greater Council on the side toward

3472 the piazza over the Canal Grande, the which Tician after

3473 the demise of Zuan Bellin entered into possession of the

3474 said Sensaria and has for about twenty years profited by

3475 it, namely to about 100 ducats a year not including the

3476 18 to 20 ducats taxes yearly remitted him it being

3477 fitting that as he has not worked he should not have

3478 the said profits WHEREFORE

3479 be it moved that the said

3480 Tician de Cadore, pictor, be by authority of this Council

3481 obliged and constrained to restore to our government all the

3482 moneys that he has had from the agency during the time he

3483 has not worked on the painting in the said

3484 hall as is reasonable

3485 ayes 102, noes 38, 37 undecided

3486 register of the senate

3487 terra 1537, carta 136.

[Page 121]


3488 And

3489 I came here in my young youth

3490 and lay there under the crocodile

3491 By the column, looking East on the Friday,

3492 And I said: Tomorrow I will lie on the South side

3493 And the day after, south west.

3494 And at night they sang in the gondolas

3495 And in the barche with lanthorns;

3496 The prows rose silver on silver

3497 taking light in the darkness. "Relaxetur!"

3498 11th. December 1461: that Pasti be let out

3499 with a caveat

3500 "caveat ire ad Turchum, that he stay out of

3501 Constantinople

3502 "if he hold dear our government's pleasure.

3503 "The book will be retained by the council

3504 (the book being Valturio's Militari ").

3505 To Nicolo Segundino, the next year, 12th. October

3506 "Leave no ... omnem ... as they say ... volve lapidem ...

3507 "Stone unturned that he, Pio,

3508 "Give peace to the Malatesta.

3509 "Faithful sons (we are) of the church

3510 (for two pages) ...

3511 "And see all the cardinals and the nephew ...

3512 "And in any case get the job done.

3513 "Our galleys were strictly neutral

3514 "And sent there for neutrality.

3515 "See Borso in Ferrara."

[Page 122]

3516 To Bernard Justinian, 28th. of October:

3517 "Segundino is to come back with the news

3518 "Two or three days after you get this."

3519 Senato Secreto, 28th of October,

3520 Came Messire Hanibal from Cesena:

3521 "Cd. they hoist the flag of St. Mark

3522 "And have Fortinbras and our army?"

3523 "They cd. not ... but on the quiet, secretissime,

3524 "Two grand ... Sic: He may have

3525 "Two thousand ducats; himself to hire the men

3526 "From our army."

3527 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3528 ... 8 barrels wine, to Henry of Inghilterra ...

3529 Tin, serges, amber to go by us to the Levant,

3530 Corfu, and above Corfu ...

3531 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3532 And hither came Selvo, doge,

3533 that first mosiac'd San Marco,

3534 And his wife that would touch food but with forks,

3535 Sed aureis furculis, that is

3536 with small golden prongs

3537 Bringing in, thus, the vice of luxuria;

3538 And to greet the doge Lorenzo Tiepolo,

3539 Barbers, heads covered with beads,

3540 Furriers, masters in rough,

3541 Master pelters for fine work,

3542 And the masters for lambskin

3543 With silver cups and their wine flasks

3544 And blacksmiths with the gonfaron

3545 et leurs fioles chargies de vin,

3546 The masters of wool cloth

3547 Glass makers in scarlet

3548 Carrying fabrefactions of glass;

[Page 123]
3549 25th April the jousting,

3550 The Lord Nicolo Este,

3551 Ugaccion dei Contrarini,

3552 The Lord Francesco Gonzaga, and first

3553 The goldsmiths and jewelers' company

3554 Wearing pellande of scarlet,

3555 the horses in cendato---

3556 And it cost three ducats to rent any horse

3557 For three hundred and fifty horses, in piazza,

3558 And the prize was a collar with jewels

3559 And these folk came on horses to the piazza

3560 In the last fight fourteen on a side,

3561 And the prize went to a nigger from Mantua

3562 That came with Messire Gonzaga.

3563 And that year ('38) they came here

3564 Jan. 2. The Marquis of Ferrara

3565 mainly to see the greek Emperor,

3566 To take him down the canal to his house,

3567 And with the Emperor came the archbishops:

3568 The Archbishop of Morea Lower

3569 And the Archbishop of Sardis

3570 And the Bishops of Lacedæmon and of Mitylene,

3571 Of Rhodos, of Modon Brandos,

3572 And the Archbishops of Athens, Corinth, and of Trebizond,

3573 The chief secretary and the stonolifex.

3574 And came Cosimo Medici "almost as a Venetian to Venice"

3575 (That would be four days later)

3576 And on the 25th, Lord Sigismundo da Rimini

3577 For government business

3578 And then returned to the camp.

3579 And in February they all packed off

3580 To Ferrara to decide on the holy ghost

3581 And as to the which begat the what in the Trinity.---

3582 Gemisto and the Stonolifex,

[Page 124]
3583 And you would have bust your bum laughing

3584 To see the hats and beards of those greeks.

3585 And the guild spirit was declining.

3586 Te fili Dux, tuosque successores

3587 Aureo anulo, to wed the sea as a wife;

3588 for beating the Emperor Manuel,

3589 eleven hundred and seventy six.

3590 1175 a. d. first bridge in Rialto.

3591 "You may seal your acts with lead, Signor Ziani."

3592 The jewelers company had their furs lined with scarlet

3593 And silk cloth for the horses,

3594 A silk cloth called cendato

3595 That they still use for the shawls;

3596 And at the time of that war against Hungary

3597 Uncle Carlo Malatesta, three wounds.

3598 Balista, sword and a lance wound;

3599 And to our general Pandolfo, three legates,

3600 With silk and with silver,

3601 And with velvet, wine and confections, to keep him---

3602 Per animarla --- in mood to go on with the fighting.

3603 "That are in San Samuele (young ladies)

3604 are all to go to Rialto

3605 And to wear yellow kerchief, as are also

3606 Their matrons (ruffiane)."

3607 "Ambassador, for his great wisdom and money,

3608 "That had been here as an exile, Cosimo

3609 "Pater."

3610 "Lord Luigi Gonzaga, to be given Casa Giustinian."

3611 "Bishops of Lampascus and Cyprus

3612 "And other fifty lords bishops

3613 that are the church of the orient."
[Page 125]
3614 March 8, "That Sigismundo left Mantua

3615 Ill contented ...

3616 And they are dead and have left a few pictures.

3617 "Albizi have sacked the Medici bank."

3618 "Venetians may stand, come, depart with their families

3619 Free by land, free by sea

3620 in their galleys,

3621 Ships, boats, and with merchandise.

3622 2% on what's actually sold. No tax above that.

3623 Year 6962 of the world

3624 18th. April, in Constantinople."

3625 Wind on the lagoon, the south wind breaking roses.

3626 Illmo ac exmo (eccellentissimo) princeps et dno

3627 Lord, my lord in particular, Sforza:

3628 In reply to 1st ltr of yr. ldshp

3629 re matr of horses, there are some for sale here.

3630 I said that I hdn't. then seen 'em all thoroughly.

3631 Now I may say that I have, and think

3632 There are eleven good horses and almost that number

3633 Of hacks that might be used in necessity,

3634 To be had at a reasonable price.

3635 It is true that there are X or XI big horses

3636 from 80 to 110 ducats

3637 That seem to me dearer at the price

3638 Than those for 80 ducats and under

3639 And I think that if yr. ldsp wd. send from

3640 1000 ducats to one thousand 500 it cd. be spent

3641 On stuff that wd. suit yr. Ldp quite well.

3642 Please Y. L. to answer quickly

3643 As I want to take myself out of here,

3644 And if you want me to buy them

3645 Send the cash by Mr. Pitro the farrier

3646 And have him tell me by mouth or letter
[Page 126]
3647 What yr. ldp wants me to buy.

3648 Even from 80 ducats up there are certain good horses.

3649 I have nothing else to say to your Lordship

3650 Save my salutations.

3651 Given Bologna, 14th. of August 1453

3652 Servant of yr. Illustrious Lordship


3654 1462, 12th December: "and Vittor Capello

3655 Brought also the head of St. George the Martyr

3656 From the Island of Siesina.

3657 This head was covered with silver and

3658 Taken to San Giorgio Maggiore.

3659 To the Cardinal Gonzaga of Mantua, ultimo febbraio 1548

3660 "26th of feb. was killed in this city

3661 Lorenzo de Medicis. Yr. Illus Ldshp will understand

3662 from the enc. account how the affair is said to have

3663 gone off. They say those who killed him have certainly

3664 got away in a post boat with 6 oars. But they don't

3665 know which way they have gone, and as a guard may

3666 have been set in certain places and passes, it wd.

3667 be convenient if yr. Ills Ldshp wd. write at once

3668 to your ambassador here, saying among other things

3669 that the two men who killed Lorenzino have passed through

3670 the city of Mantua and that no one knows which

3671 way they have gone. Publishing this information

3672 from yr. Ldshp will perhaps help them to get free.

3673 Although we think they are already in Florence, but

3674 in any case this measure can do no harm. So that

3675 yr. Ldshp wd. benefit by doing it quickly and even

3676 to have others send the same news.

3677 May Our Lord protect yr. Ills and most Revnd person

3678 with the increase of state you desire.

3679 Venice, last of Feb. 1548

3680 I kiss the hands of yr. Ill. Ldshp

3681 Don In. Hnr. de Mendoça
[Page 127]
3682 To the Marquis of Mantova, Fran° Gonzaga

3683 Illustrious my Lord, during the past few days

3684 An unknown man was brought to me by some others

3685 To see a Jerusalem I have made, and as soon as he

3686 saw it he insisted that I sell it him, saying it

3687 gave him the gtst. content and satisfactn

3688 Finally the deal was made and he took it away,

3689 without paying and hasn't since then appeared.

3690 I went to tell the people who had brought him, one

3691 of whom is a priest with a beard that wears a

3692 grey berettino whom I have often seen with you in

3693 the hall of the gtr. council and I asked him the

3694 fellow's name, and it is a Messire Lorenzo, the

3695 painter to your Lordship, from which I have easily

3696 understood what he was up to, and on that account

3697 I am writing you, to furnish you my name and the

3698 work's. In the first place illustrious m. lord, I am

3699 that painter to the Seignory, commissioned to paint the

3700 gt. hall where Yr. Lordship deigns to mount

3701 on the scaffold to see our work, the history of Ancona,

3702 and my name is Victor Carpatio.

3703 As to the Jerusalem I dare say there is not another

3704 in our time as good and completely perfect, or as

3705 large. It is 25 ft. long by 5 1/2, and I know Zuane

3706 Zamberti has often spoken of it to yr. Sublimity; I

3707 know certainly that this painter of yours has carried

3708 off a piece, not the whole of it. I can send you

3709 a small sketch in aquarelle on a roll, or have it

3710 seen by good judges and leave the price to your

3711 Lordship.

3712 XV. Aug 1511, Venetijs.

3713 I have sent a copy of

3714 this letter by another way to be sure you get one or the other.

3715 The humble svt. of yr. Sublimity

3716 Victor Carpathio

3717 pictore.

[Page 128]
3718 To the supreme pig, the archbishop of Salzburg:

3719 Lasting filth and perdition.

3720 Since your exalted pustulence is too stingy

3721 To give me a decent income

3722 And has already assured me that here I have nothing to hope

3723 And had better seek fortune elsewhere;

3724 And since thereafter you have

3725 Three times impeded my father and self intending departure

3726 I ask you for the fourth time

3727 To behave with more decency, and this time

3728 Permit my departure.

3729 Wolfgang Amadeus, august 1777

3730 (inter lineas)

3731 "As is the sonata, so is little Miss Cannabich."

[Page 129]


3732 Formando di disio nuova persona

3733 One man is dead, and another has rotted his end off

3734 Et quant au troisième

3735 Il est tombé dans le

3736 De sa femme, on ne le reverra

3737 Pas, oth fugol ouitbaer:

3738 "Observed that the paint was

3739 Three quarters of an inch thick and concluded,

3740 As they were being rammed through, the age of that

3741 Cruiser." "Referred to no longer as

3742 The goddamned Porta-goose, but as

3743 England's oldest ally." "At rests in calm zone

3744 If possible, the men are to be fed and relaxed,

3745 The officers on the contrary ..."

3746 Ten million germs in his face,

3747 "That is part of the risk and happens

3748 "About twice a year in tubercular research, Dr. Spahlinger ..."

3749 "J'ai obtenu" said M. Curie, or some other scientist

3750 "A burn that cost me six months in curing,"

3751 And continued his experiments.

3752 England off there in black darkness,

3753 Russia off there in black darkness,

3754 The last crumbs of civilization ...

3755 And they elected a Prince des Penseurs

3756 Because there were so damn many princes,

3757 And they elected a Monsieur Brisset

3758 Who held that man is descended from frogs;

3759 And there was a cracked concierge that they

3760 Nearly got into the Deputies,

3761 To protest against the earthquake in Messina.

3762 The Bucentoro sang it in that year,
[Page 130]
3763 1908, 1909, 1910, and there was

3764 An old washerwoman beating her washboard,

3765 That would be 1920, with a cracked voice,

3766 Singing "Stretti!" and that was the last

3767 Till this year, '27, Hotel Angioli, in Milan,

3768 With an air Clara d'Ellébeuse,

3769 With their lakelike and foxlike eyes,

3770 With an air "Benette joue la Valse des Elfes"

3771 In tile salotto of that drummer's hotel,

3772 Two young ladies with their air de province:

3773 "No, we are Croat merchants, commercianti,

3774 "There is nothing strange in our history."

3775 "No, not to sell, but to buy."

3776 And there was that music publisher,

3777 The fellow that brought back the shrunk Indian head

3778 Boned, oiled, from Bolivia, said:

3779 "Yes, I went out there. Couldn't make out the trade,

3780 Long after we'd melt up the plates,

3781 Get an order, 200 copies, Peru,

3782 Or some station in Chile."

3783 Took out Floradora in sheets,

3784 And brought back a red-headed mummy.

3785 With an air Clara d'Ellébeuse, singing "Stretti."

3786 Sed et universus quoque ecclesie populus,

3787 All rushed out and built the duomo,

3788 Went as one man without leaders

3789 And the perfect measure took form;

3790 "Glielmo ciptadin" says the stone," the author

3791 "And Nicolao was the carver"

3792 Whatever the meaning may be.

3793 And they wrote for year after year.

3794 Refining the criterion,

3795 Or they rose as the tops subsided;
[Page 131]
3796 Brumaire, Fructidor, Petrograd.

3797 And Tovarisch lay in the wind

3798 And the sun lay over the wind,

3799 And three forms became in the air

3800 And hovered about him,

3801 so that he said:

3802 This machinery is very ancient,

3803 surely we have heard this before.

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