Lay for the Day 15th
the British Museum, then located in Montague House, opens its doors to
the public for the first time.
Strange that classic grace
should end as totems
of our own fragmentary aesthetic.
No frieze to focus nor leg to stand on,
stripped by their falling, embedded in air
the goddess cant flee
from headless panic
through the torsos sprawled where her feet would run,
and man and man-horse combatants, sword-hands
broken off, never press home to the kill.
Hell for these heavenly lumps
is the snap-
shots steady flicking at their muscled stumps.
Poor immortals, reft of the dignity
their artful servants long since claimed, of graves,
they lounge with the permanence
of the damned
where a damp muse wanders in her raincoat.
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