Momus is the name men give your face, The brag of its tone, like a long low steamboat whistle Finding a way mid mist on a shoreland, Where gray rocks let the salt water shatter spray Against horizons purple, silent.
Yes, Momus, Men have flung your face in bronze To gaze in gargoyle downward on a street-whirl of folk. They were artists did this, shaped your sad mouth, Gave you a tall forehead slanted with calm, broad wisdom; All your lips to the corners and your cheeks to the high bones Thrown over and through with a smile that forever wishes and wishes, purple, silent, fled from all the iron things of life, evaded like a sought bandit, gone into dreams, by God.
I wonder, Momus, Whether shadows of the dead sit somewhere and look with deep laughter On men who play in terrible earnest the old, known, solemn repetitions of history.
A droning monotone soft as sea laughter hovers from your kindliness of bronze, You give me the human ease of a mountain peak, purple, silent; Granite shoulders heaving above the earth curves, Careless eye-witness of the spawning tides of men and women Swarming always in a drift of millions to the dust of toil, the salt of tears, And blood drops of undiminishing war.