Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar

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Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar
by T. S. Eliot
Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar was first published in 1920 in T.S. Eliot's book Poems.

     Tra-la-la-la-la-la-laire--nil nisi divinum stabile
     est; caetera fumus--the gondola stopped, the old
     palace was there, how charming its grey and pink--
     goats and monkeys, with such hair too!--so the
     countess passed on until she came through the
     little park, where Niobe presented her with a
     cabinet, and so departed.

Burbank crossed a little bridge
Descending at a small hotel;
Princess Volupine arrived,
They were together, and he fell.

Defunctive music under sea
Passed seaward with the passing bell
Slowly: the God Hercules
Had left him, that had loved him well.

The horses, under the axletree
Beat up the dawn from Istria
With even feet. Her shuttered barge
Burned on the water all the day.

But this or such was Bleistein's way:
A saggy bending of the knees
And elbows, with the palms turned out,
Chicago Semite Viennese.

A lustreless protrusive eye
Stares from the protozoic slime
At a perspective of Canaletto.
The smoky candle end of time

Declines. On the Rialto once.
The rats are underneath the piles.
The jew is underneath the lot.
Money in furs. The boatman smiles,

Princess Volupine extends
A meagre, blue-nailed, phthisic hand
To climb the waterstair. Lights, lights,
She entertains Sir Ferdinand

Klein. Who clipped the lion's wings
And flea'd his rump and pared his claws?
Thought Burbank, meditating on
Time's ruins, and the seven laws.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1967, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.