English poetry

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Dream Song 29: There sat down, once, a thing

Dream Song 29: There sat down, once, a thing

There sat down, once, a thing on Henry’s heart
Só heavy, if he had a hundred years
& more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time
Henry could not make good.
Starts again always in Henry’s ears
The little cough somewhere, an odour, a chime.

And there is another thing he has in mind
Like a grave Sienese face a thousand years
Would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly,
With open eyes, he attends, blind.
All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears;
Thinking.

But never did Henry, as he thought he did,
End anyone and hacks her body up
And hide the pieces, where they may be found.
He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody’s missing.
Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing.



Poem Dream Song 29: There sat down, once, a thing - John Berryman