English poetry

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Dream Song 324: An Elegy for W. C. W., the lovely man

Henry in Ireland to Bill underground:
Rest well, who worked so hard, who made a good sound
Constantly, for so many years:
Your high-jinks delighted the continents & our ears:
You had so many girls your life was a triumph
And you loved your one wife.

At dawn you rose & wrote—the books poured forth—
You delivered infinite babies, in one great birth—
And your generosity
To juniors made you deeply loved, deeply:
If envy was a Henry trademark, he would envy you,
Especially the being through.

Too many journeys lie for him ahead,
Too many galleys & page-proofs to be read,
He would like to lie down
In your sweet silence, to whom was not denied
The mysterious late excellence which is the crown
Of our trials & our last bride.


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Poem Dream Song 324: An Elegy for W. C. W., the lovely man - John Berryman