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ISLAND DISCOURSE
From his gruff generous tree
Ariel will not surely sing
or lightly shower upon their love
such blessing as may best remove
love’s wounds from love’s felt misery.
His gracious providential wing
ranges the island’s any wind;
he goes to find, he has not found,
power to command but yet be loved.
Miranda and her boy must take
what health they may at play while shores
to shore drift fickle images,
not knowing innocence outrages
innate proprieties; they shake
from Prospero unaccustomed tears.
His farce abjured, may he defend
youngsters from powers they offend,
which cannot bless because unloved?
Be with them, sprite. Attempt their dream,
your music stay their company,
your sleight of hand persuade their hands,
your nature dance in their pretends
until the wiles of be and seem
make common cause to trundle by
days, weeks, at hand. And then, be gone.
Their fact and symbol are made one:
but what commends them to be loved?
                                                                  no. 27....47
Editor's note
Island Discourse : first published in The Blind Mountain; the characters referred to are from Shakespeare’s The Tempest; see also ‘The Knife Edge’
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