Last Days Of Alice


Alice grown lazy, mammoth but not fat,

Declines upon her lost and twilight age;

Above in the dozing leaves the grinning

Quivers forever with his abstract rage:

Whatever light swayed on the perilous

Forever sways, nor will the arching grass,

Caught when the world clattered,

In the deep suspension of the looking-glass.

Bright Alice! always pondering to

The spoiled cruelty she had meant to

Gazes learnedly down her airy

At nothing, nothing thinking all the day.

Turned absent-minded by

She cannot move unless her double move,

The All-Alice of the world's

Smashed in the anger of her hopeless love,

Love for herself who, as an earthly twain,

Pouted to join her two in a sweet one;

No more the second lips to kiss in

The first she broke, plunged through the glass alone—Alone to the weight of impassivity,

Incest of spirit, theorem of desire,

Without will as chalky cliffs by the

Empty as the bodiless flesh of fire:

All space, that heaven is a dayless night,

A nightless day driven by perfect

For vacancy, in which her bored

Stares at the drowsy cubes of human dust.—We too back to the world shall never

Through the shattered door, a dumb shade-harried

Being all infinite, function depth and

Without figure, a mathematical

Hurled at the air—blessed without sin!

O God of our flesh, return us to Your wrath,

Let us be evil could we enter

Your grace, and falter on the stony path!

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