Elinor Morton Wylie

(7 September 1885 – 16 December 1928 / Somerville, New Jersey)

Bronze Trumpets and Sea Water - On Turning Latin into English


Alembics turn to stranger things
Strange things, but never while we live
Shall magic turn this bronze that sings
To singing water in a sieve.

The trumpets of Cæsar's guard
Salute his rigorous bastions
With ordered bruit; the bronze is hard
Though there is silver in the bronze.

Our mutable tongue is like the sea,
Curled wave and shattering thunder-fit;
Dangle in strings of sand shall he
Who smoothes the ripples out of it.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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