I: THE MOTOR: 1905
From hedgerows where aromas fain would be
New volleyed odours execrably arise;
The flocks, with hell-smoke in their patient eyes,
Into the ditch from bawling ruin flee:
Spindrift of one abominated sea
Along all roads in wrecking fury flies
Till on young strangled leaf, on bloom that dies,
In this far plot it writes a rune for me.
Vast intimate tyranny! Nature dispossessed
Helplessly hates thee, whose symbolic flare
Lights up (with what reiterance unblest!)
Entrails of horror in a world thought fair.
False God of pastime thou, vampire of rest,
Augur of what pollution, what despair?
Louise Imogen Guiney, “Despotisms” from Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney. Copyright 1927 and renewed © 1955 by Grace Guiney. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Source: Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005)