1. Home
  2. Poems & Poets
  3. Browse Poems
  4. Et Quidquid Aspiciebam Mors Erat by Robert Fitzgerald
Et Quidquid Aspiciebam Mors Erat

Related Poem Content Details

“In this and whatever days to come   
The transparent world and its motions   
Compose a sheer void. How could   
That be removed upon which every   
Animate joy was founded? What   
Thrives now but the vile face of nature   
Made up by the sun to idiot glory?   
Let it sway and blow its intrinsic   
Monotony of vapors, seasons,   
Tumblebugs and blind men; let me   
Weep and curse those begetting fools,   
And honorably weep my life long.

“You would not cover me over   
With the dropping indecent clods,   
You sanctimonious bastards: take   
Such of my hatred as is left
When I have cursed the aspergent   
Water shaker with his stole, his   
Sotto voce Latin sing song;
You craving, self-important ghouls,   
Let me alone, or I will show you   
The savage green sprouting
Through the obscene holes of your eyes.

“Gone out of the air, not gone
Out of my nightly vision, yet
With desperate years to be corrupted   
There too, wasted, thinned
To the damned ghost of your convention—
You win in the end—he who was
So distinguished for patience,
For suffering, for valor,
Of such sensible pale fingers,   
A humorous, wise man.

“Hereby I curse this hard city   
And its whoring, golfing, political   
Poker-playing men, all those
Who were schoolfellows or friends   
In the old time, and never,
Though good churchgoers, visited him.   
And I engrave here my small blessing   
On that large silent decent one   
Who thought it friendliness to do so;   
Him and few others would I spare,   
But let the rest go rot in a worse   
Hell than even their own world is.   
Yet their unawareness is his grace,   
If grace be in this charnel progress:   
His ten-year sickroom I say
Shames with life their death forever,   
And all is death elsewhere.”

Robert Fitzgerald, “Et Quidquid Aspiciebam Mors Erat” from Spring Shade: Poems 1931-1970. Copyright © 1969 by Robert Fitzgerald. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: Spring Shade: Poems 1931-1970 (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1971)
Discover this poem's context and related poetry, articles, and media.
Et Quidquid Aspiciebam Mors Erat

Related Poem Content Details

Other Information