Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Lorenzo’s Bas-relief for a Florentine Chest
By Marjorie Allen Seiffert
From “Two Designs”

LUST is the oldest lion of them all
And he shall have first place;
With a malignant growl satirical
To curve in foliations prodigal
Round and around his face,        5
Extending till the echoes interlace
With Pride and Prudence, two cranes gaunt and tall.
Four lesser lions crouch and malign the cranes.
Cursing and gossiping, they shake their manes,
While from their long tongues leak        10
Drops of thin venom as they speak:
The cranes, unmoved, peck grapes and grains
From a huge cornucopia, which rains
A plenteous meal from its antique
Interior, a note quite curiously Greek.        15
And nine long serpents twist
And twine, twist and twine—
A riotously beautiful design
Whose elements consist
Of eloquent spirals, fair and fine,        20
Embracing cranes and lions, who exist
Seemingly free, yet tangled in that living vine.
And in this chest shall be
Two cubic metres of space,
Enough to hold all memory        25
Of you and me…..
And this shall be the place
Where silence shall embrace
Our bodies, and obliterate the trace
Our souls made on the purity        30
Of night…..
            Now lock the chest, for we
Are dead, and lose the key!

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