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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936). The New Poetry: An Anthology. 1917.

The Study in Aesthetics

By Ezra Pound

THE VERY small children in patched clothing,

Being smitten with an unusual wisdom,

Stopped in their play as she passed them

And cried up from their cobbles:

Guarda! Ahi, guarda! ch’e b’ea!

But three years after this

I heard the young Dante, whose last name I do not know—

For there are, in Sirmione, twenty-eight young Dantes and thirty-four Catulli;

And there had been a great catch of sardines,

And his elders

Were packing them in the great wooden boxes

For the market in Brescia, and he

Leapt about, snatching at the bright fish

And getting in both of their ways;

And in vain they commanded him to sta fermo!

And when they would not let him arrange

The fish in the boxes

He stroked those which were already arranged,

Murmuring for his own satisfaction

This identical phrase:

Ch’e b’ea.

And at this I was mildly abashed.