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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

;! Fine ! Fine MOSES

;! Fine ! Fine MOSES Moses See, in my brain What madmen have rushed through And like a tornado Torn up the tight roots Of some dead universe : The old clay is broken For a power to soak in and knit It all into tougher tissues To hold life Pricking my nerves till the brain might crack It boils to my finger-tips, Till my hands ache to grip The hammer—the lone hammer That breaks lives into a road Through which my genius drives. Pharaoh well peruked and oiled, And your admirable pyramids, And your interminable procession Of crowded kings, You are my little fishing rods Wherewith I catch the fish To suit my hungry belly. I am rough now, and new, and will have no tailor. 55

! POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG Startlingly, As a mountain-side Wakes aware of its other side When from a cave a leopard comes, On its heels the same red sand, Springing with acquainted air, Sprang an intelligence Coloured as a whim of mine, Showed to my dull outer eyes The living eyes underneath. Did I not shrivel up and take the place of air, Secret as those eyes were, And those strong eyes call up a giant frame ? And I am that now. Pharaoh is sleek and deep ; And where his love for me is set—under The deeps, on their floor, or in the shallow ways, Though I have been as a diver—never yet Could I find. ... I have a way, a touchstone A small misdemeanour, touch of rebelliousness ; To prick the vein of father, monitor, foe, Will tell which of these his kingship is. If I shut my eyes to the edict, And leave the pincers to rust 56