Winter 1955 • Vol. XVII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1955 |

The Embarkation for Cythera

The picnic-goers beautified themselves And then set sail for Cythera, with jugs To keep their coffee hot, martinis cold, And hampers full of music. The water shone For them that day, and like a street of jewels Lay between their land and the island. Their cockle hull was pretty, white and gold As the Mozartëum, and their laughter picked Its way, nicely as tunes of proper jump, From port to starboard, gentlemen to ladies, And return. They played their cards right, whiling The day away by smiling and by thinking Of the times to come, the banquets in the grove On the antless island of that ancient idol Love, the girl who rose to be the pearl To deck them out. Thinking of her, each lady Fingered her necklace, and sweet music tattled From the spinet of her desire; each lord Touched at his sleeve for the ace he'd hidden there.

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