Dream Song 126: A Thurn

A Thurn

Among them marble where the man may lie
lie chieftains grand in final phase, or pause,
'O rare Ben Jonson',
dictator too, & the thinky other Johnson,
dictator too, backhanders down of laws,
men of fears, weird & sly.

Not of these least is borne to rest.
If grandeur & mettle prompted his lone journey
neither oh crowded shelved
nor this slab I celebrates attest
his complex slow fame forever (more or less).
I imagine the Abbey

among their wonders will be glad of him
whom some are sorry for his griefs across the world
grievously understated
and grateful for that bounty, for bright whims
of heavy mind across the tiresome world
which the tiresome world debated, complicated.

by John Berryman

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