Holy City of Byzantium

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Believing in Those Inexorable Laws

by Muriel Rukeyser (1913 – 1980)

Believing in those inexorable laws
After long rebellion and long discipline
I am cut down to the moment in all my flaws
Creeping to the feet of my master the sun
On the sea-beach, tides beaten by the moon woman,
And will not think of you, but lie at my full length
Among the great breakers. I find the clear outwater
Shine crash speaking of truth behind the law.

The many following waves turn into you.
I see in vision that northern bay: pines, villages,
And the flat water suddenly rears up
The high wave races against all edicts, taller,
Finally powerful. Water becomes your mouth,
And all laws all polarities your truth.

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