Egyptian Poem

by Lawrence Durrell


And to-day death comes to the house.
To-day upon the waters, the sunset sail,
Death enters and the swallow's eye
Under the roof is no larger and darker
Than this scent of death.

A disciple crossed over by water.
The acorn was planted.
In the Ionian villa among the marble
The fountain plays the sea's piano,
And by the clock the geometric philosopher
Walks in white linen while death
Squats in the swallow's eye.

The dogs are muzzled. Lord,
See to the outer gate, our protection.
I rest between the born and the unborn.
The father, the mother, the baby unicorn
Intercede for me, attended the christening.
Exempt me.
I have friends in the underworld.