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32 Works of Aldous Huxley

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The Gioconda Smile

Story type: Literature

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I “Miss Spence will be down directly, sir. ” “Thank you,” said Mr. Hutton, without turning round. Janet Spence’s parlourmaid was so ugly—ugly on purpose, it always seemed to him, malignantly, criminally ugly—that he could not bear to look at her more than was necessary. The door closed. Left to himself, Mr. Hutton got up […]

(From the French of Stephane Mallarme.) I would immortalize these nymphs: so brightTheir sunlit colouring, so airy light,It floats like drowsing down. Loved I a dream?My doubts, born of oblivious darkness, seemA subtle tracery of branches grownThe tree’s true self–proving that I have knownNo triumph, but the shadow of a rose.But think. These nymphs, their […]

The Louse-Hunters

Story type: Poetry

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(From the French of Rimbaud). When the child’s forehead, full of torments red,Cries out for sleep and its pale host of dreams,His two big sisters come unto his bed,Having long fingers, tipped with silvery gleams. They set him at a casement, open wideOn seas of flowers that stir in the blue airs,And through his curls, […]

Panic

Story type: Poetry

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The eyes of the portraits on the wallLook at me, follow me,Stare incessantly:I take it their glance means nothing at all?–Clearly, oh clearly! Nothing at all … Out in the gardens by the lakeThe sleeping peacocks suddenly wake;Out in the gardens, moonlit and forlorn,Each of them sounds his mournful horn:Shrill peals that waver and crack […]

Evenings in trains,When the little black twittering ghostsAlong the brims of cuttings,Against the luminous sky,Interrupt with their hurrying rumour every thoughtSave that one is young and setting,Headlong westering,And there is no recapture.

Books and a coloured skein of thoughts were mine;And magic words lay ripening in my soulTill their much-whispered music turned a wineWhose subtlest power was all in my control. These things were mine, and they were real for meAs lips and darling eyes and a warm breast:For I could love a phrase, a melody,Like a […]

I have run where festival was loudWith drum and brass among the crowdOf panic revellers, whose criesAffront the quiet of the skies;Whose dancing lights contract the deepInfinity of night and sleepTo a narrow turmoil of troubled fire.And I have found my heart’s desireIn beechen caverns that autumn fillsWith the blue shadowiness of distant hills;Whose luminous […]

While I have been fumbling over booksAnd thinking about God and the Devil and all,Other young men have been battling with the daysAnd others have been kissing the beautiful women.They have brazen faces like battering-rams.But I who think about books and such–I crumble to impotent dust before the struggling,And the women palsy me with fear.But […]

We judge by appearance merely:If I can’t think strangely, I can at least look queerly.So I grew the hair so long on my headThat my mother wouldn’t know me,Till a woman in a night-club said,As I was passing by,“Hullo, here comes Salome …” I looked in the dirty gilt-edged glass,And, oh Salome; there I was–Positively […]

Social Amenities

Story type: Poetry

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I am getting on well with this anecdote,When suddenly I recallThe many times I have told it of old,And all the worked-up phrases, and the dying fallOf voice, well timed in the crisis, the noteOf mock-heroic ingeniously struck–The whole thing sticks in my throat,And my face all tingles and pricks with shameFor myself and my […]

Topiary

Story type: Poetry

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Failing sometimes to understandWhy there are folk whose flesh should seemLike carrion puffed with noisome steam,Fly-blown to the eye that looks on it,Fly-blown to the touch of a hand;Why there are men without any legs,Whizzing along on little trolliesWith long long arms like apes’:Failing to see why God the TopiaristShould train and carve and twistMen’s […]

On The Bus

Story type: Poetry

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Sitting on the top of the ‘bus,I bite my pipe and look at the sky.Over my shoulder the smoke streams outAnd my life with it.“Conservation of energy,” you say.But I burn, I tell you, I burn;And the smoke of me streams outIn a vanishing skein of grey.Crash and bump … my poor bruised body!I am […]

Private Property

Story type: Poetry

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All fly–yet who is misanthrope?–The actual men and things that passJostling, to wither as the grassSo soon: and (be it heaven’s hope,Or poetry’s kaleidoscope,Or love or wine, at feast, at mass)Each owns a paradise of glassWhere never a yearning heliotropePursues the sun’s ascent or slope;For the sun dreams there, and no time is or was. […]

Points And Lines

Story type: Poetry

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Instants in the quiet, small sharp stars,Pierce my spirit with a thrust whose speedBaffles even the grasp of time.Oh that I might reflect themAs swiftly, as keenly as they shine.But I am a pool of waters, summer-still,And the stars are mirrored across me;Those stabbing points of the skyTurned to a thread of shaken silver,A long […]

Minoan Porcelain

Story type: Poetry

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Her eyes of bright unwinking glazeAll imperturbable do notEven make pretences to regardThe justing absence of her stays,Where many a Tyrian gallipotExcites desire with spilth of nard.The bistred rims above the fardOf cheeks as red as bergamotAttest that no shamefaced delaysWill clog fulfilment, nor retardFull payment of the Cyprian’s praiseDown to the last remorseful jot.Hail […]

The Decameron

Story type: Poetry

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Noon with a depth of shadow beneath the treesShakes in the heat, quivers to the sound of lutes:Half shaded, half sunlit, a great bowl of fruitsGlistens purple and golden: the flasks of wineCool in their panniers of snow: silks muffle and shine:Dim velvet, where through the leaves a sunbeam shoots,Rifts in a pane of scarlet: […]

I am not one of those who sip,Like a quotidian bock,Cheap idylls from a languid lipPrepared to yawn or mock. I wait the indubitable word,The great Unconscious Cue.Has it been spoken and unheard?Spoken, perhaps, by you …?

(To J.S.) Still life, still life … the high-lights shineHard and sharp on the bottles: the wineStands firmly solid in the glasses,Smooth yellow ice, through which there passesThe lamp’s bright pencil of down-struck light.The fruits metallically gleam,Globey in their heaped-up bowl,And there are faces against the nightOf the outer room–faces that seemPart of this still, […]

A Little Memory

Story type: Poetry

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White in the moonlight,Wet with dew,We have known the languorOf being two. We have been wearyAs children are,When over them, radiant,A stooping star, Bends their Good-Night,Kissed and smiled:–Each was mother,Each was child. Child, from your foreheadI kissed the hair,Gently, ah, gently:And you were Mistress and motherWhen on your breastI lay so safelyAnd could rest.

Waking

Story type: Poetry

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Darkness had stretched its colour,Deep blue across the pane:No cloud to make night duller,No moon with its tarnish stain;But only here and there a star,One sharp point of frosty fire,Hanging infinitely farIn mockery of our life and deathAnd all our small desire. Now in this hour of wakingFrom under brows of stone,A new pale day […]

By The Fire

Story type: Poetry

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We who are lovers sit by the fire,Cradled warm ‘twixt thought and will,Sit and drowse like sleeping dogsIn the equipoise of all desire,Sit and listen to the stillSmall hiss and whisper of green logsThat burn away, that burn awayWith the sound of a far-off falling streamOf threaded water blown to steam,Grey ghost in the mountain […]

Valedictory

Story type: Poetry

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I had remarked–how sharply one observesWhen life is disappearing round the curvesOf yet another corner, out of sight!–I had remarked when it was “good luck” and “good night”And “a good journey to you,” on her faceCertain enigmas penned in the hieroglyphsOf that half frown and queer fixed smile and traceOf clouded thought in those brown […]

Love Song

Story type: Poetry

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Dear absurd child–too dear to my cost I’ve found–God made your soul for pleasure, not for use:It cleaves no way, but angled broad obtuse,Impinges with a slabby-bellied soundFull upon life, and on the rind of thingsRubs its sleek self and utters purr and snoreAnd all the gamut of satisfied murmurings,Content with that, nor wishes anything […]

The Elms

Story type: Poetry

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Fine as the dust of plumy fountains blowingAcross the lanterns of a revelling night,The tiny leaves of April’s earliest growingPowder the trees–so vaporously light,They seem to float, billows of emerald foamBlown by the South on its bright airy tide,Seeming less trees than things beatified,Come from the world of thought which was their home. For a […]

Out Of The Window

Story type: Poetry

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In the middle of countries, far from hills and sea,Are the little places one passes by in trainsAnd never stops at; where the skies extendUninterrupted, and the level plainsStretch green and yellow and green without an end.And behind the glass of their Grand ExpressFolk yawn away a province through,With nothing to think of, nothing to […]

Summer Stillness

Story type: Poetry

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The stars are golden instants in the deepFlawless expanse of night: the moon is set:The river sleeps, entranced, a smooth cool sleepSeeming so motionless that I forgetThe hollow booming bridges, where it slides,Dark with the sad looks that it bears along,Towards a sea whose unreturning tidesRavish the sighted ships and the sailors’ song.

Anniversaries

Story type: Poetry

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Once more the windless days are here,Quiet of autumn, when the yearHalts and looks backward and draws breathBefore it plunges into death.Silver of mist and gossamers,Through-shine of noonday’s glassy gold,Pale blue of skies, where nothing stirsSave one blanched leaf, weary and old,That over and over slowly fallsFrom the mute elm-trees, hanging on airLike tattered flags […]

The Alien

Story type: Poetry

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A petal drifted looseFrom a great magnolia bloom,Your face hung in the gloom,Floating, white and close. We seemed alone: but anotherBent o’er you with lips of flame,Unknown, without a name,Hated, and yet my brother. Your one short moan of painWas an exorcising spell:The devil flew back to hell;We were alone again.

I. UNDER THE TREES. There had been phantoms, pale-remembered shapesOf this and this occasion, sisterlyIn their resemblances, each effigyCrowned with the same bright hair above the nape’sWhite rounded firmness, and each body alertWith such swift loveliness, that very restSeemed a poised movement: … phantoms that impressedBut a faint influence and could bless or hurtNo more […]

Song Of Poplars

Story type: Poetry

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Shepherd, to yon tall poplars tune your flute:Let them pierce, keenly, subtly shrill,The slow blue rumour of the hill;Let the grass cry with an anguish of evening gold,And the great sky be mute. Then hearken how the poplar trees unfoldTheir buds, yet close and gummed and blind,In airy leafage of the mind,Rustling in silvery whispers […]

The Reef

Story type: Poetry

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My green aquarium of phantom fish,Goggling in on me through the misty panes;My rotting leaves and fields spongy with rains;My few clear quiet autumn days–I wish I could leave all, clearness and mistiness;Sodden or goldenly crystal, all too still.Yes, and I too rot with the leaves that fillThe hollows in the woods; I am grown […]

Winter Dream

Story type: Poetry

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Oh wind-swept towers,Oh endlessly blossoming trees,White clouds and lucid eyes,And pools in the rocks whose unplumbed blue is pregnantWith who knows what of subtletyAnd magical curves and limbs–White Anadyomene and her shallow breastsMother-of-pearled with light. And oh the April, April of straight soft hair,Falling smooth as the mountain water and brown;The April of little leaves […]