Traffic with a Prince

So, in the Ancient Light, the puritanical Yank on holiday quickly ducks under the pub awning, the royal canopy... begins to blend lustily with the London scene... not without gestures toward some spacier Bluejay Commonwealth.  Foam on tap... (note the nod toward Bruegel picture, Adoration of the Magi, glanced at previously)...

from Ancient Light

       You descend out of your providential princedom
       like an ungainly duckling, marketing tidy judgements 
       on the world's pushed-in pussycat mews – dents
       in your fibrillated penal code – your bitterdom
       reigning down at Prince Eddy's pub.
       And a larger, darker sea roils around the scepter'd 
       specter in the Square.  An intercepted
       Empire pass floats into the end zone – aye,
       there's the rub: will ever pent-up copper pence 
       drift back up Nile, from whence they came? 
       Bluejay, hooded-eyed policeman of the air, hum 
       that undertone again – take up your residence
       in that pussy willow beyond this circle of fixed fears: 
       where Balthasar's honing his Baltic razor
       in a burg of unique scatterbrain-foaming peters 
       hoisting a green shell toward the little Czar
       with Everyman's burgled image poking through the hatch 
       and all the little chicks come chickling chuckling 
       trickling overboard, and Hen's right in there tickling 
       himself beardless into a seven-cornered hat to match;
       for it's busy as Byzantium in that juicy Rome 
       where Christ every Roman is roamin like no man 
       ever wanted to leave that little sofa-ship from Man 
       of Fools, and roll on, Muddy, roll! to Kingdom Come!
       Balthasar was a youngster once, and prodigal. 
       His wisdom's handed on – a bobbing tugboat 
       moored to the heartstrings by a moat
       in the wall of your eye.  So fly, little gal!
       – you're Magdalen in green, by van der 
       Weyden in the pool, reading again, afloat 
       again! – on the floor, rotating note
       by note – and it ain't Peter Pan!

The Magdalen Reading, Rogier van der Weyden (National Gallery)

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