Jan Pieters Sweelink. The quaint name of the old Dutch musician makes all beauty seem quaint and far. I hear his variations for the clavichord on an old air: Youth has an end. In the vague mist of old sounds a faint point of light appears: the speech of the soul is about to be heard. Youth has an end: the end is here. It will never be. You know that well. What then? Write it, damn you, write it! What else are you good for?

'Why?'
'Because otherwise I could not see you.'
Sliding-space-ages-foliage of stars-and waning heaven-stilness-and stilness deeper-stilness of annihilation-and her voice.

Non hunc sed Barabbam!

Unreadiness. A bare apartment. Torbid daylight. A long black piano: coffin of music. Poised on its edge a woman's hat, red-flowered, and umbrella, furled. Her arms: casque, gules, and blunt spear on a field, sable.

Envoy: Love me, love my umbrella.

illustration