In the cruel breasts of grecian statuary,
the oiled bodies of athletes, the arrogant
		awakeners of the flesh,
is Diotima: between flame and us
move the unspeculative masks, are cut
		the adamant friezes.

Plotinus on the waterfront saw souls
lighting the outward unreal mesh of trees
		and rooted hills: saw in
that darkly-sweeping spirit the bastion
of all tangible things, the whirlpool of the blood
		with the unknown.

Perfected forms - the coloured rock, the flower,
or the shot-silk of breasts - in these a soul
		dwells like a minotaur:
the spirit of the spiral, the ghost born
between earth and unattainable fire;
		and resting here.

So, in those sensual imaginings,
those mindless chiselled blocks, there is implied
		(higher than brain or blood)
that thought to which all beautiful belongs:
the ocean air, the godhead and the god
		- artesian things.

The flesh is innocent, the stone is chaste;
but in the absolute and behindward ghost
		the power and passion is.
The life of things is cruelty and lust:
girdled, we falter, in the adamant frieze
		of entities.

What dreams of porcelain majesty endure
the hands of angels, the soul's shattering bell?
		This is the iron hell,
the ineluctable bond of impure
power: if you are living, soul, you, you're
		my sensual shell.