Unpublished poems and fragments from the first typescript:

To a Waterfowl


Two typescript pages, letter format. Undated.

One correction campaign: blue ball-point pen.

The poem was published in Locus Solus, Spring 1961.

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, “To a Waterfowl”

Page 1

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, “To a Waterfowl”

Page 2

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To a Waterfowl

Where, like a pillow on a bed
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude
Where through the Golden Coast, and groves of orange and citron
My genialAnd one clear call for medele
spirits failThen felt I like some watcher of the skies,dele
The desire of the moth for the star. And with thee fade away into the forest dimdele
When first the College Rolls receive his name.

If ought of oaten stop, or pastoral songdele
Not a flower to be pressed of the foot that falls not...dele
I have desired to godele
Too happy, happy tree
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan.
Our lingering parents, and to the Eastern Gatedele
Forget this rotten world, and unto thee
Go, for they call you, Shepherd, from the hill
And the eye travels down to Oxford's towers.

Calm was the day, and through the trembling air
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair
And she also to use newfangleness...
Why cannot the Ear be closed to its own destruction?
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Unaffected by "the march of events,"
Never until the mankind making
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
O death, O cover you over with roses and early lilies!
With loaded arms I come, pouring for you
Sunset and evening star
Where roses and white lilies grow.

Go, lovely rose,
This is no country for old men, The young
Midwinter spring is its own seasondele
And a few lilies blow. They that have power to hurt, and will do none.
Looking as if she were alive, I call.
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground.
Even as a child, of sorrow that we give
Of Walsingham . . .dele
Obscurest night involved the sky
When Loie Fuller with her Chinese veils
And many a nymph who wreathes her brow with sedge . . .
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
In drear-nighted December
Ripe apples drop about my head
Who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone
To throw that faint thin line upon the shore!
O well for the fisherman's boy, hedele
Conspiring with him how to load and bless.dele

Fra Pandolf's hand
Steady thy laden head across a brook...
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun

Fills the shadows and windy places
Here in the long unlovely street.dele
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The freezing stream below.
To know the change and feel it...
 Ah, what avails the sceptered race!dele
 I have desired to go.dele
Ah, what the form divine!dele
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere
Pressed her cold finger closer to her lips
Where the dead feet walked in.
She dwells with Beauty--Beauty that must die.
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street.