No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness;
Slight are her arms, yet they have bound me straitly
And left me cloaked as with a gauze of æther;
As with sweet leaves; as with subtle clearness.
Oh, I have picked up magic in her nearness
To sheathe me half in half the things that sheathe her.
No, no! Go from me. I have still the flavour,
Soft as spring wind that’s come from birchen bowers.
Green come the shoots, aye April in the branches,
As winter’s wound with her sleight hand she staunches,
Hath of the trees a likeness of the savour:
As white as their bark, so white this lady’s hours.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ezra Pound's poem A Virginal


  1. Richard Banger says:

    All I heard was something about RAPE… you people are reading into it too much!

  2. Sheryl Skoglund says:

    No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
    I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,
    The poem speaks of a man asking a woman to leave him for he is in love with someone else. Then he describes her in detail.

  3. Coleman says:

    I think Pound must be using aether in the classical sense, the fine gas-like substance thought to fill up the space between the planets. Aether would be like air, but finer, less substantial, and more clear.

  4. Kim Kennedy says:

    Ether (aether) is an inhaled anesthetic. Though not in use any more (it is highly flammable), it was the most common anesthetic used at the time this poem was written. It’s vapors, when inhaled, causes a person to drift off to sleep and be numb or unaware of the goings on while under the influence. The author is talking about being veiled in the gauze of this vapor, making him powerless against it.

  5. throwaway says:

    Ether is like Ethl Alchohol. Aether is the all penetrating subsance of existance, i.e. what light through yonder window breaks is the sun, and the aether is the carrier through 90 million miles of empty space.

  6. Heather says:

    Ether. It’s a kind of intoxicating chemical fume.

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