CANTOS XLV – Ezra Pound

With Usura
With usura hath no man a house of good stone
each block cut smooth and well fitting that delight might cover their face,
with usura
hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
harpes et luthes
or where virgin receiveth message
and halo projects from incision,
with usura
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but it is made to sell and sell quickly
with usura, sin against nature,
is thy bread ever more of stale rags
is thy bread dry as paper,
with no mountain wheat, no strong flour


with usura the line grows thick
with usura is no clear demarcation
and no man can find site for his dwelling.
stone cutter is kept from his stone
weaver is kept from his loom WITH USURA
wool comes not to market
sheep bringeth no gain with usura
Usura is a murrain,
usura blunteth the needle in the maid’s hand
and stoppeth the spinner’s cunning.


Pietro Lombardo came not by usura
Duccio came not by usura nor Pier della Francesca;
Zuan Bellin‘ not by usura
nor was “La Callunia” painted.
Came not by usura Angelico;
came not Ambrogio Praedis,
No church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.
Not by usura St. Trophime
Not by usura Saint Hilaire,
Usura rusteth the chisel
It rusteth the craft and the craftsman
It gnaweth the thread in the loom
None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;
Azure hath a canker by usura;
cramoisi is unbroidered
Emerald findeth no Memling
Usura slayeth the child in the womb
It stayeth the young man’s courting
It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth
between the young bride and her bridegroom
CONTRA NATURAM
They have brought whores for Eleusis
Corpses are set to banquet
at behest of usura.

(Canto LXV Ezra Pound)

http://lighthousemeru.blogspot.com/2009/09/ezra-pound-with-usura.html

Fotnoter:

Usura

Usury is the charging of interest in excess of that allowed by law. Under God’s Law, no interest at all is allowed. Even 1% interest is considered usury. Extra charge for buying something “on time” is usury.
Man’s laws are in direct opposition to God’s Laws, because they usually allow charging of interest.

harpes et luz

From the poem “Testament”, a ballad to his mother, by the French poet Francois Villon, at a time when she speaks of seeing paradise written on the walls of the chapel.
A pitful poor women, shrunk and old, I am, and nothing learn’d in letter-lore. Within my parish-cloister I behold A painted heaven where harps and lutes adore, And eke an Hell whose damned folk seethe full sore: One bringeth fear, the other joy, to me.
(Trans. by Rossetti)

Gonzaga

(gοntsä´gä) Italian princely house that ruled Mantua (1328–1708), Montferrat (1536–1708), and Guastalla (1539–1746). The family name is derived from the castle of Gonzaga, a village near Mantua. Luigi Gonzaga, 1267–1360, became captain general of Mantua in 1328. The power of his descendants grew in the 14th cent., and in 1433, Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund made Gian Francesco Gonzaga, 1395–1444, marquis of Mantua. His grandson, Francesco Gonzaga, 1466–1519, married Isabella d’Este. At the outset of the Italian Wars, in which Spain and France vied for control of Italy, he led the allied troops that defeated (1495) King Charles VIII of France at Fornovo. In order to preserve the independence of Mantua, Francesco fought in turn for Venice, for the French, and for Pope Julius II. The court of Mantua, long a center of the arts and letters, was particularly brilliant under Francesco and Isabella. Their son and successor, Federico or Federigo Gonzaga, 1500–1540, was made (1530) duke of Mantua by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. In 1536 he acquired Montferrat, which continued to be claimed by Savoy. His brother Ercole Gonzaga, 1505–63, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, was long regent of the duchy. He furthered learning and the arts and presided (1562–63) over the Council of Trent. A younger brother, Ferrante Gonzaga, 1507–57, was generalissimo of Charles V in Italy, France, and Flanders. He acquired (1539) the county of Guastalla, which remained with his direct descendants until their extinction in 1746; in 1748 it was annexed to the duchy of Parma. In 1627 the senior male line of the older branch, ruling Mantua and Montferrat, became extinct. A cadet line, established in France, had succeeded, by marriage, to the duchies of Nevers or Nivernais and Rethel and in 1627 began to claim the succession to Mantua and Montferrat, which were strategically located on the Lombard plain near the Alpine passes. Its claim was strengthened by the marriage of Maria Gonzaga, sole heiress of the senior line, to Charles de Rethel, son of the duke of Nevers. France supported the Nevers branch, while Hapsburg Spain and Austria, anxious lest France gain a foothold in N Italy, supported the claims of the Guastalla branch. War between France and Spain broke out over the contested succession. The Nevers branch ultimately won with the signing of the Treaty of Cherasco (1631) and ruled Mantua and Montferrat until it in turn became extinct (1708) during the War of the Spanish Succession. Hapsburg Austria then annexed Mantua, and Savoy annexed Montferrat.

Concubine

A woman who does not come with a dowry. Concubines are usually slave-wives or gift-wives. Under God’s Law, she has the same rights as a man’s free wives.