The Rope

Now money is the first of things
And after that the human heart
Which beats the time it can afford.
        What springs
     Of passion, what a smart
         Appearance, Lord!
And are these spiritual things?
They are. And we that are without
Have failed to use the currency
Correctly. For we have allowed
        A doubt
     About the things we see
        To sing aloud
And put our calculations out.
If the external is the hope
We have here, as I think it is,
We should respect it till we die.
        The slope
     Is steep, the precipice
        Is near. And I
Now know that money is the rope.

from Collected Poems (Carcanet , 1998). Recording from C H Sisson; Selected Poems (Canto, 1987, 2001), used by permission of Carcanet Press.

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