Eclogue

Michael Hofmann

Industry undressing in front of Agriculture –
not a pretty sight. The subject for one
of those allegorical Victorian sculptures.
An energetic mismatch. But Pluto’s hell-holes
terminate in or around the flower-meadows
and orchards of Proserpine. Ceres’ poor daughter
is whisked away by the top-hatted manufacturer
on his iron horse ... Brick huts in the fields,
barred mine-entrances from the last century,
narrow-gauge railways, powdery cement-factories.
A quarry is an inverted cathedral: witchcraft,
a steeple of air sharpened and buried in the ground.
– All around these dangerous sites, sheep graze,
horned and bleating like eminent Victorians.