iambic, even as that flow is encouragedrnby anapests and dactyls. He could movernfrom the discipline of meter to therngreater discipline of free form, avoidingrnalways the dangers of the unrestrainedrnadjective which lie in wait for careless orrnoverenthusiastic writers, and never allowingrnemotion to overcome sensibility.rnI took down from the bookshelf thernCollected Poems, published in 1953,rnwhich I bought after a friend had walkedrnoff with the 1929 Selected Poems, and arnsingle volume of that curious work. ThernComing Forth By Day of Osirus ]onesrn(1931), wondering how sunlight had fadedrnits green cover, and as always was lostrnin it for several hours. Turning the pages,rnI remarked the strength of his selfcriticismrnin throwing away much of thernearliest work. The poems are arrangedrnnot according to publication date butrnwhen they were written, delineating hisrndevelopment as man and sufferer andrnpoet. The language becomes less compressedrnand more conversational in thernlater work, yet never descends into thernprosaic, which has yanked down so manyrncontemporary poets. And always it targetsrnthe sadness and the experience ofrnliving, of attempting to reach to the corernof what that living is, without indulgingrnin the ironic cerebralism of an Eliot or anrnAuden. The ironies are there, for what isrnmore ironic than man’s determinedrnclutching at what he is doomed to lose?rnDo the new generations, as they breakrnthrough the shell of their adolescence,rnread Conrad Aiken today? Do they inrnfact read anything at all—or do theyrnwander in the vast cultural wastelandrnof our times? What evidence we havernseems to say that the drive which ledrnsome to write and others to read whatrnwas written has been anesthetized by therngetting and spending of a computerized,rnvulgarized, and televised world. The immortalityrnachieved by poets and writers,rnby artists and composers, may well haverncome to an end in an ambiance whichrnspeaks loudest from the muzzle of a gun.rnBut for those of us, the detritus of an earlierrntime, there is still a refuge in the transcendentrnspirit of poets like ConradrnAiken, in the music that filled the void ofrncenturies. It may end with us, for a time,rnbut it will return before trout swim downrnGreat Ormond Street, for it is music thatrnis more than music.rnRalph de Toledano’s latest hook is ThernApocrypha of Limbo, a collection ofrnreligious poems.rnEUROPErnA King for France?rnby Thomas MolnarrnKings and dynasties seemed to bernburied and forgotten when two recentrnevents revived interest in them. Onrna frivolous but historically significant level,rnit was the series of scandals of thernHouse of Windsor that brought Europe’srnruling families brutally in thernlimelight. The general trend of desacralizationrnis voracious for frequent feeding,rnand when prelates supply their share ofrnscandals, inevitably the princes join.rnWho can indulge in more sex and divorce,rnplay hide-and-seek with cameramenrnany better, and make more shockingrndeclarations to the press?rnThe other recent event was more seriousrnand significant. When the BerlinrnWall fell, near and remote candidates tornthe vacant thrones of Europe knockedrnwith an unseemly haste at their respectiverncountry’s door, arguing that the orphanedrnnations would eagerly turn tornthem; after all, they had not been involvedrnin the events of the past 40 yearsrnor more. The other royal argument wasrnthat ex-kings and new pretenders stoodrnabove the turmoil, were thus impartial,rnforgave all the recent actors—that theyrnhad learned much about democracyrnwhile in Western exile. They would, ofrncourse, point to the one restored royalrndemocracy, Juan Carlos in Spain, forgettingrnthat not popular will but a dictatorrnhad put the youngster back in power;rnthey would also point to the permanentrnkingly and queenly stalwarts in Belgium,rnHolland, and Scandinavia. As if the positionrnof a king of Greece, let’s say, wererncomparable to the one in Denmark! Thernquest for kingship shows, however, thatrnkings, sacralized rulers, are never totallyrnanachronistic, as thousands of years of arnuniversal tradition testify. Let me quoternjust one, by Hugues de Saint-Victorrn(1141): “Spiritual power has the vocationrnto institute the worldly power. . . .rnRoyal power is established by the priestsrnon command by God.” Here, amongrnothers, is the root of the “Throne’s andrnAltar’s alliance.”rnThe search of ex-kings for their missingrnthrone came to my closer attention asrnWest European acquaintances asked merninsistently whether Hungarians wantedrnOtto von Habsburg back, and whatrnabout Mihail’s chances in Rumania,rnBoris’s in Bulgaria, Leka’s in Albania,rnand Peter’s in Yugoslavia? I answeredrn”No chance”; except for a nostalgic miniminority,rnthese nations are not interestedrnin a restoration; neither are their tutelaryrngreat powers, nor the Mafias, the democrats,rnthe liberals, the reactionaries, thernfishers in murky waters. Each has its reasons.rnRestoration seems passe. The onlyrncountry where it is at least imaginablernand conceivable is France. Not the Romanovsrnin Russia, not the Braganca inrnPortugal or Brazil, but the Orleans inrnFrance. Who are they?rnBelieve it or not, at least 20 percentrnof the French population would acceptrna restoration, and another 10 percentrnwould jump on the royalist bandwagonrnif faced with a fait accompli. One-thirdrnof the electorate is nothing to sneer at inrna democracy—and France has neverrnbeen a true, heart-and-blood democracy.rnRebellious, often revolutionary, yes;rndemocratic, no. And consider the additionalrnfact that at least 50 percent of thernelectorate who even drag themselves tornthe ballot box do so only by routine, inrnreality bored by the cult of human rightsrnand the democratic process. In short, arnprince of the royal house as president ofrnthe republic would find a friendly terrain;rnafter all, it has happened before, inrn1851, and the result was not too bad:rnNapoleon III. Louis Bonaparte started asrna prince-president and became an emperor.rnThis was still possible with memoriesrnof his uncle. But such a coup underrnthe present circumstances is not likely.rnOn the other hand, the French politicalrnclass today is incredibly corrupt and,rnworse, bored. De Gaulle, a General-rnPresident (hyphenated heads of state arernnot a drawback in France), was forgivenrnfor his monumental sins and errors becausernhe cut a monarchical figure, strongrnin his loyalties and hatreds, and master atrnpomp and circumstance that all nations,rnperhaps we in the United States too, lovernand crave. He was also smart enough tornlead people by the nose, such as the pretenderrnto the throne of Saint Louis andrnLouis XIV—the Count of Paris. DernGaulle made him believe for years thatrnhe, the count, would be his naturalrnsuccessor, but while Franco, across thernPyrenees, stood by his word, De GaullernJULY 1996/45rnrnrn