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Title: American Poetry, 1922 - A Miscellany
Author: Various
Language: English
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AMERICAN POETRY

1922

A MISCELLANY


[Illustration]


NEW YORK

HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY



COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY
HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY, INC.


PRINTED IN THE U. S. A. BY
THE QUINN & BODEN COMPANY
RAHWAY, N. J.



A FOREWORD


When the first Miscellany of American Poetry appeared in 1920,
innumerable were the questions asked by both readers and reviewers of
publishers and contributors alike. The modest note on the jacket
appeared to satisfy no one. The volume purported to have no editor, yet
a collection without an editor was pronounced preposterous. It was
obviously not the organ of a school, yet it did not seem to have been
compiled to exploit any particular phase of American life; neither
Nature, Love, Patriotism, Propaganda, nor Philosophy could be acclaimed
as its reason for being, and it was certainly not intended, as has been
so frequent of late, to bring a cheerful absence of mind to the
world-weary during an unoccupied ten minutes. Again, it was exclusive
not inclusive, since its object was, evidently, not the meritorious if
impossible one of attempting to be a compendium of present-day American
verse.

But the publisher's note had stated one thing quite clearly, that the
Miscellany was to be a biennial. Two years have passed, and with the
second volume it has seemed best to state at once the reasons which
actuated its contributors to join in such a venture.

In the first place, the plan of the _Miscellany_ is frankly imitative.
For some years now there has been published in England an anthology
entitled Georgian Poetry. The Miscellany is intended to be an American
companion to that publication. The dissimilarities of temperament, range
and choice of subjects are manifest, but the outstanding difference is
this: _Georgian Poetry_ has an editor, and the poems it contains may be
taken as that editor's reaction to the poetry of the day. The
_Miscellany_, on the other hand, has no editor; it is no one person's
choice which forms it; it is not an attempt to throw into relief any
particular group or stress any particular tendency. It does disclose the
most recent work of certain representative figures in contemporary
American literature. The poets who appear here have come together by
mutual accord and, although they may invite others to join them in
subsequent volumes as circumstance dictates, each one stands (as all
newcomers also must stand) as the exponent of fresh and strikingly
diverse qualities in our native poetry. It is as if a dozen unacademic
painters, separated by temperament and distance, were to arrange to have
an exhibition every two years of their latest work. They would not
pretend that they were the only painters worthy of a public showing;
they would maintain that their work was, generally speaking, most
interesting to one another. Their gallery would necessarily be limited;
but it would be flexible enough to admit, with every fresh exhibit,
three or four new members who had achieved an importance and an idiom
of their own. This is just what the original contributors to the
_Miscellany_ have done.

The newcomers--H. D., Alfred Kreymborg, and Edna St. Vincent
Millay--have taken their places with the same absence of judge or jury
that marks any "society of independents." There is no hanging committee;
no organizer of "position." Two years ago the alphabet determined the
arrangement; this time seniority has been the sole arbiter of
precedence. Furthermore--and this can not be too often repeated--there
has been no editor. To be painstakingly precise, each contributor has
been his own editor. As such, he has chosen his own selections and
determined the order in which they are to be printed, but he has had no
authority over either the choice or grouping of his fellow exhibitors'
contributions. To one of the members has been delegated the merely
mechanical labors of assembling, proof-reading, and seeing the volume
through the press. The absence of E. A. Robinson from this year's
_Miscellany_ is a source of regret not only to all the contributors but
to the poet himself. Mr. Robinson has written nothing since his
Collected Poems with the exception of a long poem--a volume in
itself--but he hopes to appear in any subsequent collection.

It should be added that this is not a haphazard anthology of picked-over
poetry. The poems that follow are new. They are new not only in the
sense that (with two exceptions) they cannot be found in book form, but
most of them have never previously been published. Certain of the
selections have appeared in recent magazines and these are reprinted by
permission of _The Century_, _The Yale Review_, _Poetry: A Magazine of
Verse_, _The New Republic_, _Harper's_, _Scribner's_, _The Bookman_,
_The Freeman_, _Broom_, _The Dial_, _The Atlantic Monthly_, _Farm and
Fireside_, _The Measure_, and _The Literary Review_. Vachel Lindsay's "I
Know All This When Gipsy Fiddles Cry" is a revised version of the poem
of that name which was printed in _The Enchanted Years_.



CONTENTS


_A Foreword_                                              _III_

AMY LOWELL

  Lilacs                                                    _3_

  Twenty-four Hokku on a Modern Theme                       _8_

  The Swans                                                _13_

  Prime                                                    _16_

  Vespers                                                  _17_

  In Excelsis                                              _18_

  La Ronde du Diable                                       _20_

ROBERT FROST

  Fire and Ice                                             _25_

  The Grindstone                                           _26_

  The Witch of Coös                                        _29_

  A Brook in the City                                      _37_

  Design                                                   _38_

CARL SANDBURG

  And So To-day                                            _41_

  California City Landscape                                _49_

  Upstream                                                 _51_

  Windflower Leaf                                          _52_

VACHEL LINDSAY

  In Praise of Johnny Appleseed                            _55_

  I Know All This When Gipsy Fiddles Cry                   _66_

JAMES OPPENHEIM

  Hebrews                                                  _75_

ALFRED KREYMBORG

  Adagio: A Duet                                           _79_

  Die Küche                                                _80_

  Rain                                                     _81_

  Peasant                                                  _83_

  Bubbles                                                  _85_

  Dirge                                                    _87_

  Colophon                                                 _88_

SARA TEASDALE

  Wisdom                                                   _91_

  Places                                                   _92_
    _Twilight_ (Tucson)
    _Full Moon_ (Santa Barbara)
    _Winter Sun_ (Lenox)
    _Evening_ (Nahant)

  Words for an Old Air                                     _97_

  Those Who Love                                           _98_

  Two Songs for Solitude                                   _99_
    _The Crystal Gazer_
    _The Solitary_

LOUIS UNTERMEYER

  Monolog from a Mattress                                 _103_

  Waters of Babylon                                       _110_

  The Flaming Circle                                      _112_

  Portrait of a Machine                                   _114_

  Roast Leviathan                                         _115_

JOHN GOULD FLETCHER

  A Rebel                                                 _127_

  The Rock                                                _128_

  Blue Water                                              _129_

  Prayers for Wind                                        _130_

  Impromptu                                               _131_

  Chinese Poet Among Barbarians                           _132_

  Snowy Mountains                                         _133_

  The Future                                              _134_

  Upon the Hill                                           _136_

  The Enduring                                            _137_

JEAN STARR UNTERMEYER

  Old Man                                                 _141_

  Tone Picture                                            _142_

  They Say--                                              _143_

  Rescue                                                  _144_

  Mater in Extremis                                       _146_

  Self-Rejected                                           _147_

H. D.

  Holy Satyr                                              _151_

  Lais                                                    _153_

  Heliodora                                               _156_

  Toward the Piræus                                       _161_
    _Slay with your eyes, Greek_
    _You would have broken my wings_
    _I loved you_
    _What had you done_
    _If I had been a boy_
    _It was not chastity that made me cold_

CONRAD AIKEN

  Seven Twilights                                        _171_
    _The ragged pilgrim on the road to nowhere_
    _Now by the wall of the ancient town_
    _When the tree bares, the music of it changes_
    _"This is the hour," she says, "of transmutation"_
    _Now the great wheel of darkness and low clouds_
    _Heaven, you say, will be a field in April_
    _In the long silence of the sea_

  Tetélestai                                             _184_

EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

  Eight Sonnets                                          _193_
    _When you, that at this moment are to me_
    _What's this of death, from you who never will die_
    _I know I am but summer to your heart_
    _Here is a wound that never will heal, I know_
    _What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why_
    _Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare_
    _Oh, oh, you will be sorry for that word!_
    _Say what you will, and scratch my heart to find_

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                             _201_



  AMY LOWELL



  LILACS


  Lilacs,
  False blue,
  White,
  Purple,
  Color of lilac,
  Your great puffs of flowers
  Are everywhere in this my New England.
  Among your heart-shaped leaves
  Orange orioles hop like music-box birds and sing
  Their little weak soft songs;
  In the crooks of your branches
  The bright eyes of song sparrows sitting on spotted eggs
  Peer restlessly through the light and shadow
  Of all Springs.
  Lilacs in dooryards
  Holding quiet conversations with an early moon;
  Lilacs watching a deserted house
  Settling sideways into the grass of an old road;
  Lilacs, wind-beaten, staggering under a lopsided shock of bloom
  Above a cellar dug into a hill.
  You are everywhere.
  You were everywhere.
  You tapped the window when the preacher preached his sermon,
  And ran along the road beside the boy going to school.
  You stood by pasture-bars to give the cows good milking,
  You persuaded the housewife that her dish-pan was of silver
  And her husband an image of pure gold.
  You flaunted the fragrance of your blossoms
  Through the wide doors of Custom Houses--
  You, and sandal-wood, and tea,
  Charging the noses of quill-driving clerks
  When a ship was in from China.
  You called to them: "Goose-quill men, goose-quill men,
  May is a month for flitting,"
  Until they writhed on their high stools
  And wrote poetry on their letter-sheets behind the propped-up
        ledgers.
  Paradoxical New England clerks,
  Writing inventories in ledgers, reading the "Song of Solomon" at
        night,
  So many verses before bedtime,
  Because it was the Bible.
  The dead fed you
  Amid the slant stones of graveyards.
  Pale ghosts who planted you
  Came in the night time
  And let their thin hair blow through your clustered stems.
  You are of the green sea,
  And of the stone hills which reach a long distance.
  You are of elm-shaded streets with little shops where they sell
        kites and marbles,
  You are of great parks where every one walks and nobody is at home.
  You cover the blind sides of greenhouses
  And lean over the top to say a hurry-word through the glass
  To your friends, the grapes, inside.

  Lilacs,
  False blue,
  White,
  Purple,
  Color of lilac,
  You have forgotten your Eastern origin,
  The veiled women with eyes like panthers,
  The swollen, aggressive turbans of jeweled Pashas.
  Now you are a very decent flower,
  A reticent flower,
  A curiously clear-cut, candid flower,
  Standing beside clean doorways,
  Friendly to a house-cat and a pair of spectacles,
  Making poetry out of a bit of moonlight
  And a hundred or two sharp blossoms.

  Maine knows you,
  Has for years and years;
  New Hampshire knows you,
  And Massachusetts
  And Vermont.
  Cape Cod starts you along the beaches to Rhode Island;
  Connecticut takes you from a river to the sea.
  You are brighter than apples,
  Sweeter than tulips,
  You are the great flood of our souls
  Bursting above the leaf-shapes of our hearts,
  You are the smell of all Summers,
  The love of wives and children,
  The recollection of the gardens of little children,
  You are State Houses and Charters
  And the familiar treading of the foot to and fro on a road it knows.
  May is lilac here in New England,
  May is a thrush singing "Sun up!" on a tip-top ash-tree,
  May is white clouds behind pine-trees
  Puffed out and marching upon a blue sky.
  May is a green as no other,
  May is much sun through small leaves,
  May is soft earth,
  And apple-blossoms,
  And windows open to a South wind.
  May is a full light wind of lilac
  From Canada to Narragansett Bay.

  Lilacs,
  False blue,
  White,
  Purple,
  Color of lilac,
  Heart-leaves of lilac all over New England,
  Roots of lilac under all the soil of New England,
  Lilac in me because I am New England,
  Because my roots are in it,
  Because my leaves are of it,
  Because my flowers are for it,
  Because it is my country
  And I speak to it of itself
  And sing of it with my own voice
  Since certainly it is mine.



  TWENTY-FOUR HOKKU ON A MODERN THEME


        I

  Again the larkspur,
  Heavenly blue in my garden.
  They, at least, unchanged.


        II

  How have I hurt you?
  You look at me with pale eyes,
  But these are my tears.


        III

  Morning and evening--
  Yet for us once long ago
  Was no division.


        IV

  I hear many words.
  Set an hour when I may come
  Or remain silent.


        V

  In the ghostly dawn
  I write new words for your ears--
  Even now you sleep.


        VI

  This then is morning.
  Have you no comfort for me
  Cold-colored flowers?


        VII

  My eyes are weary
  Following you everywhere.
  Short, oh short, the days!


        VIII

  When the flower falls
  The leaf is no more cherished.
  Every day I fear.


        IX

  Even when you smile
  Sorrow is behind your eyes.
  Pity me, therefore.


        X

  Laugh--it is nothing.
  To others you may seem gay,
  I watch with grieved eyes.


        XI

  Take it, this white rose.
  Stems of roses do not bleed;
  Your fingers are safe.


        XII

  As a river-wind
  Hurling clouds at a bright moon,
  So am I to you.


        XIII

  Watching the iris,
  The faint and fragile petals--
  How am I worthy?


        XIV

  Down a red river
  I drift in a broken skiff.
  Are you then so brave?


        XV

  Night lies beside me
  Chaste and cold as a sharp sword.
  It and I alone.


        XVI

  Last night it rained.
  Now, in the desolate dawn,
  Crying of blue jays.


        XVII

  Foolish so to grieve,
  Autumn has its colored leaves--
  But before they turn?


        XVIII

  Afterwards I think:
  Poppies bloom when it thunders.
  Is this not enough?


        XIX

  Love is a game--yes?
  I think it is a drowning:
  Black willows and stars.


        XX

  When the aster fades
  The creeper flaunts in crimson.
  Always another!


        XXI

  Turning from the page,
  Blind with a night of labor,
  I hear morning crows.


        XXII

  A cloud of lilies,
  Or else you walk before me.
  Who could see clearly?


        XXIII

  Sweet smell of wet flowers
  Over an evening garden.
  Your portrait, perhaps?


        XXIV

  Staying in my room,
  I thought of the new Spring leaves.
  That day was happy.



  THE SWANS


  The swans float and float
  Along the moat
  Around the Bishop's garden,
  And the white clouds push
  Across a blue sky
  With edges that seem to draw in and harden.

  Two slim men of white bronze
  Beat each with a hammer on the end of a rod
  The hours of God.
  Striking a bell,
  They do it well.
  And the echoes jump, and tinkle, and swell
  In the Cathedral's carved stone polygons.

  The swans float
  About the moat,
  And another swan sits still in the air
  Above the old inn.
  He gazes into the street
  And swims the cold and the heat,
  He has always been there,
  At least so say the cobbles in the square.
  They listen to the beat
  Of the hammered bell,
  And think of the feet
  Which beat upon their tops;
  But what they think they do not tell.

  And the swans who float
  Up and down the moat
  Gobble the bread the Bishop feeds them.
  The slim bronze men beat the hour again,
  But only the gargoyles up in the hard blue air heed them.

  When the Bishop says a prayer,
  And the choir sing "Amen,"
  The hammers break in on them there:
  Clang! Clang! Beware! Beware!
  The carved swan looks down at the passing men,
  And the cobbles wink: "An hour has gone again."
  But the people kneeling before the Bishop's chair
  Forget the passing over the cobbles in the square.

  An hour of day and an hour of night,
  And the clouds float away in a red-splashed light.
  The sun, quotha? or white, white
  Smoke with fire all alight.

  An old roof crashing on a Bishop's tomb,
  Swarms of men with a thirst for room,
  And the footsteps blur to a shower, shower, shower,
  Of men passing--passing--every hour,
  With arms of power, and legs of power,
  And power in their strong, hard minds.
  No need then
  For the slim bronze men
  Who beat God's hours: Prime, Tierce, None.
  Who wants to hear? No one.
  We will melt them, and mold them,
  And make them a stem
  For a banner gorged with blood,
  For a blue-mouthed torch.
  So the men rush like clouds,
  They strike their iron edges on the Bishop's chair
  And fling down the lanterns by the tower stair.
  They rip the Bishop out of his tomb
  And break the mitre off of his head.
  "See," say they, "the man is dead;
  He cannot shiver or sing.
  We'll toss for his ring."

  The cobbles see this all along the street
  Coming--coming--on countless feet.
  And the clockmen mark the hours as they go.
  But slow--slow--
  The swans float
  In the Bishop's moat.
  And the inn swan
  Sits on and on,
  Staring before him with cold glass eyes.
  Only the Bishop walks serene,
  Pleased with his church, pleased with his house,
  Pleased with the sound of the hammered bell,
  Beating his doom.
  Saying "Boom! Boom! Room! Room!"
  He is old, and kind, and deaf, and blind,
  And very, very pleased with his charming moat
  And the swans which float.



  PRIME


  Your voice is like bells over roofs at dawn
  When a bird flies
  And the sky changes to a fresher color.

  Speak, speak, Beloved.
  Say little things
  For my ears to catch
  And run with them to my heart.



  VESPERS


  Last night, at sunset,
  The foxgloves were like tall altar candles.
  Could I have lifted you to the roof of the greenhouse, my Dear,
  I should have understood their burning.



  IN EXCELSIS


  You--you--
  Your shadow is sunlight on a plate of silver;
  Your footsteps, the seeding-place of lilies;
  Your hands moving, a chime of bells across a windless air.

  The movement of your hands is the long, golden running of light from
        a rising sun;
  It is the hopping of birds upon a garden-path.

  As the perfume of jonquils, you come forth in the morning.
  Young horses are not more sudden than your thoughts,
  Your words are bees about a pear-tree,
  Your fancies are the gold-and-black striped wasps buzzing among red
        apples.
  I drink your lips,
  I eat the whiteness of your hands and feet.
  My mouth is open,
  As a new jar I am empty and open.
  Like white water are you who fill the cup of my mouth,
  Like a brook of water thronged with lilies.

  You are frozen as the clouds,
  You are far and sweet as the high clouds.
  I dare reach to you,
  I dare touch the rim of your brightness.
  I leap beyond the winds,
  I cry and shout,
  For my throat is keen as a sword
  Sharpened on a hone of ivory.
  My throat sings the joy of my eyes,
  The rushing gladness of my love.

  How has the rainbow fallen upon my heart?
  How have I snared the seas to lie in my fingers
  And caught the sky to be a cover for my head?
  How have you come to dwell with me,
  Compassing me with the four circles of your mystic lightness,
  So that I say "Glory! Glory!" and bow before you
  As to a shrine?

  Do I tease myself that morning is morning and a day after?
  Do I think the air a condescension,
  The earth a politeness,
  Heaven a boon deserving thanks?
  So you--air--earth--heaven--
  I do not thank you,
  I take you,
  I live.
  And those things which I say in consequence
  Are rubies mortised in a gate of stone.



  LA RONDE DU DIABLE


  "Here we go round the ivy-bush,"
  And that's a tune we all dance to.
  Little poet people snatching ivy,
  Trying to prevent one another from snatching ivy.
  If you get a leaf, there's another for me;
  Look at the bush.
  But I want your leaf, Brother, and you mine,
  Therefore, of course, we push.

  "Here we go round the laurel-tree."
  Do we want laurels for ourselves most,
  Or most that no one else shall have any?
  We cannot stop to discuss the question.
  We cannot stop to plait them into crowns
  Or notice whether they become us.
  We scarcely see the laurel-tree,
  The crowd about us is all we see,
  And there's no room in it for you and me.
  Therefore, Sisters, it's my belief
  We've none of us very much chance at a leaf.

  "Here we go round the barberry-bush."
  It's a bitter, blood-red fruit at best,
  Which puckers the mouth and burns the heart.
  To tell the truth, only one or two
  Want the berries enough to strive
  For more than he has, more than she.
  An acid berry for you and me.
  Abundance of berries for all who will eat,
  But an aching meat.
  That's poetry.
  And who wants to swallow a mouthful of sorrow?
  The world is old and our century
  Must be well along, and we've no time to waste.
  Make haste, Brothers and Sisters, push
  With might and main round the ivy-bush,
  Struggle and pull at the laurel-tree,
  And leave the barberries be
  For poor lost lunatics like me,
  Who set them so high
  They overtop the sun in the sky.
  Does it matter at all that we don't know why?



  ROBERT FROST



  FIRE AND ICE


  Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
  From what I've tasted of desire
  I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
  I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
  Is also great,
    And would suffice.



  THE GRINDSTONE


  Having a wheel and four legs of its own
  Has never availed the cumbersome grindstone
  To get it anywhere that I can see.
  These hands have helped it go and even race;
  Not all the motion, though, they ever lent,
  Not all the miles it may have thought it went,
  Have got it one step from the starting place.
  It stands beside the same old apple tree.
  The shadow of the apple tree is thin
  Upon it now; its feet are fast in snow.
  All other farm machinery's gone in,
  And some of it on no more legs and wheel
  Than the grindstone can boast to stand or go.
  (I'm thinking chiefly of the wheelbarrow.)
  For months it hasn't known the taste of steel,
  Washed down with rusty water in a tin.
  But standing outdoors, hungry, in the cold,
  Except in towns, at night, is not a sin.
  And, anyway, its standing in the yard
  Under a ruinous live apple tree
  Has nothing any more to do with me,
  Except that I remember how of old,
  One summer day, all day I drove it hard,
  And some one mounted on it rode it hard,
  And he and I between us ground a blade.

  I gave it the preliminary spin,
  And poured on water (tears it might have been);
  And when it almost gayly jumped and flowed,
  A Father-Time-like man got on and rode,
  Armed with a scythe and spectacles that glowed.
  He turned on will-power to increase the load
  And slow me down--and I abruptly slowed,
  Like coming to a sudden railroad station.
  I changed from hand to hand in desperation.

  I wondered what machine of ages gone
  This represented an improvement on.
  For all I knew it may have sharpened spears
  And arrowheads itself. Much use for years
  Had gradually worn it an oblate
  Spheroid that kicked and struggled in its gait,
  Appearing to return me hate for hate.
  (But I forgive it now as easily
  As any other boyhood enemy
  Whose pride has failed to get him anywhere.)
  I wondered who it was the man thought ground--
  The one who held the wheel back or the one
  Who gave his life to keep it going round?
  I wondered if he really thought it fair
  For him to have the say when we were done.
  Such were the bitter thoughts to which I turned.

  Not for myself was I so much concerned.
  Oh, no!--although, of course, I could have found
  A better way to pass the afternoon
  Than grinding discord out of a grindstone,
  And beating insects at their gritty tune.
  Nor was I for the man so much concerned.
  Once when the grindstone almost jumped its bearing
  It looked as if he might be badly thrown
  And wounded on his blade. So far from caring,
  I laughed inside, and only cranked the faster,
  (It ran as if it wasn't greased but glued);
  I welcomed any moderate disaster
  That might be calculated to postpone
  What evidently nothing could conclude.

  The thing that made me more and more afraid
  Was that we'd ground it sharp and hadn't known,
  And now were only wasting precious blade.
  And when he raised it dripping once and tried
  The creepy edge of it with wary touch,
  And viewed it over his glasses funny-eyed,
  Only disinterestedly to decide
  It needed a turn more, I could have cried
  Wasn't there danger of a turn too much?
  Mightn't we make it worse instead of better?
  I was for leaving something to the whetter.
  What if it wasn't all it should be? I'd
  Be satisfied if he'd be satisfied.



  THE WITCH OF COÖS

  _Circa 1922_


  I staid the night for shelter at a farm
  Behind the mountain, with a mother and son,
  Two old-believers. They did all the talking.

_The Mother_
  Folks think a witch who has familiar spirits
  She _could_ call up to pass a winter evening,
  But _won't_, should be burned at the stake or something.
  Summoning spirits isn't "Button, button,
  Who's got the button?" I'd have you understand.

_The Son_
  Mother can make a common table rear
  And kick with two legs like an army mule.

_The Mother_
  And when I've done it, what good have I done?
  Rather than tip a table for you, let me
  Tell you what Ralle the Sioux Control once told me.
  He said the dead had souls, but when I asked him
  How that could be--I thought the dead were souls,
  He broke my trance. Don't that make you suspicious
  That there's something the dead are keeping back?
  Yes, there's something the dead are keeping back.

_The Son_
  You wouldn't want to tell him what we have
  Up attic, mother?

_The Mother_
                    Bones--a skeleton.

_The Son_
  But the headboard of mother's bed is pushed
  Against the attic door: the door is nailed.
  It's harmless. Mother hears it in the night
  Halting perplexed behind the barrier
  Of door and headboard. Where it wants to get
  Is back into the cellar where it came from.

_The Mother_
  We'll never let them, will we, son? We'll never!

_The Son_
  It left the cellar forty years ago
  And carried itself like a pile of dishes
  Up one flight from the cellar to the kitchen,
  Another from the kitchen to the bedroom,
  Another from the bedroom to the attic,
  Right past both father and mother, and neither stopped it.
  Father had gone upstairs; mother was downstairs.
  I was a baby: I don't know where I was.

_The Mother_
  The only fault my husband found with me--
  I went to sleep before I went to bed,
  Especially in winter when the bed
  Might just as well be ice and the clothes snow.
  The night the bones came up the cellar-stairs
  Toffile had gone to bed alone and left me,
  But left an open door to cool the room off
  So as to sort of turn me out of it.
  I was just coming to myself enough
  To wonder where the cold was coming from,
  When I heard Toffile upstairs in the bedroom
  And thought I heard him downstairs in the cellar.
  The board we had laid down to walk dry-shod on
  When there was water in the cellar in spring
  Struck the hard cellar bottom. And then some one
  Began the stairs, two footsteps for each step,
  The way a man with one leg and a crutch,
  Or little child, comes up. It wasn't Toffile:
  It wasn't any one who could be there.
  The bulkhead double-doors were double-locked
  And swollen tight and buried under snow.
  The cellar windows were banked up with sawdust
  And swollen tight and buried under snow.
  It was the bones. I knew them--and good reason.
  My first impulse was to get to the knob
  And hold the door. But the bones didn't try
  The door; they halted helpless on the landing,
  Waiting for things to happen in their favor.
  The faintest restless rustling ran all through them.
  I never could have done the thing I did
  If the wish hadn't been too strong in me
  To see how they were mounted for this walk.
  I had a vision of them put together
  Not like a man, but like a chandelier.
  So suddenly I flung the door wide on him.
  A moment he stood balancing with emotion,
  And all but lost himself. (A tongue of fire
  Flashed out and licked along his upper teeth.
  Smoke rolled inside the sockets of his eyes.)
  Then he came at me with one hand outstretched,
  The way he did in life once; but this time
  I struck the hand off brittle on the floor,
  And fell back from him on the floor myself.
  The finger-pieces slid in all directions.
  (Where did I see one of those pieces lately?
  Hand me my button-box--it must be there.)
  I sat up on the floor and shouted, "Toffile,
  It's coming up to you." It had its choice
  Of the door to the cellar or the hall.
  It took the hall door for the novelty,
  And set off briskly for so slow a thing,
  Still going every which way in the joints, though,
  So that it looked like lightning or a scribble,
  From the slap I had just now given its hand.
  I listened till it almost climbed the stairs
  From the hall to the only finished bedroom,
  Before I got up to do anything;
  Then ran and shouted, "Shut the bedroom door,
  Toffile, for my sake!" "Company," he said,
  "Don't make me get up; I'm too warm in bed."
  So lying forward weakly on the handrail
  I pushed myself upstairs, and in the light
  (The kitchen had been dark) I had to own
  I could see nothing. "Toffile, I don't see it.
  It's with us in the room, though. It's the bones."
  "What bones?" "The cellar bones--out of the grave."

       *     *     *     *     *

  That made him throw his bare legs out of bed
  And sit up by me and take hold of me.
  I wanted to put out the light and see
  If I could see it, or else mow the room,
  With our arms at the level of our knees,
  And bring the chalk-pile down. "I'll tell you what--
  It's looking for another door to try.
  The uncommonly deep snow has made him think
  Of his old song, _The Wild Colonial Boy_,
  He always used to sing along the tote-road.
  He's after an open door to get out-doors.
  Let's trap him with an open door up attic."
  Toffile agreed to that, and sure enough,
  Almost the moment he was given an opening,
  The steps began to climb the attic stairs.
  I heard them. Toffile didn't seem to hear them.
  "Quick!" I slammed to the door and held the knob.
  "Toffile, get nails." I made him nail the door shut,
  And push the headboard of the bed against it.

  Then we asked was there anything
  Up attic that we'd ever want again.
  The attic was less to us than the cellar.
  If the bones liked the attic, let them like it,
  Let them _stay_ in the attic. When they sometimes
  Come down the stairs at night and stand perplexed
  Behind the door and headboard of the bed,
  Brushing their chalky skull with chalky fingers,
  With sounds like the dry rattling of a shutter,
  That's what I sit up in the dark to say--
  To no one any more since Toffile died.
  Let them stay in the attic since they went there.
  I promised Toffile to be cruel to them
  For helping them be cruel once to him.

_The Son_
  We think they had a grave down in the cellar.

_The Mother_
  We know they had a grave down in the cellar.

_The Son_
  We never could find out whose bones they were.

_The Mother_
  Yes, we could too, son. Tell the truth for once.
  They were a man's his father killed for me.
  I mean a man he killed instead of me.
  The least I could do was to help dig their grave.
  We were about it one night in the cellar.
  Son knows the story: but 'twas not for him
  To tell the truth, suppose the time had come.
  Son looks surprised to see me end a lie
  We'd kept up all these years between ourselves
  So as to have it ready for outsiders.
  But to-night I don't care enough to lie--
  I don't remember why I ever cared.
  Toffile, if he were here, I don't believe
  Could tell you why he ever cared himself....

  She hadn't found the finger-bone she wanted
  Among the buttons poured out in her lap.

  I verified the name next morning: Toffile;
  The rural letter-box said Toffile Lajway.



  A BROOK IN THE CITY


  The farm house lingers, though averse to square
  With the new city street it has to wear
  A number in. But what about the brook
  That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
  I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
  And impulse, having dipped a finger-length
  And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
  A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
  The meadow grass could be cemented down
  From growing under pavements of a town;
  The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
  Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
  How else dispose of an immortal force
  No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
  With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown
  Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
  In fetid darkness still to live and run--
  And all for nothing it had ever done
  Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
  No one would know except for ancient maps
  That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
  If, from its being kept forever under,
  These thoughts may not have risen that so keep
  This new-built city from both work and sleep.



  DESIGN


  I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
  On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
  Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth--
  Assorted characters of death and blight
  Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
  Like the ingredients of a witches' broth--
  A snow-drop spider, a flower like froth,
  And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

  What had that flower to do with being white,
  The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
  What brought the kindred spider to that height,
  Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
  What but design of darkness to appal?--
  If design govern in a thing so small.



  CARL SANDBURG



  AND SO TO-DAY


  And so to-day--they lay him away--
  the boy nobody knows the name of--
  the buck private--the unknown soldier--
  the doughboy who dug under and died
  when they told him to--that's him.

  Down Pennsylvania Avenue to-day the riders go,
  men and boys riding horses, roses in their teeth,
  stems of roses, rose leaf stalks, rose dark leaves--
  the line of the green ends in a red rose flash.

  Skeleton men and boys riding skeleton horses,
  the rib bones shine, the rib bones curve,
  shine with savage, elegant curves--
  a jawbone runs with a long white slant,
  a skull dome runs with a long white arch,
  bone triangles click and rattle,
  elbows, ankles, white line slants--
  shining in the sun, past the White House,
  past the Treasury Building, Army and Navy Buildings,
  on to the mystic white Capitol Dome--
  so they go down Pennsylvania Avenue to-day,
  skeleton men and boys riding skeleton horses,
  stems of roses in their teeth,
  rose dark leaves at their white jaw slants--
  and a horse laugh question nickers and whinnies,
  moans with a whistle out of horse head teeth:
  why? who? where?

    ("The big fish--eat the little fish--
      the little fish--eat the shrimps--
      and the shrimps--eat mud,"--
      said a cadaverous man--with a black umbrella--
      spotted with white polka dots--with a missing
      ear--with a missing foot and arms--
      with a missing sheath of muscles
      singing to the silver sashes of the sun.)

  And so to-day--they lay him away--
  the boy nobody knows the name of--
  the buck private--the unknown soldier--
  the doughboy who dug under and died
  when they told him to--that's him.

  If he picked himself and said, "I am ready to die,"
  if he gave his name and said, "My country, take me,"
  then the baskets of roses to-day are for the Boy,
  the flowers, the songs, the steamboat whistles,
  the proclamations of the honorable orators,
  they are all for the Boy--that's him.

  If the government of the Republic picked him saying,
  "You are wanted, your country takes you"--
  if the Republic put a stethoscope to his heart
  and looked at his teeth and tested his eyes and said,
  "You are a citizen of the Republic and a sound
  animal in all parts and functions--the Republic takes you"--
  then to-day the baskets of flowers are all for the Republic,
  the roses, the songs, the steamboat whistles,
  the proclamations of the honorable orators--
  they are all for the Republic.

  And so to-day--they lay him away--
  and an understanding goes--his long sleep shall be
  under arms and arches near the Capitol Dome--
  there is an authorization--he shall have tomb companions--
  the martyred presidents of the Republic--
  the buck private--the unknown soldier--that's him.

  The man who was war commander of the armies of the Republic
  rides down Pennsylvania Avenue--
  The man who is peace commander of the armies of the Republic
  rides down Pennsylvania Avenue--
  for the sake of the Boy, for the sake of the Republic.

     (And the hoofs of the skeleton horses
      all drum soft on the asphalt footing--
      so soft is the drumming, so soft the roll call
      of the grinning sergeants calling the roll call--
      so soft is it all--a camera man murmurs, "Moonshine.")

  Look--who salutes the coffin--
  lays a wreath of remembrance
  on the box where a buck private
  sleeps a clean dry sleep at last--
  look--it is the highest ranking general
  of the officers of the armies of the Republic.

     (Among pigeon corners of the Congressional Library--they
      file documents quietly, casually, all in a day's work--
      this human document, the buck private nobody knows the
      name of--they file away in granite and steel--with music
      and roses, salutes, proclamations of the honorable
      orators.)

  Across the country, between two ocean shore lines,
  where cities cling to rail and water routes,
  there people and horses stop in their foot tracks,
  cars and wagons stop in their wheel tracks--
  faces at street crossings shine with a silence
  of eggs laid in a row on a pantry shelf--
  among the ways and paths of the flow of the Republic
  faces come to a standstill, sixty clockticks count--
  in the name of the Boy, in the name of the Republic.

     (A million faces a thousand miles from Pennsylvania Avenue
      stay frozen with a look, a clocktick, a moment--
      skeleton riders on skeleton horses--the nickering high horse
            laugh,
      the whinny and the howl up Pennsylvania Avenue:
      who? why? where?)

      (So people far from the asphalt footing of Pennsylvania
      Avenue look, wonder, mumble--the riding white-jaw
      phantoms ride hi-eeee, hi-eeee, hi-yi, hi-yi, hi-eeee--
      the proclamations of the honorable orators mix with the
      top-sergeants whistling the roll call.)

  If when the clockticks counted sixty,
  when the heartbeats of the Republic
  came to a stop for a minute,
  if the Boy had happened to sit up,
  happening to sit up as Lazarus sat up, in the story,
  then the first shivering language to drip off his mouth
  might have come as, "Thank God," or "Am I dreaming?"
  or "What the hell" or "When do we eat?"
  or "Kill 'em, kill 'em, the...."
  or "Was that ... a rat ... ran over my face?"
  or "For Christ's sake, gimme water, gimme water,"
  or "Blub blub, bloo bloo...."
  or any bubbles of shell shock gibberish
  from the gashes of No Man's Land.

  Maybe some buddy knows,
  some sister, mother, sweetheart,
  maybe some girl who sat with him once
  when a two-horn silver moon
  slid on the peak of a house-roof gable,
  and promises lived in the air of the night,
  when the air was filled with promises,
  when any little slip-shoe lovey
  could pick a promise out of the air.

      "Feed it to 'em,
      they lap it up,
      bull ... bull ... bull,"
  Said a movie news reel camera man,
  Said a Washington newspaper correspondent,
  Said a baggage handler lugging a trunk,
  Said a two-a-day vaudeville juggler,
  Said a hanky-pank selling jumping-jacks.
  "Hokum--they lap it up," said the bunch.

  And a tall scar-face ball player,
  Played out as a ball player,
  Made a speech of his own for the hero boy,
  Sent an earful of his own to the dead buck private:
       "It's all safe now, buddy,
       Safe when you say yes,
       Safe for the yes-men."

  He was a tall scar-face battler
  With his face in a newspaper
  Reading want ads, reading jokes,
  Reading love, murder, politics,
  Jumping from jokes back to the want ads,
  Reading the want ads first and last,
  The letters of the word JOB, "J-O-B,"
  Burnt like a shot of bootleg booze
  In the bones of his head--
  In the wish of his scar-face eyes.

  The honorable orators,
  Always the honorable orators,
  Buttoning the buttons on their prinz alberts,
  Pronouncing the syllables "sac-ri-fice,"
  Juggling those bitter salt-soaked syllables--
  Do they ever gag with hot ashes in their mouths?
  Do their tongues ever shrivel with a pain of fire
  Across those simple syllables "sac-ri-fice"?

  (There was one orator people far off saw.
  He had on a gunnysack shirt over his bones,
  And he lifted an elbow socket over his head,
  And he lifted a skinny signal finger.
  And he had nothing to say, nothing easy--
  He mentioned ten million men, mentioned them as having gone west,
        mentioned them as shoving up the daisies.
  We could write it all on a postage stamp, what he said.
  He said it and quit and faded away,
  A gunnysack shirt on his bones.)

      Stars of the night sky,
      did you see that phantom fadeout,
      did you see those phantom riders,
      skeleton riders on skeleton horses,
      stems of roses in their teeth,
      rose leaves red on white-jaw slants,
      grinning along on Pennsylvania Avenue,
      the top-sergeants calling roll calls--
      did their horses nicker a horse laugh?
      did the ghosts of the boney battalions
      move out and on, up the Potomac, over on the Ohio
      and out to the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Red River,
      and down to the Rio Grande, and on to the Yazoo,
      over to the Chattahoochee and up to the Rappahannock?
      did you see 'em, stars of the night sky?

      And so to-day--they lay him away--
      the boy nobody knows the name of--
      they lay him away in granite and steel--
      with music and roses--under a flag--
      under a sky of promises.



  CALIFORNIA CITY LANDSCAPE


  On a mountain-side the real estate agents
  Put up signs marking the city lots to be sold there.
  A man whose father and mother were Irish
  Ran a goat farm half-way down the mountain;
  He drove a covered wagon years ago,
  Understood how to handle a rifle,
  Shot grouse, buffalo, Indians, in a single year,
  And now was raising goats around a shanty.
  Down at the foot of the mountain
  Two Japanese families had flower farms.
  A man and woman were in rows of sweet peas
  Picking the pink and white flowers
  To put in baskets and take to the Los Angeles market.
  They were clean as what they handled
  There in the morning sun, the big people and the baby-faces.
  Across the road, high on another mountain,
  Stood a house saying, "I am it," a commanding house.
  There was the home of a motion picture director
  Famous for lavish whore-house interiors,
  Clothes ransacked from the latest designs for women
  In the combats of "male against female."
  The mountain, the scenery, the layout of the landscape,
  And the peace of the morning sun as it happened,
  The miles of houses pocketed in the valley beyond--
  It was all worth looking at, worth wondering about,
  How long it might last, how young it might be.



  UPSTREAM


  The strong men keep coming on.
  They go down shot, hanged, sick, broken.
  They live on, fighting, singing, lucky as plungers.

  The strong men ... they keep coming on.
  The strong mothers pulling them from a dark sea, a great prairie, a
        long mountain.

  Call hallelujah, call amen, call deep thanks.
  The strong men keep coming on.



  WINDFLOWER LEAF


  This flower is repeated
  out of old winds, out of
  old times.

  The wind repeats these, it
  must have these, over and
  over again.

  Oh, windflowers so fresh,
  Oh, beautiful leaves, here
  now again.

    The domes over
    fall to pieces.
    The stones under
    fall to pieces.
    Rain and ice
    wreck the works.
  The wind keeps, the windflowers
    keep, the leaves last,
  The wind young and strong lets
    these last longer than stones.



  VACHEL LINDSAY



  IN PRAISE OF JOHNNY APPLESEED[1]

  (_Born 1775. Died 1847_)

[Footnote 1: The best account of John Chapman's career, under the name
"Johnny Appleseed," is to be found in _Harper's Monthly Magazine_,
November, 1871.]


  I. ~Over the Appalachian Barricade~

  [Sidenote: _To be read like old leaves on the elm tree of Time.
             Sifting soft winds with sentence and rhyme_.]

  In the days of President Washington,
  The glory of the nations,
  Dust and ashes,
  Snow and sleet,
  And hay and oats and wheat,
  Blew west,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  Found the glades of rotting leaves, the soft deer-pastures,
  The farms of the far-off future
  In the forest.
  Colts jumped the fence,
  Snorting, ramping, snapping, sniffing,
  With gastronomic calculations,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  The east walls of our citadel,
  And turned to gold-horned unicorns,
  Feasting in the dim, volunteer farms of the forest.
  Stripedest, kickingest kittens escaped,
  Caterwauling "Yankee Doodle Dandy,"
  Renounced their poor relations,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  And turned to tiny tigers
  In the humorous forest.
  Chickens escaped
  From farmyard congregations,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  And turned to amber trumpets
  On the ramparts of our Hoosiers' nest and citadel,
  Millennial heralds
  Of the foggy mazy forest.
  Pigs broke loose, scrambled west,
  Scorned their loathsome stations,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  Turned to roaming, foaming wild boars
  Of the forest.
  The smallest, blindest puppies toddled west
  While their eyes were coming open,
  And, with misty observations,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  Barked, barked, barked
  At the glow-worms and the marsh lights and the lightning-bugs,
  And turned to ravening wolves
  Of the forest.
  Crazy parrots and canaries flew west,
  Drunk on May-time revelations,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  And turned to delirious, flower-dressed fairies
  Of the lazy forest.
  Haughtiest swans and peacocks swept west,
  And, despite soft derivations,
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  And turned to blazing warrior souls
  Of the forest,
  Singing the ways
  Of the Ancient of Days.
  And the "Old Continentals
  In their ragged regimentals,"
  With bard's imaginations,
  Crossed the Appalachians.
  And
  A boy
  Blew west
  And with prayers and incantations,
  And with "Yankee Doodle Dandy,"
  Crossed the Appalachians,
  And was "young John Chapman,"
  Then
  "Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Appleseed,"
  Chief of the fastnesses, dappled and vast,
  In a pack on his back,
  In a deer-hide sack,
  The beautiful orchards of the past,
  The ghosts of all the forests and the groves--
  In that pack on his back,
  In that talisman sack,
  To-morrow's peaches, pears and cherries,
  To-morrow's grapes and red raspberries,
  Seeds and tree souls, precious things,
  Feathered with microscopic wings,
  All the outdoors the child heart knows,
  And the apple, green, red, and white,
  Sun of his day and his night--
  The apple allied to the thorn,
  Child of the rose.
  Porches untrod of forest houses
  All before him, all day long,
  "Yankee Doodle" his marching song;
  And the evening breeze
  Joined his psalms of praise
  As he sang the ways
  Of the Ancient of Days.

  Leaving behind august Virginia,
  Proud Massachusetts, and proud Maine,
  Planting the trees that would march and train
  On, in his name to the great Pacific,
  Like Birnam wood to Dunsinane,
  Johnny Appleseed swept on,
  Every shackle gone,
  Loving every sloshy brake,
  Loving every skunk and snake,
  Loving every leathery weed,
  Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Appleseed,
  Master and ruler of the unicorn-ramping forest,
  The tiger-mewing forest,
  The rooster-trumpeting, boar-foaming, wolf-ravening forest,
  The spirit-haunted, fairy-enchanted forest,
  Stupendous and endless,
  Searching its perilous ways
  In the name of the Ancient of Days.


  III. ~The Indians Worship Him, but He hurries on~

  Painted kings in the midst of the clearing
  Heard him asking his friends the eagles
  To guard each planted seed and seedling.
  Then he was a god, to the red man's dreaming;
  Then the chiefs brought treasures grotesque and fair,--
  Magical trinkets and pipes and guns,
  Beads and furs from their medicine-lair,--
  Stuck holy feathers in his hair,
  Hailed him with austere delight.
  The orchard god was their guest through the night.

  While the late snow blew from bleak Lake Erie,
  Scourging rock and river and reed,
  All night long they made great medicine
  For Jonathan Chapman,
  Johnny Appleseed,
  Johnny Appleseed;
  And as though his heart were a wind-blown wheat-sheaf,
  As though his heart were a new-built nest,
  As though their heaven house were his breast,
  In swept the snow-birds singing glory.
  And I hear his bird heart beat its story,
  Hear yet how the ghost of the forest shivers,
  Hear yet the cry of the gray, old orchards,
  Dim and decaying by the rivers,
  And the timid wings of the bird-ghosts beating,
  And the ghosts of the tom-toms beating, beating.

  [Sidenote: _While you read, hear the hoof-beats of deer in the snow.
             And see, by their track, bleeding footprints we know._]

  But he left their wigwams and their love.
  By the hour of dawn he was proud and stark,
  Kissed the Indian babes with a sigh,
  Went forth to live on roots and bark,
  Sleep in the trees, while the years howled by--

  Calling the catamounts by name,
  And buffalo bulls no hand could tame,
  Slaying never a living creature,
  Joining the birds in every game,
  With the gorgeous turkey gobblers mocking,
  With the lean-necked eagles boxing and shouting;
  Sticking their feathers in his hair,--
  Turkey feathers,
  Eagle feathers,--
  Trading hearts with all beasts and weathers
  He swept on, winged and wonder-crested,
  Bare-armed, barefooted, and bare-breasted.

  [Sidenote: _While you read, see conventions of deer go by.
             The bucks toss their horns, the fuzzy fawns fly._]

  The maples, shedding their spinning seeds,
  Called to his appleseeds in the ground,
  Vast chestnut-trees, with their butterfly nations,
  Called to his seeds without a sound.
  And the chipmunk turned a "summer-set,"
  And the foxes danced the Virginia reel;
  Hawthorne and crab-thorn bent, rain-wet,
  And dropped their flowers in his night-black hair;
  And the soft fawns stopped for his perorations;
  And his black eyes shone through the forest-gleam,
  And he plunged young hands into new-turned earth,
  And prayed dear orchard boughs into birth;
  And he ran with the rabbit and slept with the stream.
  And he ran with the rabbit and slept with the stream.
  And so for us he made great medicine,
  And so for us he made great medicine,
  In the days of President Washington.


  III. ~Johnny Appleseed's Old Age~


  [Sidenote: _To be read
  like faint
  hoof-beats
  of fawns
  long gone
  From respectable
  pasture, and
  park and
  lawn,
  And heartbeats
  of
  fawns that
  are coming
  again
  When the
  forest, once
  more, is the
  master of
  men._]

  Long, long after,
  When settlers put up beam and rafter,
  They asked of the birds: "Who gave this fruit?
  Who watched this fence till the seeds took root?
  Who gave these boughs?" They asked the sky,
  And there was no reply.
  But the robin might have said,
  "To the farthest West he has followed the sun,
  His life and his empire just begun."

  Self-scourged, like a monk, with a throne for wages,
  Stripped like the iron-souled Hindu sages,
  Draped like a statue, in strings like a scarecrow,
  His helmet-hat an old tin pan,
  But worn in the love of the heart of man,
  More sane than the helm of Tamerlane,
  Hairy Ainu, wild man of Borneo, Robinson Crusoe--Johnny Appleseed;
  And the robin might have said,
  "Sowing, he goes to the far, new West,
  With the apple, the sun of his burning breast--
  The apple allied to the thorn,
  Child of the rose."

  Washington buried in Virginia,
  Jackson buried in Tennessee,
  Young Lincoln, brooding in Illinois,
  And Johnny Appleseed, priestly and free,
  Knotted and gnarled, past seventy years,
  Still planted on in the woods alone.
  Ohio and young Indiana--
  These were his wide altar-stone,
  Where still he burnt out flesh and bone.
  Twenty days ahead of the Indian, twenty years ahead of the white
        man,
  At last the Indian overtook him, at last the Indian hurried past
        him;
  At last the white man overtook him, at last the white man hurried
        past him;
  At last his own trees overtook him, at last his own trees hurried
        past him.
  Many cats were tame again,
  Many ponies tame again,
  Many pigs were tame again,
  Many canaries tame again;
  And the real frontier was his sun-burnt breast.

  From the fiery core of that apple, the earth,
  Sprang apple-amaranths divine.
  Love's orchards climbed to the heavens of the West,
  And snowed the earthly sod with flowers.
  Farm hands from the terraces of the blest
  Danced on the mists with their ladies fine;
  And Johnny Appleseed laughed with his dreams,
  And swam once more the ice-cold streams.
  And the doves of the spirit swept through the hours,
  With doom-calls, love-calls, death-calls, dream-calls;
  And Johnny Appleseed, all that year,
  Lifted his hands to the farm-filled sky,
  To the apple-harvesters busy on high;
  And so once more his youth began,
  And so for us he made great medicine--
  Johnny Appleseed, medicine-man.
  Then
  The sun was his turned-up broken barrel,
  Out of which his juicy apples rolled,
  Down the repeated terraces,
  Thumping across the gold,
  An angel in each apple that touched the forest mold,
  A ballot-box in each apple,
  A state capital in each apple,
  Great high schools, great colleges,
  All America in each apple,
  Each red, rich, round, and bouncing moon
  That touched the forest mold.
  Like scrolls and rolled-up flags of silk,
  He saw the fruits unfold,
  And all our expectations in one wild-flower-written dream,
  Confusion and death sweetness, and a thicket of crab-thorns,
  Heart of a hundred midnights, heart of the merciful morns.
  Heaven's boughs bent down with their alchemy,
  Perfumed airs, and thoughts of wonder.
  And the dew on the grass and his own cold tears
  Were one in brooding mystery,
  Though death's loud thunder came upon him,
  Though death's loud thunder struck him down--
  The boughs and the proud thoughts swept through the thunder,
  Till he saw our wide nation, each State a flower,
  Each petal a park for holy feet,
  With wild fawns merry on every street,
  With wild fawns merry on every street,
  The vista of ten thousand years, flower-lighted and complete.

  Hear the lazy weeds murmuring, bays and rivers whispering,
  From Michigan to Texas, California to Maine;
  Listen to the eagles, screaming, calling,
  "Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Appleseed,"
  There by the doors of old Fort Wayne.

  In the four-poster bed Johnny Appleseed built,
  Autumn rains were the curtains, autumn leaves were the quilt.
  He laid him down sweetly, and slept through the night,
  Like a bump on a log, like a stone washed white,
  There by the doors of old Fort Wayne.



  I KNOW ALL THIS WHEN GIPSY FIDDLES CRY


  Oh, gipsies, proud and stiff-necked and perverse,
  Saying: "We tell the fortunes of the nations,
  And revel in the deep palm of the world.
  The head-line is the road we choose for trade.
  The love-line is the lane wherein we camp.
  The life-line is the road we wander on.
  Mount Venus, Jupiter, and all the rest
  Are finger-tips of ranges clasping round
  And holding up the Romany's wide sky."

  Oh, gipsies, proud and stiff-necked and perverse,
  Saying: "We will swap horses till the doom,
  And mend the pots and kettles of mankind,
  And lend our sons to big-time vaudeville,
  Or to the race-track, or the learned world.
  But India's Brahma waits within their breasts.
  They will return to us with gipsy grins,
  And chatter Romany, and shake their curls
  And hug the dirtiest babies in the camp.
  They will return to the moving pillar of smoke,
  The whitest toothed, the merriest laughers known,
  The blackest haired of all the tribes of men.
  What trap can hold such cats? The Romany
  Has crossed such delicate palms with lead or gold,
  Wheedling in sun and rain, through perilous years,
  All coins now look alike. The palm is all.
  Our greasy pack of cards is still the book
  Most read of men. The heart's librarians,
  We tell all lovers what they want to know.
  So, out of the famed Chicago Library,
  Out of the great Chicago orchestras,
  Out of the skyscraper, the Fine Arts Building,
  Our sons will come with fiddles and with loot,
  Dressed, as of old, like turkey-cocks and zebras,
  Like tiger-lilies and chameleons,
  Go west with us to California,
  Telling the fortunes of the bleeding world,
  And kiss the sunset, ere their day is done."

  Oh, gipsies, proud and stiff-necked and perverse,
  Picking the brains and pockets of mankind,
  You will go westward for one-half hour yet.
  You will turn eastward in a little while.
  You will go back, as men turn to Kentucky,
  Land of their fathers, dark and bloody ground.
  When all the Jews go home to Syria,
  When Chinese cooks go back to Canton, China,
  When Japanese photographers return
  With their black cameras to Tokio,
  And Irish patriots to Donegal,
  And Scotch accountants back to Edinburgh,
  You will go back to India, whence you came.
  When you have reached the borders of your quest,
  Homesick at last, by many a devious way,
  Winding the wonderlands circuitous,
  By foot and horse will trace the long way back!
  Fiddling for ocean liners, while the dance
  Sweeps through the decks, your brown tribes all will go!
  Those east-bound ships will hear your long farewell
  On fiddle, piccolo, and flute and timbrel.
  I know all this, when gipsy fiddles cry.

  That hour of their homesickness, I myself
  Will turn, will say farewell to Illinois,
  To old Kentucky and Virginia,
  And go with them to India, whence they came.
  For they have heard a singing from the Ganges,
  And cries of orioles,--from the temple caves,--
  And Bengal's oldest, humblest villages.
  They smell the supper smokes of Amritsar.
  Green monkeys cry in Sanskrit to their souls
  From lofty bamboo trees of hot Madras.
  They think of towns to ease their feverish eyes,
  And make them stand and meditate forever,
  Domes of astonishment, to heal the mind.
  I know all this, when gipsy fiddles cry.

  What music will be blended with the wind
  When gipsy fiddlers, nearing that old land,
  Bring tunes from all the world to Brahma's house?
  Passing the Indus, winding poisonous forests,
  Blowing soft flutes at scandalous temple girls,
  Filling the highways with their magpie loot,
  What brass from my Chicago will they heap,
  What gems from Walla Walla, Omaha,
  Will they pile near the Bodhi Tree, and laugh?
  They will dance near such temples as best suit them,
  Though they will not quite enter, or adore,
  Looking on roofs, as poets look on lilies,
  Looking at towers, as boys at forest vines,
  That leap to tree-tops through the dizzy air.
  I know all this, when gipsy fiddles cry.

  And with the gipsies there will be a king
  And a thousand desperadoes just his style,
  With all their rags dyed in the blood of roses,
  Splashed with the blood of angels, and of demons.
  And he will boss them with an awful voice.
  And with a red whip he will beat his wife.
  He will be wicked on that sacred shore,
  And rattle cruel spurs against the rocks,
  And shake Calcutta's walls with circus bugles.
  He will kill Brahmins there, in Kali's name,
  And please the thugs, and blood-drunk of the earth.
  I know all this, when gipsy fiddles cry.

  Oh, sweating thieves, and hard-boiled scalawags,
  That still will boast your pride until the doom,
  Smashing every caste rule of the world,
  Reaching at last your Hindu goal to smash
  The caste rules of old India, and shout:
  "Down with the Brahmins, let the Romany reign."

  When gipsy girls look deep within my hand
  They always speak so tenderly and say
  That I am one of those star-crossed to wed
  A princess in a forest fairy-tale.
  So there will be a tender gipsy princess,
  My Juliet, shining through this clan.
  And I would sing you of her beauty now.
  And I will fight with knives the gipsy man
  Who tries to steal her wild young heart away.
  And I will kiss her in the waterfalls,
  And at the rainbow's end, and in the incense
  That curls about the feet of sleeping gods,
  And sing with her in canebrakes and in rice fields,
  In Romany, eternal Romany.
  We will sow secret herbs, and plant old roses,
  And fumble through dark, snaky palaces,
  Stable our ponies in the Taj Mahal,
  And sleep out-doors ourselves.
  In her strange fairy mill-wheel eyes will wait
  All windings and unwindings of the highways,
  From India, across America,--
  All windings and unwindings of my fancy,
  All windings and unwindings of all souls,
  All windings and unwindings of the heavens.
  I know all this, when gipsy fiddles cry.

  We gipsies, proud and stiff-necked and perverse,
  Standing upon the white Himalayas,
  Will think of far divine Yosemite.
  We will heal Hindu hermits there with oil
  Brought from California's tall sequoias.
  And we will be like gods that heap the thunders,
  And start young redwood trees on Time's own mountains.
  We will swap horses with the rising moon,
  And mend that funny skillet called Orion,
  Color the stars like San Francisco's street-lights,
  And paint our sign and signature on high
  In planets like a bed of crimson pansies;
  While a million fiddles shake all listening hearts,
  Crying good fortune to the Universe,
  Whispering adventure to the Ganges waves,
  And to the spirits, and all winds and gods.
  Till mighty Brahma puts his golden palm
  Within the gipsy king's great striped tent,
  And asks his fortune told by that great love-line
  That winds across his palm in splendid flame.

  Only the hearthstone of old India
  Will end the endless march of gipsy feet.
  I will go back to India with them
  When they go back to India whence they came.
  I know all this, when gipsy fiddles cry.



  JAMES OPPENHEIM



  HEBREWS


  I come of a mighty race.... I come of a very mighty race....
  Adam was a mighty man, and Noah a captain of the moving waters,
  Moses was a stern and splendid king, yea, so was Moses....
  Give me more songs like David's to shake my throat to the pit of the
        belly,
  And let me roll in the Isaiah thunder....

  Ho! the mightiest of our young men was born under a star in the
        midwinter....
  His name is written on the sun and it is frosted on the moon....
  Earth breathes him like an eternal spring: he is a second sky over
        the Earth.

  Mighty race! mighty race!--my flesh, my flesh
  Is a cup of song,
  Is a well in Asia....
  I go about with a dark heart where the Ages sit in a divine
        thunder....
  My blood is cymbal-clashed and the anklets of the dancers tinkle
        there....
  Harp and psaltery, harp and psaltery make drunk my spirit....
  I am of the terrible people, I am of the strange Hebrews....
  Amongst the swarms fixed like the rooted stars, my folk is a
        streaming Comet,
  Comet of the Asian tiger-darkness,
  The Wanderer of Eternity, the eternal Wandering Jew....

  Ho! we have turned against the mightiest of our young men
  And in that denial we have taken on the Christ,
  And the two thieves beside the Christ,
  And the Magdalen at the feet of the Christ,
  And the Judas with thirty silver pieces selling the Christ,--
  And our twenty centuries in Europe have the shape of a Cross
  On which we have hung in disaster and glory....

  Mighty race! mighty race!--my flesh, my flesh
  Is a cup of song,
  Is a well in Asia.



  ALFRED KREYMBORG



  ADAGIO: A DUET

  (_For J. S. and L. U._)


  Should you
  lay ear to these lines--
  you will not catch
  a distant drum of hoofs,
  cavalcade of Arabians,
  passionate horde bearing down,
  destroying your citadel--
  but maybe you'll hear--
  should you just
  listen at the right place,
  hold it tenaciously,
  give your full blood to the effort--
  maybe you'll note the start
  of a single step,
  always persistently faint,
  wavering in its movement
  between coming and going,
  never quite arriving,
  never quite passing--
  and tell me which it is,
  you or I
  that you greet,
  searching a mutual being--
  and whether two aren't closer
  for the labor of an ear?



  DIE KÜCHE


  She lets the hydrant water run:
  He fancies lonely, banal,
  bald-headed mountains,
  affected by the daily
  caress of the tropical sun,
  weeping tears the length of brooks
  down their faces and flanks.
  She lets the hydrant water run:
  He hearkens Father Sebastian
  cooking and spreading homely themes
  over an inept-looking clavier
  confounding the wits of his children
  and all men's children
  down to the last generation.
  He marvels at the paradox,
  drums his head with the tattoo:
  how can a thing as small as he
  shape and maintain an art
  out of himself universal enough
  to carry her daily vigil
  to crystalled immortality?
  She lets the hydrant water run.



  RAIN


  It's all very well for you
    suddenly to withdraw
    and say, I'll come again,
  but what of the bruises you've left,
  what of the green and the blue,
    the yellow, purple and violet?--
  don't you be telling us,
    I'm innocent of these,
    irresponsible of happenings--
  didn't we see you steal next to her,
    tenderly,
    with your silver mist about you
    to hide your blandishment?--
  now, what of what followed, eh?--
  we saw you hover close,
    caress her,
    open her pore-cups,
    make a cross of her,
    quickly penetrate her--
  she opening to you,
    engulfing you,
    every limb of her,
    bud of her, pore of her?--
  don't call these things, kisses--
    mouth-kisses, hand-kisses,
    elbow, knee and toe,
  and let it go at that
    disappear and promise
    what you'll never perform:
  we've known you to slink away
    until drought-time,
    drooping-time,
    withering-time:
  we've caught you crawling off
    into winter-time,
    try to cover what you've done
    with a long white scarf--
  your own frozen tears
    (likely phrase!)
    and lilt your,
    I'll be back in spring!
  Next spring, and you know it,
    she won't be the same,
    though she may look the same
    to you from where you are,
    and invite you down again!



  PEASANT


  It's the mixture of peasantry
    makes him so slow.
  He waggles his head
    before he speaks,
  like a cow
    before she crops.
  He bends to the habit
    of dragging his feet
    up under him,
  like a measuring-worm:
    some of his forefathers,
    stooped over books,
    ruled short straight lines
    under two rows of figures
    to keep their thin savings
    from sifting to the floor.
  Should you strike him
    with a question,
  he will blink twice or thrice
    and roll his head about,
  like an owl
    in the pin-pricks
    of a dawn he cannot see.
  There is mighty little flesh
    about his bones,
  there is no gusto
    in his stride:
  he seems to wait
    for the blow on the buttocks
    that will drive him
    another step forward--
    step forward to what?
  There is no land,
    no house,
    no barn,
  he has ever owned;
  he sits uncomfortable
    on chairs
    you might invite him to:
  if you did,
    he'd keep his hat in hand
    against the moment
    when some silent pause
    for which he hearkens
    with his ear to one side
    bids him move on--
    move on where?
  It doesn't matter.
  He has learned
    to shrug his shoulders,
    so he'll shrug his shoulders now:
  caterpillars do it
    when they're halted by a stick.
  Is there a sky overhead?--
    a hope worth flying to?--
  birds may know about it,
    but it's birds
    that birds descend from.



  BUBBLES


  You had best be very cautious how
  you say, I love you.
  If you accent the I,
  she has an opening for,
  who are you
  to strut on ahead
  and hint there aren't others,
  aren't, weren't and won't be?
  Blurt out the love,
  she has suspicion for, so?--
  why not hitherto?--
  what brings you bragging now?--
  and what'll it be hereafter?
  Defer to the you,
  she has certitude for, me?
  thanks, lad!--
  but why argue about it?--
  or fancy I'm lonesome?--
  do I look as though you had to?
  And having determined how
  you'll say it,
  you had next best ascertain whom
  it is that you say it to.
  That you're sure she's the one,
  that there'll never be another,
  never was one before.
  And having determined whom
  and having learned how,
  when you bring these together,
  inform the far of the intimate--
  like a bubble on a pond,
  emerging from below,
  round wonderment completed
  by the first sight of the sky--
  what good will it do,
  if she shouldn't, I love you?--
  a bubble's but a bubble once,
  a bubble grows to die.



  DIRGE


  Death alone
  has sympathy for weariness:
  understanding
  of the ways
  of mathematics:
  of the struggle
  against giving up what was given:
  the plus one minus one
  of nitrogen for oxygen:
  and the unequal odds,
  you a cell
  against the universe,
  a breath or two
  against all time:
  Death alone
  takes what is left
  without protest, criticism
  or a demand for more
  than one can give
  who can give
  no more than was given:
  doesn't even ask,
  but accepts it as it is,
  without examination,
  valuation,
  or comparison.



  COLOPHON

  (_For W. W._)


  The Occident and the Orient,
  posterior and posterior,
  sitting tight, holding fast
  the culture dumped by them
  on to primitive America,
  Atlantic to Pacific,
  were monumental colophons
  a disorderly country fellow,
  vulgar Long Islander.
  not overfond of the stench
  choking native respiration,
  poked down off the shelf
  with the aid of some
  mere blades of grass;
  and deliberately climbing up,
  brazenly usurping one end
  of the new America,
  now waves his spears aloft
  and shouts down valleys,
  across plains,
  over mountains,
  into heights:
  Come, what man of you
  dares climb the other?



  SARA TEASDALE



  WISDOM


  It was a night of early spring,
    The winter-sleep was scarcely broken;
  Around us shadows and the wind
    Listened for what was never spoken.

  Though half a score of years are gone,
    Spring comes as sharply now as then--
  But if we had it all to do
    It would be done the same again.

  It was a spring that never came;
    But we have lived enough to know
  That what we never have, remains;
    It is the things we have that go.



  PLACES


      I

  ~Twilight~

  (_Tucson_)

  Aloof as aged kings,
  Wearing like them the purple,
  The mountains ring the mesa
  Crowned with a dusky light;
  Many a time I watched
  That coming-on of darkness
  Till stars burned through the heavens
  Intolerably bright.

  It was not long I lived there,
  But I became a woman
  Under those vehement stars,
  For it was there I heard
  For the first time my spirit
  Forging an iron rule for me,
  As though with slow cold hammers
  Beating out word by word:

  "Take love when love is given,
  But never think to find it
  A sure escape from sorrow
  Or a complete repose;
  Only yourself can heal you,
  Only yourself can lead you
  Up the hard road to heaven
  That ends where no one knows."


     II

  Full Moon

  (_Santa Barbara_)

  I listened, there was not a sound to hear
    In the great rain of moonlight pouring down,
  The eucalyptus trees were carved in silver,
    And a light mist of silver lulled the town.

  I saw far off the gray Pacific bearing
    A broad white disk of flame,
  And on the garden-walk a snail beside me
    Tracing in crystal the slow way he came.


     III

  Winter Sun

  (_Lenox_)

  There was a bush with scarlet berries,
    And there were hemlocks heaped with snow,
  With a sound like surf on long sea-beaches
    They took the wind and let it go.

  The hills were shining in their samite,
    Fold after fold they flowed away;
  "Let come what may," your eyes were saying,
    "At least we two have had to-day."


     IV

  Evening

  (_Nahant_)

  There was an evening when the sky was clear,
    Ineffably translucent in its blue;
    The tide was falling, and the sea withdrew
  In hushed and happy music from the sheer
  Shadowy granite of the cliffs; and fear
    Of what life may be, and what death can do,
    Fell from us like steel armor, and we knew
  The beauty of the Law that holds us here.

  It was as though we saw the Secret Will,
    It was as though we floated and were free;
      In the south-west a planet shone serenely,
      And the high moon, most reticent and queenly,
  Seeing the earth had darkened and grown still,
    Misted with light the meadows of the sea.



  WORDS FOR AN OLD AIR


  Your heart is bound tightly, let
    Beauty beware;
  It is not hers to set
    Free from the snare.

  Tell her a bleeding hand
    Bound it and tied it;
  Tell her the knot will stand
    Though she deride it.

  One who withheld so long
    All that you yearned to take,
  Has made a snare too strong
    For Beauty's self to break.



  THOSE WHO LOVE


  Those who love the most
  Do not talk of their love;
  Francesca, Guenevere,
  Dierdre, Iseult, Heloise
  In the fragrant gardens of heaven
  Are silent, or speak, if at all,
  Of fragile, inconsequent things.

  And a woman I used to know
  Who loved one man from her youth,
  Against the strength of the fates
  Fighting in lonely pride,
  Never spoke of this thing,
  But hearing his name by chance,
  A light would pass over her face.



  TWO SONGS FOR SOLITUDE


        I

  ~The Crystal Gazer~

  I shall gather myself into myself again,
    I shall take my scattered selves and make them one,
  I shall fuse them into a polished crystal ball
    Where I can see the moon and the flashing sun.

  I shall sit like a sibyl, hour after hour intent,
    Watching the future come and the present go--
  And the little shifting pictures of people rushing
    In tiny self-importance to and fro.


        II

  ~The Solitary~

  My heart has grown rich with the passing of years,
    I have less need now than when I was young
  To share myself with every comer,
    Or shape my thoughts into words with my tongue.

  It is one to me that they come or go
    If I have myself and the drive of my will,
  And strength to climb on a summer night
    And watch the stars swarm over the hill.

  Let them think I love them more than I do,
    Let them think I care, though I go alone,
  If it lifts their pride, what is it to me
    Who am self-complete as a flower or a stone?



  LOUIS UNTERMEYER



  MONOLOG FROM A MATTRESS

  _Heinrich Heine ætat 56, loquitur:_


  Can that be you, _la mouche?_ Wait till I lift
  This palsied eye-lid and make sure.... Ah, true.
  Come in, dear fly, and pardon my delay
  In thus existing; I can promise you
  Next time you come you'll find no dying poet--
  Without sufficient spleen to see me through,
  The joke becomes too tedious a jest.
  I am afraid my mind is dull to-day;
  I have that--something--heavier on my chest
  And then, you see, I've been exchanging thoughts
  With Doctor Franz. He talked of Kant and Hegel
  As though he'd nursed them both through whooping cough
  And, as he left, he let his finger shake
  Too playfully, as though to say, "Now off
  With that long face--you've years and years to live."
  I think he thinks so. But, for Heaven's sake,
  Don't credit it--and never tell Mathilde.
  Poor dear, she has enough to bear already....

  This _was_ a month! During my lonely weeks
  One person actually climbed the stairs
  To seek a cripple. It was Berlioz--
  But Berlioz always was original.
  Meissner was also here; he caught me unawares,
  Scribbling to my old mother. "What!" he cried,
  "Is the old lady of the _Dammthor_ still alive?
  And do you write her still?" "Each month or so."
  "And is she not unhappy then, to find
  How wretched you must be?" "How can she know?
  You see," I laughed, "she thinks I am as well
  As when she saw me last. She is too blind
  To read the papers--some one else must tell
  What's in my letters, merely signed by me.
  Thus she is happy. For the rest--
  That any son should be as sick as I,
  No mother could believe."
                          _Ja_, so it goes.

  Come here, my lotus-flower. It is best
  I drop the mask to-day; the half-cracked shield
  Of mockery calls for younger hands to wield.
  Laugh--or I'll hug it closer to my breast.
  So ... I can be as mawkish as I choose
  And give my thoughts an airing, let them loose
  For one last rambling stroll before--Now look!
  Why tears? You never heard me say "the end."
  Before ... before I clap them in a book
  And so get rid of them once and for all.
  This is their holiday--we'll let them run--
  Some have escaped already. There goes one ...
  What, I have often mused, did Goethe mean?
  So many years ago at Weimar, Goethe said
  "Heine has all the poet's gifts but love."
  Good God! But that is all I ever had.
  More than enough! So much of love to give
  That no one gave me any in return.
  And so I flashed and snapped in my own fires
  Until I stood, with nothing left to burn,
  A twisted trunk, in chilly isolation.
  _Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam_--you recall?
  I was that Northern tree and, in the South,
  Amalia.... So I turned to scornful cries,
  Hot iron songs to save the rest of me;
  Plunging the brand in my own misery.
  Crouching behind my pointed wall of words,
  Ramparts I built of moons and loreleys,
  Enchanted roses, sphinxes, love-sick birds,
  Giants, dead lads who left their graves to dance,
  Fairies and phoenixes and friendly gods--
  A curious frieze, half Renaissance, half Greek,
  Behind which, in revulsion of romance,
  I lay and laughed--and wept--till I was weak.
  Words were my shelter, words my one escape,
  Words were my weapons against everything.
  Was I not once the son of Revolution?
  Give me the lyre, I said, and let me sing
  My song of battle: Words like flaming stars
  Shot down with power to burn the palaces;
  Words like bright javelins to fly with fierce
  Hate of the oily Philistines and glide
  Through all the seven heavens till they pierce
  The pious hypocrites who dare to creep
  Into the Holy Places. "Then," I cried,
  "I am a fire to rend and roar and leap;
  I am all joy and song, all sword and flame!"
  Ha--you observe me passionate. I aim
  To curb these wild emotions lest they soar
  Or drive against my will. (So I have said
  These many years--and still they are not tame.)
  Scraps of a song keep rumbling in my head ...
  Listen--you never heard me sing before.

    When a false world betrays your trust
      And stamps upon your fire,
    When what seemed blood is only rust,
      Take up the lyre!

    How quickly the heroic mood
      Responds to its own ringing;
    The scornful heart, the angry blood
      Leap upward, singing!

  Ah, that was how it used to be. But now,
  _Du schöner Todesengel_, it is odd
  How more than calm I am. Franz said it shows
  Power of religion, and it does, perhaps--
  Religion or morphine or poultices--God knows.
  I sometimes have a sentimental lapse
  And long for saviours and a physical God.
  When health is all used up, when money goes,
  When courage cracks and leaves a shattered will,
  Then Christianity begins. For a sick Jew,
  It is a very good religion ... Still,
  I fear that I will die as I have lived,
  A long-nosed heathen playing with his scars,
  A pagan killed by weltschmerz ... I remember,
  Once when I stood with Hegel at a window,
  I, being full of bubbling youth and coffee,
  Spoke in symbolic tropes about the stars.
  Something I said about "those high
  Abodes of all the blest" provoked his temper.
  "Abodes? The stars?" He froze me with a sneer,
  "A light eruption on the firmament."
  "But," cried romantic I, "is there no sphere
  Where virtue is rewarded when we die?"
  And Hegel mocked, "A very pleasant whim.
  So you demand a bonus since you spent
  One lifetime and refrained from poisoning
  Your testy grandmother!" ... How much of him
  Remains in me--even when I am caught
  In dreams of death and immortality.

  To be eternal--what a brilliant thought!
  It must have been conceived and coddled first
  By some old shopkeeper in Nuremberg,
  His slippers warm, his children amply nursed,
  Who, with his lighted meerschaum in his hand,
  His nightcap on his head, one summer night
  Sat drowsing at his door. And mused, how grand
  If all of this could last beyond a doubt--
  This placid moon, this plump _gemüthlichkeit_;
  Pipe, breath and summer never going out--
  To vegetate through all eternity ...
  But no such everlastingness for me!
  God, if he can, keep me from such a blight.

    _Death, it is but the long, cool night,
      And Life's a dull and sultry day.
      It darkens; I grow sleepy;
    I am weary of the light._

    _Over my bed a strange tree gleams
      And there a nightingale is loud.
      She sings of love, love only ...
    I hear it, even in dreams._

  My Mouche, the other day as I lay here,
  Slightly propped up upon this mattress-grave
  In which I've been interred these few eight years,
  I saw a dog, a little pampered slave,
  Running about and barking. I would have given
  Heaven could I have been that dog; to thrive
  Like him, so senseless--and so much alive!
  And once I called myself a blithe Hellene,
  Who am too much in love with life to live.
  (The shrug is pure Hebraic) ... For what I've been,
  A lenient Lord will tax me--and forgive.
  _Dieu me pardonnera--c'est son metier._
  But this is jesting. There are other scandals
  You haven't heard ... Can it be dusk so soon?
  Or is this deeper darkness ...? Is that you,
  Mother? How did you come? Where are the candles?...
  _Over my bed a strange tree gleams_--half filled
  With stars and birds whose white notes glimmer through
  Its seven branches now that all is stilled.
  What? Friday night again and all my songs
  Forgotten? Wait ... I still can sing--
  _Sh'ma Yisroel Adonai Elohenu,
  Adonai Echod ..._
                      Mouche--Mathilde!...



  WATERS OF BABYLON


  What presses about us here in the evening
    As you open a window and stare at a stone-gray sky,
  And the streets give back the jangle of meaningless movement
    That is tired of life and almost too tired to die.

  Night comes on, and even the night is wounded;
    There, on its breast, it carries a curved, white scar.
  What will you find out there that is not torn and anguished?
    Can God be less distressed than the least of His creatures are?

  Below are the blatant lights in a huddled squalor;
    Above are futile fires in freezing space.
  What can they give that you should look to them for compassion
    Though you bare your heart and lift an imploring face?

  They have seen, by countless waters and windows,
    The women of your race facing a stony sky;
  They have heard, for thousands of years, the voices of women
    Asking them: "Why ...?"

  Let the night be; it has neither knowledge nor pity.
    One thing alone can hope to answer your fear;
  It is that which struggles and blinds us and burns between us....
    Let the night be. Close the window, belovèd.... Come here.



  THE FLAMING CIRCLE


  Though for fifteen years you have chaffed me across the table,
    Slept in my arms and fingered my plunging heart,
  I scarcely know you; we have not known each other.
    For all the fierce and casual contacts, something keeps us apart.

  Are you struggling, perhaps, in a world that I see only dimly,
    Except as it sweeps toward the star on which I stand alone?
  Are we swung like two planets, compelled in our separate orbits,
    Yet held in a flaming circle far greater than our own?

  Last night we were single, a radiant core of completion,
    Surrounded by flames that embraced us but left no burns,
  To-day we are only ourselves; we have plans and pretensions;
    We move in dividing streets with our small and different concerns.

  Merging and rending, we wait for the miracle. Meanwhile
    The fire runs deeper, consuming these selves in its growth.
  Can this be the mystical marriage--this clash and communion;
    This pain of possession that frees and encircles us both?



  PORTRAIT OF A MACHINE


  What nudity is beautiful as this
  Obedient monster purring at its toil;
  These naked iron muscles dripping oil
  And the sure-fingered rods that never miss.
  This long and shining flank of metal is
  Magic that greasy labor cannot spoil;
  While this vast engine that could rend the soil
  Conceals its fury with a gentle hiss.

  It does not vent its loathing, does not turn
  Upon its makers with destroying hate.
  It bears a deeper malice; lives to earn
  Its master's bread and laughs to see this great
  Lord of the earth, who rules but cannot learn,
  Become the slave of what his slaves create.



  ROAST LEVIATHAN


  "_Old Jews!_" Well, David, aren't we?
  What news is that to make you see so red,
  To swear and almost tear your beard in half?
  Jeered at? Well, let them laugh.
  You can laugh longer when you're dead.

  What? Are you still too blind to see?
  Have you forgot your Midrash!... They were right,
  The little _goyim_, with their angry stones.
  You should be buried in the desert out of sight
  And not a dog should howl miscarried moans
  Over your foul bones....

  Have you forgotten what is promised us,
  Because of stinking days and rotting nights?
  Eternal feasting, drinking, blazing lights
  With endless leisure, periods of play!
  Supernal pleasures, myriads of gay
  Discussions, great debates with prophet-kings!
  And rings of riddling scholars all surrounding
  God who sits in the very middle, expounding
  The Torah.... _Now_ your dull eyes glisten!
  Listen:

  It is the final Day.
  A blast of Gabriel's horn has torn away
  The last haze from our eyes, and we can see
  Past the three hundred skies and gaze upon
  The Ineffable Name engraved deep in the sun.
  Now one by one, the pious and the just
  Are seated by us, radiantly risen
  From their dull prison in the dust.
  And then the festival begins!
  A sudden music spins great webs of sound
  Spanning the ground, the stars and their companions;
  While from the cliffs and cañons of blue air,
  Prayers of all colors, cries of exultation
  Rise into choruses of singing gold.
  And at the height of this bright consecration,
  The whole Creation's rolled before us.
  The seven burning heavens unfold....
  We see the first (the only one we know)
  Dispersed and, shining through,
  The other six declining: Those that hold
  The stars and moons, together with all those
  Containing rain and fire and sullen weather;
  Cellars of dew-fall higher than the brim;
  Huge arsenals with centuries of snows;
  Infinite rows of storms and swarms of seraphim....

       *     *     *     *     *

  Divided now are winds and waters. Sea and land,
  Tohu and Bohu, light and darkness, stand
  Upright on either hand.
  And down this terrible aisle,
  While heaven's ranges roar aghast,
  Pours a vast file of strange and hidden things:
  Forbidden monsters, crocodiles with wings
  And perfumed flesh that sings and glows
  With more fresh colors than the rainbow knows....
  The _reëm_, those great beasts with eighteen horns,
  Who mate but once in seventy years and die
  In their own tears which flow ten stadia high.
  The _shamir_, made by God on the sixth morn,
  No longer than a grain of barley corn
  But stronger than the bull of Bashan and so hard
  It cuts through diamonds. Meshed and starred
  With precious stones, there struts the shattering _ziz_
  Whose groans are wrinkled thunder....
  For thrice three hundred years the full parade
  Files past, a cavalcade of fear and wonder.
  And then the vast aisle clears.

  Now comes our constantly increased reward.
  The Lord commands that monstrous beast,
  Leviathan, to be our feast.
  What cheers ascend from horde on ravenous horde!
  One hears the towering creature rend the seas,
  Frustrated, cowering, and his pleas ignored.
  In vain his great, belated tears are poured--
  For this he was created, kept and nursed.
  Cries burst from all the millions that attend:
  _"Ascend, Leviathan, it is the end!
  We hunger and we thirst! Ascend!" ..._

  Observe him first, my friend.

      _God's deathless plaything rolls an eye
      Five hundred thousand cubits high.
      The smallest scale upon his tail
      Could hide six dolphins and a whale.
      His nostrils breathe--and on the spot
      The churning waves turn seething hot.
      If he be hungry, one huge fin
      Drives seven thousand fishes in;
      And when he drinks what he may need,
      The rivers of the earth recede.
      Yet he is more than huge and strong--
      Twelve brilliant colors play along
      His sides until, compared to him,
      The naked, burning sun seems dim.
      New scintillating rays extend
      Through endless singing space and rise
      Into an ecstasy that cries:
      "Ascend, Leviathan, ascend!"_

  God now commands the multi-colored bands
  Of angels to intrude and slay the beast
  That His good sons may have a feast of food.
  But as they come, Leviathan sneezes twice ...
  And, numb with sudden pangs, each arm hangs slack.
  Black terror seizes them; blood freezes into ice
  And every angel flees from the attack!
  God, with a look that spells eternal law,
  Compels them back.
  But, though they fight and smite him tail and jaw,
  Nothing avails; upon his scales their swords
  Break like frayed cords or, like a blade of straw,
  Bend towards the hilt and wilt like faded grass.
  Defeat and fresh retreat.... But once again
  God's murmurs pass among them and they mass
  With firmer steps upon the crowded plain.
  Vast clouds of spears and stones rise from the ground;
  But every dart flies past and rocks rebound
  To the disheartened angels falling around.

  A pause.
  The angel host withdraws
  With empty boasts throughout its sullen files.
  Suddenly God smiles....
  On the walls of heaven a tumble of light is caught.
  Low thunder rumbles like an afterthought;
  And God's slow laughter calls:
  "Behemot!"

      _Behemot, sweating blood,
      Uses for his daily food
      All the fodder, flesh and juice
      That twelve tall mountains can produce._

      _Jordan, flooded to the brim,
      Is a single gulp to him;
      Two great streams from Paradise
      Cool his lips and scarce suffice._

      _When he shifts from side to side
      Earthquakes gape and open wide;_
      _When a nightmare makes him snore,
      All the dead volcanoes roar._

      _In the space between each toe,
      Kingdoms rise and saviours go;
      Epochs fall and causes die
      In the lifting of his eye._

      _Wars and justice, love and death,
      These are but his wasted breath;
      Chews a planet for his cud--
      Behemot sweating blood._

  Roused from his unconcern,
  Behemot burns with anger.
  Dripping sleep and languor from his heavy haunches,
  He turns from deep disdain and launches
  Himself upon the thickening air,
  And, with weird cries of sickening despair,
  Flies at Leviathan.
  None can surmise the struggle that ensues--
  The eyes lose sight of it and words refuse
  To tell the story in its gory might.
  Night passes after night,
  And still the fight continues, still the sparks
  Fly from the iron sinews, ... till the marks
  Of fire and belching thunder fill the dark
  And, almost torn asunder, one falls stark,
  Hammering upon the other!...
  What clamor now is born, what crashings rise!
  Hot lightnings lash the skies and frightening cries
  Clash with the hymns of saints and seraphim.
  The bloody limbs thrash through a ruddy dusk,
  Till one great tusk of Behemot has gored
  Leviathan, restored to his full strength,
  Who, dealing fiercer blows in those last throes,
  Closes on reeling Behemot at length--
  Piercing him with steel-pointed claws,
  Straight through the jaws to his disjointed head.
  And both lie dead.

  _Then_ come the angels!
  With hoists and levers, joists and poles,
  With knives and cleavers, ropes and saws,
  Down the long slopes to the gaping maws,
  The angels hasten; hacking and carving,
  So nought will be lacking for the starving
  Chosen of God, who in frozen wonderment
  Realize now what the terrible thunder meant.
  How their mouths water while they are looking
  At miles of slaughter and sniffing the cooking!
  Whiffs of delectable fragrance swim by;
  Spice-laden vagrants that float and entice,
  Tickling the throat and brimming the eye.
  Ah! what rejoicing and crackling and roasting!
  Ah! How the boys sing as, cackling and boasting,
  The angels' old wives and their nervous assistants
  Run in to serve us....

                          And while we are toasting
  The Fairest of All, they call from the distance
  The rare ones of Time, they share our enjoyment;
  Their only employment to bear jars of wine
  And shine like the stars in a circle of glory.
  Here sways Rebekah accompanied by Zilpah;
  Miriam plays to the singing of Bilhah;
  Hagar has tales for us, Judith her story;
  Esther exhales bright romances and musk.
  There, in the dusky light, Salome dances.
  Sara and Rachel and Leah and Ruth,
  Fairer than ever and all in their youth,
  Come at our call and go by our leave.
  And, from her bower of beauty, walks Eve
  While, with the voice of a flower, she sings
  Of Eden, young earth and the birth of all things....

  Peace without end.
  Peace will descend on us, discord will cease;
  And we, now so wretched, will lie stretched out
  Free of old doubt, on our cushions of ease.
  And, like a gold canopy over our bed,
  The skin of Leviathan, tail-tip to head,
  Soon will be spread till it covers the skies.
  Light will still rise from it; millions of bright
  Facets of brilliance, shaming the white
  Glass of the moon, inflaming the night.

  So Time shall pass and rest and pass again,
  Burn with an endless zest and then return,
  Walk at our side and tide us to new joys;
  God's voice to guide us, beauty as our staff.
  Thus shall Life be when Death has disappeared....

  _Jeered at? Well, let them laugh._



  JOHN GOULD FLETCHER



  A REBEL


  Tie a bandage over his eyes,
  And at his feet
  Let rifles drearily patter
  Their death-prayers of defeat.

  Throw a blanket over his body,
  It need no longer stir;
  Truth will but stand the stronger
  For all who died for her.

  Now he has broken through
  To his own secret place;
  Which, if we dared to do,
  We would have no more power left to look on that dead face.



  THE ROCK


  This rock, too, was a word;
  A word of flame and force when that which hurled
  The stars into their places in the night
  First stirred.

  And, in the summer's heat,
  Lay not your hand on it, for while the iron hours beat
  Gray anvils in the sky, it glows again
  With unfulfilled desire.

  Touch it not; let it stand
  Ragged, forlorn, still looking at the land;
  The dry blue chaos of mountains in the distance,
  The slender blades of grass it shelters are
  Its own dark thoughts of what is near and far.
  Your thoughts are yours, too; naked let them stand.



  BLUE WATER


  Sea-violins are playing on the sands;
  Curved bows of blue and white are flying over the pebbles,
  See them attack the chords--dark basses, glinting trebles.
  Dimly and faint they croon, blue violins.
  "Suffer without regret," they seem to cry,
  "Though dark your suffering is, it may be music,
  Waves of blue heat that wash midsummer sky;
  Sea-violins that play along the sands."



  PRAYERS FOR WIND


  Let the winds come,
  And bury our feet in the sands of seven deserts;
  Let strong breezes rise,
  Washing our ears with the far-off sounds of the foam.
  Let there be between our faces
  Green turf and a branch or two of back-tossed trees;
  Set firmly over questioning hearts
  The deep unquenchable answer of the wind.



  IMPROMPTU


  My mind is a puddle in the street reflecting green Sirius;
  In thick dark groves trees huddle lifting their branches like
        beckoning hands.
  We eat the grain, the grain is death, all goes back to the earth's
        dark mass,
  All but a song which moves across the plain like the wind's
        deep-muttering breath.
  Bowed down upon the earth, man sets his plants and watches for the
        seed,
  Though he be part of the tragic pageant of the sky, no heaven will
        aid his mortal need.
  I find flame in the dust, a word once uttered that will stir again,
  And a wine-cup reflecting Sirius in the water held in my hands.



  CHINESE POET AMONG BARBARIANS


  The rain drives, drives endlessly,
  Heavy threads of rain;
  The wind beats at the shutters,
  The surf drums on the shore;
  Drunken telegraph poles lean sideways;
  Dank summer cottages gloom hopelessly;
  Bleak factory-chimneys are etched on the filmy distance,
  Tepid with rain.
  It seems I have lived for a hundred years
  Among these things;
  And it is useless for me now to make complaint against them.
  For I know I shall never escape from this dull barbarian country,
  Where there is none now left to lift a cool jade winecup,
  Or share with me a single human thought.



  SNOWY MOUNTAINS


  Higher and still more high,
  Palaces made for cloud,
  Above the dingy city-roofs
  Blue-white like angels with broad wings,
  Pillars of the sky at rest
  The mountains from the great plateau
  Uprise.

  But the world heeds them not;
  They have been here now for too long a time.
  The world makes war on them,
  Tunnels their granite cliffs,
  Splits down their shining sides,
  Plasters their cliffs with soap-advertisements,
  Destroys the lonely fragments of their peace.

  Vaster and still more vast,
  Peak after peak, pile after pile,
  Wilderness still untamed,
  To which the future is as was the past,
  Barrier spread by Gods,
  Sunning their shining foreheads,
  Barrier broken down by those who do not need
  The joy of time-resisting storm-worn stone,
  The mountains swing along
  The south horizon of the sky;
  Welcoming with wide floors of blue-green ice
  The mists that dance and drive before the sun.



  THE FUTURE


  After ten thousand centuries have gone,
  Man will ascend the last long pass to know
  That all the summits which he saw at dawn
  Are buried deep in everlasting snow.

  Below him endless gloomy valleys, chill,
  Will wreathe and whirl with fighting cloud, driven by the wind's
        fierce breath;
  But on the summit, wind and cloud are still:--
  Only the sunlight, and death.

  And staggering up to the brink of the gulf man will look down
  And painfully strive with weak sight to explore
  The silent gulfs below which the long shadows drown;
  Through every one of these he passed before.

  Then since he has no further heights to climb,
  And naught to witness he has come this endless way,
  On the wind-bitten ice cap he will wait for the last of time,
  And watch the crimson sunrays fading of the world's latest day:

  And blazing stars will burst upon him there,
  Dumb in the midnight of his hope and pain,
  Speeding no answer back to his last prayer,
  And, if akin to him, akin in vain.



  UPON THE HILL


  A hundred miles of landscape spread before me like a fan;
  Hills behind naked hills, bronze light of evening on them shed;
  How many thousand ages have these summits spied on man?
  How many thousand times shall I look on them ere this fire in me is
        dead?



  THE ENDURING


  If the autumn ended
  Ere the birds flew southward,
  If in the cold with weary throats
  They vainly strove to sing,
  Winter would be eternal;
  Leaf and bush and blossom
  Would never once more riot
  In the spring.

  If remembrance ended
  When life and love are gathered,
  If the world were not living
  Long after one is gone,
  Song would not ring, nor sorrow
  Stand at the door in evening;
  Life would vanish and slacken,
  Men would be changed to stone.

  But there will be autumn's bounty
  Dropping upon our weariness,
  There will be hopes unspoken
  And joys to haunt us still;
  There will be dawn and sunset
  Though we have cast the world away,
  And the leaves dancing
  Over the hill.



  JEAN STARR UNTERMEYER



  OLD MAN


  When an old man walks with lowered head
  And eyes that do not seem to see,
  I wonder does he ponder on
  The worm he was or is to be.

  Or has he turned his gaze within,
  Lost to his own vicinity;
  Erecting in a doubtful dream
  Frail bridges to Infinity.



  TONE PICTURE

  (Malipiero: _Impressioni Dal Vero_)


  Across the hot square, where the barbaric sun
  Pours coarse laughter on the crowds,
  Trumpets throw their loud nooses
  From corner to corner.
  Elephants, whose indifferent backs
  Heave with red lambrequins,
  Tigers with golden muzzles,
  Negresses, greased and turbaned in green and yellow,
  Weave and interweave in the merciless glare of noon.
  The sun flicks here and there like a throned tyrant,
  Snapping his whip.
  From amber platters, the smells ascend
  Of overripe peaches mingled with dust and heated oils.
  Pages in purple run madly about,
  Rolling their eyes and grinning with huge, frightened mouths.

  And from a high window--a square of black velvet--
  A haughty figure stands back in the shadow,
  Aloof and silent.



  THEY SAY--


  They say I have a constant heart, who know
    Not anything of how it turns and yields
    First here, first there; nor how in separate fields
  It runs to reap and then remains to sow;
  How, with quick worship, it will bend and glow
    Before a line of song, an antique vase,
    Evening at sea; or in a well-loved face
  Seek and find all that Beauty can bestow.

  Yet they do well who name it with a name,
    For all its rash surrenders call it true.
  Though many lamps be lit, yet flame is flame;
    The sun can show the way, a candle too.
  The tribute to each fragment is the same
    Service to all of Beauty--and her due.



  RESCUE


  Wind and wave and the swinging rope
  Were calling me last night;
  None to save and little hope,
  No inner light.

  Each snarling lash of the stormy sea
  Curled like a hungry tongue.
  One desperate splash--and no use to me
  The noose that swung!

  Death reached out three crooked claws
  To still my clamoring pain.
  I wheeled about, and Life's gray jaws
  Grinned once again.

  To sea I gazed, and then I turned
  Stricken toward the shore,
  Praying half-crazed to a moon that burned
  Above your door.

  And at your door, you discovered me;
  And at your heart, I sobbed ...
  And if there be more of eternity
  Let me be robbed.

  Let me be clipped of that heritage
  And burned for ages through;
  Freed and stripped of my fear and rage--
  But not of you.



  MATER IN EXTREMIS


  I stand between them and the outer winds,
  But I am a crumbling wall.
  They told me they could bear the blast alone,
  They told me: that was all.
  But I must wedge myself between
  Them and the first snowfall.

  Riddled am I by onslaughts and attacks
  I thought I could forestall;
  I reared and braced myself to shelter them
  Before I heard them call.
  I cry them, God, a better shield!
  I am about to fall.



  SELF-REJECTED


  Plow not nor plant this arid mound.
  Here is no sap for seed,
  No ferment for your need--
  Ungrateful ground!

  No sun can warm this spot
  God has forgot;
  No rain can penetrate
  Its barren slate.

  Demonic winds blow last year's stubble
  From its hard slope.
  Go, leave the hopeless without hope;
  Spare your trouble.



  H. D.



  HOLY SATYR


  Most holy Satyr,
  like a goat,
  with horns and hooves
  to match thy coat
  of russet brown,
  I make leaf-circlets
  and a crown of honey-flowers
  for thy throat;
  where the amber petals
  drip to ivory,
  I cut and slip
  each stiffened petal
  in the rift
  of carven petal:
  honey horn
  has wed the bright
  virgin petal of the white
  flower cluster: lip to lip
  let them whisper,
  let them lilt, quivering:

  Most holy Satyr,
  like a goat,
  hear this our song,
  accept our leaves,
  love-offering,
  return our hymn;
  like echo fling
  a sweet song,
  answering note for note.



  LAIS


  Let her who walks in Paphos
  take the glass,
  let Paphos take the mirror
  and the work of frosted fruit,
  gold apples set
  with silver apple-leaf,
  white leaf of silver
  wrought with vein of gilt.

  Let Paphos lift the mirror;
  let her look
  into the polished center of the disk.

  Let Paphos take the mirror:
  did she press
  flowerlet of flame-flower
  to the lustrous white
  of the white forehead?
  did the dark veins beat
  a deeper purple
  than the wine-deep tint
  of the dark flower?

  Did she deck black hair,
  one evening, with the winter-white
  flower of the winter-berry?
  Did she look (reft of her lover)
  at a face gone white
  under the chaplet
  of white virgin-breath?

  Lais, exultant, tyrannizing Greece,
  Lais who kept her lovers in the porch,
  lover on lover waiting
  (but to creep
  where the robe brushed the threshold
  where still sleeps Lais),
  so she creeps, Lais,
  to lay her mirror at the feet
  of her who reigns in Paphos.

  Lais has left her mirror,
  for she sees no longer in its depth
  the Lais' self
  that laughed exultant,
  tyrannizing Greece.

  Lais has left her mirror,
  for she weeps no longer,
  finding in its depth
  a face, but other
  than dark flame and white
  feature of perfect marble.

  _Lais has left her mirror_
  (so one wrote)
  _to her who reigns in Paphos;
  Lais who laughed a tyrant over Greece,
  Lais who turned the lovers from the porch,
  that swarm for whom now
  Lais has no use;
  Lais is now no lover of the glass,
  seeing no more the face as once it was,
  wishing to see that face and finding this._



  HELIODORA


  He and I sought together,
  over the spattered table,
  rhymes and flowers,
  gifts for a name.

  He said, among others,
  I will bring
  (and the phrase was just and good,
  but not as good as mine)
  "the narcissus that loves the rain."

  We strove for a name,
  while the light of the lamps burnt thin
  and the outer dawn came in,
  a ghost, the last at the feast
  or the first,
  to sit within
  with the two that remained
  to quibble in flowers and verse
  over a girl's name.

  He said, "the rain loving,"
  I said, "the narcissus, drunk,
  drunk with the rain."

  Yet I had lost
  for he said,
  "the rose, the lover's gift,
  is loved of love,"
  he said it,
  "loved of love;"
  I waited, even as he spoke,
  to see the room filled with a light,
  as when in winter
  the embers catch in a wind
  when a room is dank:
  so it would be filled, I thought,
  our room with a light
  when he said
  (and he said it first)
  "the rose, the lover's delight,
  is loved of love,"
  but the light was the same.

  Then he caught,
  seeing the fire in my eyes,
  my fire, my fever, perhaps,
  for he leaned
  with the purple wine
  stained in his sleeve,
  and said this:
  "Did you ever think
  a girl's mouth
  caught in a kiss
  is a lily that laughs?"

  I had not.
  I saw it now
  as men must see it forever afterwards;
  no poet could write again,
  "the red-lily,
  a girl's laugh caught in a kiss;"
  it was his to pour in the vat
  from which all poets dip and quaff,
  for poets are brothers in this.

  So I saw the fire in his eyes,
  it was almost my fire
  (he was younger)
  I saw the face so white;
  my heart beat,
  it was almost my phrase,
  I said, "surprise the muses,
  take them by surprise;
  it is late,
  rather it is dawn-rise,
  those ladies sleep, the nine,
  our own king's mistresses."

  A name to rhyme,
  flowers to bring to a name,
  what was one girl faint and shy,
  with eyes like the myrtle
  (I said: "her underlids
  are rather like myrtle"),
  to vie with the nine?

  Let him take the name,
  he had the rhymes,
  "the rose, loved of love,"
  "the lily, a mouth that laughs,"
  he had the gift,
  "the scented crocus,
  the purple hyacinth,"
  what was one girl to the nine?

  He said:
  "I will make her a wreath;"
  he said:
  "I will write it thus:
  _'I will bring you the lily that laughs,
  I will twine
  with soft narcissus, the myrtle,
  sweet crocus, white violet,
  the purple hyacinth and, last,
  the rose, loved of love,
  that these may drip on your hair
  the less soft flowers,
  may mingle sweet with the sweet
  of Heliodora's locks,
  myrrh-curled.'_"

  (He wrote myrrh-curled,
  I think, the first.)

  I said:
  "they sleep, the nine,"
  when he shouted swift and passionate:
  "_that_ for the nine!
  Above the mountains
  the sun is about to wake,
  _and to-day white violets
  shine beside white lilies
  adrift on the mountain side;
  to-day the narcissus opens
  that loves the rain_."

  I watched him to the door,
  catching his robe
  as the wine-bowl crashed to the floor,
  spilling a few wet lees
  (ah, his purple hyacinth!);
  I saw him out of the door,
  I thought:
  there will never be a poet,
  in all the centuries after this,
  who will dare write,
  after my friend's verse,
  "a girl's mouth
  is a lily kissed."



  TOWARD THE PIRÆUS


  _Slay with your eyes, Greek,
  men over the face of the earth,
  slay with your eyes, the host,
  puny, passionless, weak._

  _Break, as the ranks of steel
  broke of the Persian host:
  craven, we hated them then:
  now we would count them Gods
  beside these, spawn of the earth._

  _Grant us your mantle, Greek;
  grant us but one
  to fright (as your eyes) with a sword,
  men, craven and weak,
  grant us but one to strike
  one blow for you, passionate Greek._


        I

  You would have broken my wings,
  but the very fact that you knew
  I had wings, set some seal
  on my bitter heart, my heart
  broke and fluttered and sang.

  You would have snared me,
  and scattered the strands of my nest;
  but the very fact that you saw,
  sheltered me, claimed me,
  set me apart from the rest.

  Of men--of _men_ made you a god,
  and me, claimed me, set me apart
  and the song in my breast, yours, yours forever--
  if I escape your evil heart.


        II

  I loved you:
  men have writ and women have said
  they loved,
  but as the Pythoness stands by the altar,
  intense and may not move;

  till the fumes pass over;
  and may not falter nor break,
  till the priest has caught the words
  that mar or make
  a deme or a ravaged town;

  so I, though my knees tremble,
  my heart break,
  must note the rumbling,
  heed only the shuddering
  down in the fissure beneath the rock
  of the temple floor;

  must wait and watch
  and may not turn nor move,
  nor break from my trance to speak
  so slight, so sweet,
  so simple a word as love.


        III

  What had you done
  had you been true,
  I can not think,
  I may not know.

  What could we do
  were I not wise,
  what play invent,
  what joy devise?

  What could we do
  if you were great?
  (Yet were you lost,
  who were there, then,
  to circumvent
  the tricks of men?)

  What can we do,
  for curious lies
  have filled your heart,
  and in my eyes
  sorrow has writ
  that I am wise.


        IV

  If I had been a boy,
  I would have worshiped your grace,
  I would have flung my worship
  before your feet,
  I would have followed apart,
  glad, rent with an ecstasy
  to watch you turn
  your great head, set on the throat,
  thick, dark with its sinews,
  burned and wrought
  like the olive stalk,
  and the noble chin
  and the throat.

  I would have stood,
  and watched and watched
  and burned,
  and when in the night,
  from the many hosts, your slaves,
  and warriors and serving men
  you had turned
  to the purple couch and the flame
  of the woman, tall like cypress tree
  that flames sudden and swift and free
  as with crackle of golden resin
  and cones and the locks flung free
  like the cypress limbs,
  bound, caught and shaken and loosed,
  bound, caught and riven and bound
  and loosened again,
  as in rain of a kingly storm
  or wind full from a desert plain.

  So, when you had risen
  from all the lethargy of love and its heat,
  you would have summoned me, me alone,
  and found my hands,
  beyond all the hands in the world,
  cold, cold, cold,
  intolerably cold and sweet.


        V

  It was not chastity that made me cold nor fear,
  only I knew that you, like myself, were sick
  of the puny race that crawls and quibbles and lisps
  of love and love and lovers and love's deceit.

  It was not chastity that made me wild but fear
  that my weapon, tempered in different heat,
  was over-matched by yours, and your hand
  skilled to yield death-blows, might break.

  With the slightest turn--no ill-will meant--
  my own lesser, yet still somewhat fine-wrought
  fiery-tempered, delicate, over-passionate steel.



  CONRAD AIKEN



  SEVEN TWILIGHTS


        I

  The ragged pilgrim, on the road to nowhere,
  Waits at the granite milestone. It grows dark.
  Willows lean by the water. Pleas of water
  Cry through the trees. And on the boles and boughs
  Green water-lights make rings, already paling.
  Leaves speak everywhere. The willow leaves
  Silverly stir on the breath of moving water,
  Birch-leaves, beyond them, twinkle, and there on the hill,
  And the hills beyond again, and the highest hill,
  Serrated pines, in the dusk, grow almost black.
  By the eighth milestone on the road to nowhere
  He drops his sack, and lights once more the pipe
  There often lighted. In the dusk-sharpened sky
  A pair of night-hawks windily sweep, or fall,
  Booming, toward the trees. Thus had it been
  Last year, and the year before, and many years:
  Ever the same. "Thus turns the human track
  Backward upon itself, I stand once more
  By this small stream..." Now the rich sound of leaves,
  Turning in air to sway their heavy boughs,
  Burns in his heart, sings in his veins, as spring
  Flowers in veins of trees; bringing such peace
  As comes to seamen when they dream of seas.
  "O trees! exquisite dancers in gray twilight!
  Witches! fairies! elves! who wait for the moon
  To thrust her golden horn, like a golden snail,
  Above that mountain--arch your green benediction
  Once more over my heart. Muffle the sound of bells,
  Mournfully human, that cries from the darkening valley;
  Close, with your leaves, about the sound of water:
  Take me among your hearts as you take the mist
  Among your boughs!" ... Now by the granite milestone,
  On the ancient human road that winds to nowhere,
  The pilgrim listens, as the night air brings
  The murmured echo, perpetual, from the gorge
  Of barren rock far down the valley. Now,
  Though twilight here, it may be starlight there;
  Mist makes elfin lakes in the hollow fields;
  The dark wood stands in the mist like a somber island
  With one red star above it.... "This I should see,
  Should I go on, follow the falling road,--
  This I have often seen.... But I shall stay
  Here, where the ancient milestone, like a watchman,
  Lifts up its figure eight, its one gray knowledge,
  Into the twilight; as a watchman lifts
  A lantern, which he does not know is out."


        II

  Now by the wall of the ancient town I lean
  Myself, like ancient wall and dust and sky,
  And the purple dusk, grown old, grown old in heart.
  Shadows of clouds flow inward from the sea.
  The mottled fields grow dark. The golden wall
  Grows gray again, turns stone again, the tower,
  No longer kindled, darkens against a cloud.
  Old is the world, old as the world am I;
  The cries of sheep rise upward from the fields,
  Forlorn and strange; and wake an ancient echo
  In fields my heart has known, but has not seen.
  "These fields"--an unknown voice beyond the wall
  Murmurs--"were once the province of the sea.
  Where now the sheep graze, mermaids were at play,
  Sea-horses galloped, and the great jeweled tortoise
  Walked slowly, looking upward at the waves,
  Bearing upon his back a thousand barnacles,
  A white acropolis ..." The ancient tower
  Sends out, above the houses and the trees,
  And the wide fields below the ancient walls,
  A measured phrase of bells. And in the silence
  I hear a woman's voice make answer then:
  "Well, they are green, although no ship can sail them....
  Sky-larks rest in the grass, and start up singing
  Before the girl who stoops to pick sea-poppies.
  Spiny, the poppies are, and oh how yellow!
  And the brown clay is runneled by the rain...."
  A moment since, the sheep that crop the grass
  Had long blue shadows, and the grass-tips sparkled:
  Now all grows old.... O voices strangely speaking,
  Voices of man and woman, voices of bells,
  Diversely making comment on our time
  Which flows and bears us with it into dusk,
  Repeat the things you say! Repeat them slowly
  Upon this air, make them an incantation
  For ancient tower, old wall, the purple twilight,
  This dust, and me. But all I hear is silence,
  And something that may be leaves or may be sea.


        III

  When the tree bares, the music of it changes:
  Hard and keen is the sound, long and mournful;
  Pale are the poplar boughs in the evening light
  Above my house, against a slate-cold cloud.
  When the house ages and the tenants leave it,
  Cricket sings in the tall grass by the threshold;
  Spider, by the cold mantel, hangs his web.
  Here, in a hundred years from that clear season
  When first I came here, bearing lights and music,
  To this old ghostly house my ghost will come,--
  Pause in the half-light, turn by the poplar, glide
  Above tall grasses through the broken door.
  Who will say that he saw--or the dusk deceived him--
  A mist with hands of mist blow down from the tree
  And open the door and enter and close it after?
  Who will say that he saw, as midnight struck
  Its tremulous golden twelve, a light in the window,
  And first heard music, as of an old piano,
  Music remote, as if it came from the earth,
  Far down; and then, in the quiet, eager voices?
  "... Houses grow old and die, houses have ghosts--
  Once in a hundred years we return, old house,
  And live once more." ... And then the ancient answer,
  In a voice not human, but more like creak of boards
  Or rattle of panes in the wind--"Not as the owner,
  But as a guest you come, to fires not lit
  By hands of yours.... Through these long-silent chambers
  Move slowly, turn, return, and bring once more
  Your lights and music. It will be good to talk."


        IV

  "This is the hour," she said, "of transmutation:
  It is the eucharist of the evening, changing
  All things to beauty. Now the ancient river,
  That all day under the arch was polished jade,
  Becomes the ghost of a river, thinly gleaming
  Under a silver cloud.... It is not water:
  It is that azure stream in which the stars
  Bathe at the daybreak, and become immortal...."
  "And the moon," said I--not thus to be outdone--
  "What of the moon? Over the dusty plane-trees
  Which crouch in the dusk above their feeble lanterns,
  Each coldly lighted by his tiny faith;
  The moon, the waxen moon, now almost full,
  Creeps whitely up.... Westward the waves of cloud,
  Vermilion, crimson, violet, stream on the air,
  Shatter to golden flakes in the icy green
  Translucency of twilight.... And the moon
  Drinks up their light, and as they fade or darken,
  Brightens.... O monstrous miracle of the twilight,
  That one should live because the others die!"
  "Strange too," she answered, "that upon this azure
  Pale-gleaming ghostly stream, impalpable--
  So faint, so fine that scarcely it bears up
  The petals that the lantern strews upon it,--
  These great black barges float like apparitions,
  Loom in the silver of it, beat upon it,
  Moving upon it as dragons move on air."
  "Thus always," then I answered,--looking never
  Toward her face, so beautiful and strange
  It grew, with feeding on the evening light,--
  "The gross is given, by inscrutable God,
  Power to beat wide wings upon the subtle.
  Thus we ourselves, so fleshly, fallible, mortal,
  Stand here, for all our foolishness, transfigured:
  Hung over nothing in an arch of light
  While one more evening like a wave of silence
  Gathers the stars together and goes out."


        V

  Now the great wheel of darkness and low clouds
  Whirs and whirls in the heavens with dipping rim;
  Against the ice-white wall of light in the west
  Skeleton trees bow down in a stream of air.
  Leaves, black leaves and smoke, are blown on the wind;
  Mount upward past my window; swoop again;
  In a sharp silence, loudly, loudly falls
  The first cold drop, striking a shriveled leaf....
  Doom and dusk for the earth! Upward I reach
  To draw chill curtains and shut out the dark,
  Pausing an instant, with uplifted hand,
  To watch, between black ruined portals of cloud,
  One star,--the tottering portals fall and crush it.
  Here are a thousand books! here is the wisdom
  Alembicked out of dust, or out of nothing;
  Choose now the weightiest word, most golden page,
  Most somberly musicked line; hold up these lanterns,--
  These paltry lanterns, wisdoms, philosophies,--
  Above your eyes, against this wall of darkness;
  And you'll see--what? One hanging strand of cobweb,
  A window-sill a half-inch deep in dust ...
  Speak out, old wise-men! Now, if ever, we need you.
  Cry loudly, lift shrill voices like magicians
  Against this baleful dusk, this wail of rain....
  But you are nothing! Your pages turn to water
  Under my fingers: cold, cold and gleaming,
  Arrowy in the darkness, rippling, dripping--
  All things are rain.... Myself, this lighted room,
  What are we but a murmurous pool of rain?...
  The slow arpeggios of it, liquid, sibilant,
  Thrill and thrill in the dark. World-deep I lie
  Under a sky of rain. Thus lies the sea-shell
  Under the rustling twilight of the sea;
  No gods remember it, no understanding
  Cleaves the long darkness with a sword of light.


        VI

  Heaven, you say, will be a field in April,
  A friendly field, a long green wave of earth,
  With one domed cloud above it. There you'll lie
  In noon's delight, with bees to flash above you,
  Drown amid buttercups that blaze in the wind,
  Forgetting all save beauty. There you'll see
  With sun-filled eyes your one great dome of cloud
  Adding fantastic towers and spires of light,
  Ascending, like a ghost, to melt in the blue.
  Heaven enough, in truth, if you were there!
  Could I be with you I would choose your noon,
  Drown amid buttercups, laugh with the intimate grass,
  Dream there forever.... But, being older, sadder,
  Having not you, nor aught save thought of you,
  It is not spring I'll choose, but fading summer;
  Not noon I'll choose, but the charmed hour of dusk.
  Poppies? A few! And a moon almost as red....
  But most I'll choose that subtler dusk that comes
  Into the mind--into the heart, you say--
  When, as we look bewildered at lovely things,
  Striving to give their loveliness a name,
  They are forgotten; and other things, remembered,
  Flower in the heart with the fragrance we call grief.


        VII

  In the long silence of the sea, the seaman
  Strikes twice his bell of bronze. The short note wavers
  And loses itself in the blue realm of water.
  One sea-gull, paired with a shadow, wheels, wheels;
  Circles the lonely ship by wave and trough;
  Lets down his feet, strikes at the breaking water,
  Draws up his golden feet, beats wings, and rises
  Over the mast.... Light from a crimson cloud
  Crimsons the sluggishly creeping foams of waves;
  The seaman, poised in the bow, rises and falls
  As the deep forefoot finds a way through waves;
  And there below him, steadily gazing westward,
  Facing the wind, the sunset, the long cloud,
  The goddess of the ship, proud figurehead,
  Smiles inscrutably, plunges to crying waters,
  Emerges streaming, gleaming, with jewels falling
  Fierily from carved wings and golden breasts;
  Steadily glides a moment, then swoops again.
  Carved by the hand of man, grieved by the wind;
  Worn by the tumult of all the tragic seas,
  Yet smiling still, unchanging, smiling still
  Inscrutably, with calm eyes and golden brow--
  What is it that she sees and follows always,
  Beyond the molten and ruined west, beyond
  The light-rimmed sea, the sky itself? What secret
  Gives wisdom to her purpose? Now the cloud
  In final conflagration pales and crumbles
  Into the darkening waters. Now the stars
  Burn softly through the dusk. The seaman strikes
  His small lost bell again, watching the west
  As she below him watches.... O pale goddess
  Whom not the darkness, even, or rain or storm,
  Changes; whose great wings are bright with foam,
  Whose breasts are cold as the sea, whose eyes forever
  Inscrutably take that light whereon they look--
  Speak to us! Make us certain, as you are,
  That somewhere, beyond wave and wave and wave,
  That dreamed-of harbor lies which we would find.



  TETÉLESTAI


        I

  How shall we praise the magnificence of the dead,
  The great man humbled, the haughty brought to dust?
  Is there a horn we should not blow as proudly
  For the meanest of us all, who creeps his days,
  Guarding his heart from blows, to die obscurely?
  I am no king, have laid no kingdoms waste,
  Taken no princes captive, led no triumphs
  Of weeping women through long walls of trumpets;
  Say rather I am no one, or an atom;
  Say rather, two great gods in a vault of starlight
  Play ponderingly at chess; and at the game's end
  One of the pieces, shaken, falls to the floor
  And runs to the darkest corner; and that piece
  Forgotten there, left motionless, is I....
  Say that I have no name, no gifts, no power,
  Am only one of millions, mostly silent;
  One who came with lips and hands and a heart,
  Looked on beauty, and loved it, and then left it.
  Say that the fates of time and space obscured me,
  Led me a thousand ways to pain, bemused me,
  Wrapped me in ugliness; and like great spiders
  Dispatched me at their leisure.... Well, what then?
  Should I not hear, as I lie down in dust,
  The horns of glory blowing above my burial?


        II

  Morning and evening opened and closed above me:
  Houses were built above me; trees let fall
  Yellowing leaves upon me, hands of ghosts,
  Rain has showered its arrows of silver upon me
  Seeking my heart; winds have roared and tossed me;
  Music in long blue waves of sound has borne me
  A helpless weed to shores of unthought silence;
  Time, above me, within me, crashed its gongs
  Of terrible warning, sifting the dust of death;
  And here I lie. Blow now your horns of glory
  Harshly over my flesh, you trees, you waters!
  You stars and suns, Canopus, Deneb, Rigel,
  Let me, as I lie down, here in this dust,
  Hear, far off, your whispered salutation!
  Roar now above my decaying flesh, you winds,
  Whirl out your earth-scents over this body, tell me
  Of ferns and stagnant pools, wild roses, hillsides!
  Anoint me, rain, let crash your silver arrows
  On this hard flesh! I am the one who named you,
  I lived in you, and now I die in you.
  I, your son, your daughter, treader of music,
  Lie broken, conquered.... Let me not fall in silence.


        III

  I, the restless one; the circler of circles;
  Herdsman and roper of stars, who could not capture
  The secret of self; I who was tyrant to weaklings,
  Striker of children; destroyer of women; corrupter
  Of innocent dreamers, and laugher at beauty; I,
  Too easily brought to tears and weakness by music,
  Baffled and broken by love, the helpless beholder
  Of the war in my heart of desire with desire, the struggle
  Of hatred with love, terror with hunger; I
  Who laughed without knowing the cause of my laughter, who grew
  Without wishing to grow, a servant to my own body;
  Loved without reason the laughter and flesh of a woman,
  Enduring such torments to find her! I who at last
  Grow weaker, struggle more feebly, relent in my purpose,
  Choose for my triumph an easier end, look backward
  At earlier conquests; or, caught in the web, cry out
  In a sudden and empty despair, "Tetélestai!"
  Pity me, now! I, who was arrogant, beg you!
  Tell me, as I lie down, that I was courageous.
  Blow horns of victory now, as I reel and am vanquished.
  Shatter the sky with trumpets above my grave.


        IV

  ... Look! this flesh how it crumbles to dust and is blown!
  These bones, how they grind in the granite of frost and are nothing!
  This skull, how it yawns for a flicker of time in the darkness
  Yet laughs not and sees not! It is crushed by a hammer of sunlight,
  And the hands are destroyed.... Press down through the leaves of the
        jasmine,
  Dig through the interlaced roots--nevermore will you find me;
  I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me....
  Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing?
  Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun?
  Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble
  In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?...
  Listen!... It says: "I lean by the river. The willows
  Are yellowed with bud. White clouds roar up from the south
  And darken the ripples; but they cannot darken my heart,
  Nor the face like a star in my heart!... Rain falls on the water
  And pelts it, and rings it with silver. The willow trees glisten,
  The sparrows chirp under the eaves; but the face in my heart
  Is a secret of music.... I wait in the rain and am silent."
  Listen again!... It says: "I have worked, I am tired,
  The pencil dulls in my hand: I see through the window
  Walls upon walls of windows with faces behind them,
  Smoke floating up to the sky, an ascension of seagulls.
  I am tired. I have struggled in vain, my decision was fruitless,
  Why then do I wait? with darkness, so easy, at hand!...
  But to-morrow, perhaps.... I will wait and endure till
        to-morrow!..."
  Or again: "It is dark. The decision is made. I am vanquished
  By terror of life. The walls mount slowly about me
  In coldness. I had not the courage. I was forsaken.
  I cried out, was answered by silence.... Tetélestai!..."


        V

  Hear how it babbles!--Blow the dust out of your hand,
  With its voices and visions, tread on it, forget it, turn homeward
  With dreams in your brain.... This, then, is the humble, the
        nameless,--
  The lover, the husband and father, the struggler with shadows,
  The one who went down under shoutings of chaos! The weakling
  Who cried his "forsaken!" like Christ on the darkening hilltop!...
  This, then, is the one who implores, as he dwindles to silence,
  A fanfare of glory.... And which of us dares to deny him!



  EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY



  EIGHT SONNETS


        I

  When you, that at this moment are to me
  Dearer than words on paper, shall depart,
  And be no more the warder of my heart,
  Whereof again myself shall hold the key;
  And be no more, what now you seem to be,
  The sun, from which all excellencies start
  In a round nimbus, nor a broken dart
  Of moonlight, even, splintered on the sea;

  I shall remember only of this hour--
  And weep somewhat, as now you see me weep--
  The pathos of your love, that, like a flower,
  Fearful of death yet amorous of sleep,
  Droops for a moment and beholds, dismayed,
  The wind whereon its petals shall be laid.


        II

  What's this of death, from you who never will die?
  Think you the wrist that fashioned you in clay,
  The thumb that set the hollow just that way
  In your full throat and lidded the long eye
  So roundly from the forehead, will let lie
  Broken, forgotten, under foot some day
  Your unimpeachable body, and so slay
  The work he most had been remembered by?

  I tell you this: whatever of dust to dust
  Goes down, whatever of ashes may return
  To its essential self in its own season,
  Loveliness such as yours will not be lost,
  But, cast in bronze upon his very urn,
  Make known him Master, and for what good reason.


        III

  I know I am but summer to your heart,
  And not the full four seasons of the year;
  And you must welcome from another part
  Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
  No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
  Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
  And I have loved you all too long and well
  To carry still the high sweet breast of spring.

  Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
  I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
  That you may hail anew the bird and rose
  When I come back to you, as summer comes.
  Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
  Even your summer in another clime.


        IV

  Here is a wound that never will heal, I know,
  Being wrought not of a dearness and a death
  But of a love turned ashes and the breath
  Gone out of beauty; never again will grow
  The grass on that scarred acre, though I sow
  Young seed there yearly and the sky bequeath
  Its friendly weathers down, far underneath
  Shall be such bitterness of an old woe.

  That April should be shattered by a gust,
  That August should be leveled by a rain,
  I can endure, and that the lifted dust
  Of man should settle to the earth again;
  But that a dream can die, will be a thrust
  Between my ribs forever of hot pain.


        V

  What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
  I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
  Under my head till morning; but the rain
  Is full of ghosts to-night, that tap and sigh
  Upon the glass and listen for reply;
  And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain,
  For unremembered lads that not again
  Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

  Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
  Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
  Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
  I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
  I only know that summer sang in me
  A little while, that in me sings no more.


        VI

  Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
  Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
  And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
  To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
  At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
  In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
  Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
  From dusty bondage into luminous air.

  O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
  When first the shaft into his vision shone
  Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
  Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
  Who, though once only and then but far away,
  Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.


        VII

  Oh, oh, you will be sorry for that word!
  Give back my book and take my kiss instead.
  Was it my enemy or my friend I heard?--
  "What a big book for such a little head!"
  Come, I will show you now my newest hat,
  And you may watch me purse my mouth and prink.
  Oh, I shall love you still and all of that.
  I never again shall tell you what I think.

  I shall be sweet and crafty, soft and sly;
  You will not catch me reading any more;
  I shall be called a wife to pattern by;
  And some day when you knock and push the door,
  Some sane day, not too bright and not too stormy,
  I shall be gone, and you may whistle for me.


        VIII

  Say what you will, and scratch my heart to find
  The roots of last year's roses in my breast;
  I am as surely riper in my mind
  As if the fruit stood in the stalls confessed.
  Laugh at the unshed leaf, say what you will,
  Call me in all things what I was before,
  A flutterer in the wind, a woman still;
  I tell you I am what I was and more.

  My branches weigh me down, frost cleans the air,
  My sky is black with small birds bearing south;
  Say what you will, confuse me with fine care,
  Put by my word as but an April truth,--
  Autumn is no less on me that a rose
  Hugs the brown bough and sighs before it goes.



BIBLIOGRAPHY



BIBLIOGRAPHY

(The following lists include poetical works only)


AMY LOWELL

A Dome of Many-Colored Glass           Houghton Mifflin Co.       1912

Sword Blades and Poppy Seed            The Macmillan Company      1914

Men, Women and Ghosts                  The Macmillan Company      1916

Can Grande's Castle                    The Macmillan Company      1918

Pictures of the Floating World         The Macmillan Company      1919

Legends                                Houghton Mifflin Co.       1921

Fir-Flower Tablets                     Houghton Mifflin Co.       1921


ROBERT FROST

A Boy's Will                           Henry Holt and Company     1914

North of Boston                        Henry Holt and Company     1915

Mountain Interval                      Henry Holt and Company     1916


CARL SANDBURG

Chicago Poems                          Henry Holt and Company     1916

Cornhuskers                            Henry Holt and Company     1918

Smoke and Steel                        Harcourt, Brace and Co.    1930

Slabs of the Sunburnt West             Harcourt, Brace and Co.    1922


VACHEL LINDSAY

Rhymes to be Traded for Bread          Privately Printed;         1912
                                         Springfield, Ill.

General William Booth Enters Into      Mitchell Kennerley         1913
     Heaven

The Congo and Other Poems              The Macmillan Company      1915

The Chinese Nightingale                The Macmillan Company      1917

The Golden Whales of California        The Macmillan Company      1920


JAMES OPPENHEIM

Monday Morning and Other Poems         Sturgis & Walton Co.       1909

Songs for the New Age                  The Century Company        1914

War and Laughter                       The Century Company        1915

The Book of Self                       Alfred A. Knopf            1917

The Solitary                           B. W. Huebsch              1919

The Mystic Warrior                     Alfred A. Knopf            1921


ALFRED KREYMBORG

Mushrooms                              Alfred A. Knopf            1916

Plays for Poem-Mimes                   The Others Press           1918

Plays for Merry Andrews                The Sunwise Turn           1920

Blood of Things                        Nicholas L. Brown          1921


SARA TEASDALE

Sonnets to Duse                        The Poet Lore Co.          1907

Helen of Troy                          G. P. Putnam's Sons        1911

Rivers to the Sea                      The Macmillan Company      1915

Love Songs                             The Macmillan Company      1917

Flame and Shadow                       The Macmillan Company      1920


LOUIS UNTERMEYER

The Younger Quire                      Moods Publishing Co.       1911

First Love                             Sherman French & Co.       1911

Challenge                              The Century Company        1914

"--and Other Poets"                    Henry Holt and Company     1916

The Poems of Heinrich Heine            Henry Holt and Company     1917

These Times                            Henry Holt and Company     1917

Including Horace                       Harcourt, Brace and Co.    1919

The New Adam                           Harcourt, Brace and Co.    1920

Heavens                                Harcourt, Brace and Co.    1922


JOHN GOULD FLETCHER

Fire and Wine                          Grant Richards (London)    1913

The Dominant City                      Max Goschen (London)       1913

Fool's Gold                            Max Goschen (London)       1913

The Book of Nature                     Constable & Co. (London)   1913

Visions of the Evening                 Erskine Macdonald (London) 1913

Irradiations                           Houghton Mifflin Co.       1915

Goblins and Pagodas                    Houghton Mifflin Co.       1916

Japanese Prints                        The Four Seas Company      1918

The Tree of Life                       The Macmillan Company      1919

Breakers and Granite                   The Macmillan Company      1921


JEAN STARR UNTERMEYER

Growing Pains                          B. W. Huebsch              1918

Dreams Out of Darkness                 B. W. Huebsch              1921


H. D.

Sea Garden                             Houghton Mifflin Co.       1916

Hymen                                  Henry Holt and Co.         1921


CONRAD AIKEN

Earth Triumphant                       The Macmillan Company      1914

Turns and Movies                       Houghton Mifflin Co.       1916

The Jig of Forslin                     The Four Seas Company      1916

Nocturne of Remembered Spring          The Four Seas Company      1917

The Charnel Rose                       The Four Seas Company      1918

The House of Dust                      The Four Seas Company      1920

Punch: the Immortal Liar               Alfred A. Knopf            1921


EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

Renascence                             Mitchell Kennerley         1917

A Few Figs from Thistles               Frank Shay                 1920

The Lamp and the Bell                  Frank Shay                 1921

Aria Da Capo                           Mitchell Kennerley         1921

Second April                           Mitchell Kennerley         1921





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