The Second Book of Modern Verse

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The Second Book of Modern Verse
Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse

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The Second Book of Modern Verse

A Selection from the work of contemporaneous American poets
Edited by Jessie B. Rittenhouse
Editor of The Little Book of Modern Verse
[Selections made in 1919.]


It was my intention, when preparing `The Little Book of Modern Verse',
published in 1913, to continue the series by a volume once in five years,
but as it seemed inadvisable to issue one during the war, it is now six years
since the publication of the first volume.

In the meantime, that the series might cover the period of American poetry
from the beginning, `The Little Book of American Poets' was edited,
confined chiefly to work of the nineteenth century, but ending with
a group of living poets whose work has fallen equally within our own period.
This group, including Edwin Markham, Bliss Carman, Edith Thomas,
Louise Imogen Guiney, Lizette Woodworth Reese, and many others
whose work has enriched both periods, was fully represented also
in `The Little Book of Modern Verse'; and it has seemed necessary,
therefore keenly as I regret the necessity, which limits of space impose,
to omit the work of all poets who have been represented in both
of my former collections.

Indeed the period covered by the present volume has been so prolific that
it became necessary, if one would represent it with even approximate adequacy,
to forego including many poets from `The Little Book of Modern Verse' itself,
and but twenty-eight are repeated from that collection.

Even with these necessary eliminations in the interest of space
for newer poets, the general scheme of the series -- that of small,
intimate volumes that shall be typical of the period, rather than exhaustive
-- has made it impossible to include all whose work I should otherwise
have been glad to represent.

While I have not hesitated, where a poet's earlier work seemed
finer and more characteristic than his later, to draw upon such earlier work,
in the main `The Second Book of Modern Verse' has been selected
from poetry published since 1913, the date of my first anthology.

Jessie B. Rittenhouse
New York
September 23, 1919


Abraham Lincoln walks at Midnight. [Vachel Lindsay]
Acceptance. [Willard Wattles]
Ad Matrem Amantissimam et Carissimam Filii in Aeternum Fidelitas.
[John Myers O'Hara]
After Apple-Picking. [Robert Frost]
After Sunset. [Grace Hazard Conkling]
Afternoon on a Hill. [Edna St. Vincent Millay]
Afterwards. [Mahlon Leonard Fisher]
Ambition. [Aline Kilmer]
The Ancient Beautiful Things. [Fannie Stearns Davis]
Apology. [Amy Lowell]
April on the Battlefields. [Leonora Speyer]
April -- North Carolina. [Harriet Monroe]
Atropos. [John Myers O'Hara]
Autumn. [Jean Starr Untermeyer]
Autumn Movement. [Carl Sandburg]

Ballad of a Child. [John G. Neihardt]
Behind the House is the Millet Plot. [Muna Lee]
Berkshires in April. [Clement Wood]
Beyond Rathkelly. [Francis Carlin]
Birches. [Robert Frost]
The Bitter Herb. [Jeanne Robert Foster]
Blind. [Harry Kemp]
Blue Squills. [Sara Teasdale]
The Breaking. [Margaret Steele Anderson]

Chanson of the Bells of Oseney. [Cale Young Rice]
The Chant of the Colorado. [Cale Young Rice]
The Child in Me. [May Riley Smith]
The Chinese Nightingale. [Vachel Lindsay]
Choice. [Angela Morgan]
Cinquains. [Adelaide Crapsey]
The City. [Charles Hanson Towne]
City Roofs. [Charles Hanson Towne]
Compensation. [William Ellery Leonard]
Convention. [Agnes Lee]
Cradle Song. [Josephine Preston Peabody]

The Dark Cavalier. [Margaret Widdemer]
The Day before April. [Mary Carolyn Davies]
Days. [Karle Wilson Baker]
Death -- Divination. [Charles Wharton Stork]
Dialogue. [Walter Conrad Arensberg]
Dilemma. [Orrick Johns]
Doors. [Hermann Hagedorn]
Dream. [Anna Hempstead Branch]
The Dream of Aengus Og. [Eleanor Rogers Cox]
Dusk at Sea. [Thomas S. Jones, Jr.]

Earth. [John Hall Wheelock]
Earth's Easter. [Robert Haven Schauffler]
Ellis Park. [Helen Hoyt]
The Enchanted Sheepfold. [Josephine Preston Peabody]
Envoi. [Josephine Preston Peabody]
Evening Song of Senlin. [Conrad Aiken]
Exile from God. [John Hall Wheelock]
Eye-Witness. [Ridgely Torrence]

The Falconer of God. [William Rose Benet]
"Feuerzauber". [Louis Untermeyer]
The Fields. [Witter Bynner]
Fifty Years Spent. [Maxwell Struthers Burt]
The First Food. [George Sterling]
Flammonde. [Edwin Arlington Robinson]
The Flower of Mending. [Vachel Lindsay]
Four Sonnets. [Thomas S. Jones, Jr.]
Francis Ledwidge. [Grace Hazard Conkling]

General William Booth Enters into Heaven. [Vachel Lindsay]
The Gift. [Louis V. Ledoux]
A Girl's Songs. [Mary Carolyn Davies]
God's Acre. [Witter Bynner]
God's World. [Edna St. Vincent Millay]
Good-Bye. [Norreys Jephson O'Conor]
Good Company. [Karle Wilson Baker]
The Great Hunt. [Carl Sandburg]

Harbury. [Louise Driscoll]
Have you an Eye. [Edwin Ford Piper]
Heat. [H. D.]
The Hill Wife. [Robert Frost]
Hills of Home. [Witter Bynner]
The Homeland. [Dana Burnet]
How much of Godhood. [Louis Untermeyer]
Hrolf's Thrall, His Song. [Willard Wattles]

"I am in Love with High Far-Seeing Places". [Arthur Davison Ficke]
I have a Rendezvous with Death. [Alan Seeger]
"I Pass a Lighted Window". [Clement Wood]
Idealists. [Alfred Kreymborg]
The Idol-Maker prays. [Arthur Guiterman]
"If you should tire of loving me". [Margaret Widdemer]
In Excelsis. [Thomas S. Jones, Jr.]
In Patris Mei Memoriam. [John Myers O'Hara]
In Spite of War. [Angela Morgan]
In the Hospital. [Arthur Guiterman]
In the Monastery. [Norreys Jephson O'Conor]
In the Mushroom Meadows. [Thomas Walsh]
Indian Summer. [William Ellery Leonard]
Interlude. [Scudder Middleton]
The Interpreter. [Orrick Johns]
Invocation. [Clara Shanafelt]
Irish Love Song. [Margaret Widdemer]

Jerico. [Willard Wattles]

The Kings are passing Deathward. [David Morton]

A Lady. [Amy Lowell]
The Last Piper. [Edward J. O'Brien]
Lincoln. [John Gould Fletcher]
Little Things. [Orrick Johns]
Loam. [Carl Sandburg]
Lonely Burial. [Stephen Vincent Benet]
The Lonely Death. [Adelaide Crapsey]
Love is a Terrible Thing. [Grace Fallow Norton]
A Love Song. [Theodosia Garrison]
Love Songs. [Sara Teasdale]
The Lover envies an Old Man. [Shaemas O Sheel]
A Lynmouth Widow. [Amelia Josephine Burr]

Mad Blake. [William Rose Benet]
Madonna of the Evening Flowers. [Amy Lowell]
Mater Dolorosa. [Louis V. Ledoux]
Men of Harlan. [William Aspinwall Bradley]
The Monk in the Kitchen. [Anna Hempstead Branch]
Morning Song of Senlin. [Conrad Aiken]
The Most-Sacred Mountain. [Eunice Tietjens]
Moth-Terror. [Benjamin De Casseres]
The Mould. [Gladys Cromwell]
Music I heard. [Conrad Aiken]
Muy Vieja Mexicana. [Alice Corbin]

The Name. [Anna Hempstead Branch]
The Narrow Doors. [Fannie Stearns Davis]
New Dreams for Old. [Cale Young Rice]
The New God. [James Oppenheim]
Nirvana. [John Hall Wheelock]
A Note from the Pipes. [Leonora Speyer]
A Nun. [Odell Shepard]

Of One Self-Slain. [Charles Hanson Towne]
Old Age. [Cale Young Rice]
Old Amaze. [Mahlon Leonard Fisher]
Old King Cole. [Edwin Arlington Robinson]
Old Manuscript. [Alfred Kreymborg]
Old Ships. [David Morton]
Omnium Exeunt in Mysterium. [George Sterling]
Open Windows. [Sara Teasdale]
Orchard. [H. D.]
Our Little House. [Thomas Walsh]
Overnight, a Rose. [Caroline Giltinan]
Overtones. [William Alexander Percy]

Path Flower. [Olive Tilford Dargan]
The Path that leads to Nowhere. [Corinne Roosevelt Robinson]
Patterns. [Amy Lowell]
Peace. [Agnes Lee]
Pierrette in Memory. [William Griffith]
Poets. [Joyce Kilmer]
Prayer during Battle. [Hermann Hagedorn]
Prayer of a Soldier in France. [Joyce Kilmer]
Prevision. [Aline Kilmer]
The Provinces. [Francis Carlin]

Reveille. [Louis Untermeyer]
Richard Cory. [Edwin Arlington Robinson]
The Road not taken. [Robert Frost]
Romance. [Scudder Middleton]
Rouge Bouquet. [Joyce Kilmer]
The Runner in the Skies. [James Oppenheim]

A Saint's Hours. [Sarah N. Cleghorn]
Silence. [Edgar Lee Masters]
The Silent Folk. [Charles Wharton Stork]
Slumber Song. [Louis V. Ledoux]
Smith, of the Third Oregon, dies. [Mary Carolyn Davies]
The Son. [Ridgely Torrence]
Song. [Margaret Steele Anderson]
Song. [Adelaide Crapsey]
Song. [Edward J. O'Brien]
Song. [Margaret Widdemer]
A Song of Two Wanderers. [Marguerite Wilkinson]
Songs of an Empty House. [Marguerite Wilkinson]
Spoon River Anthology. [Edgar Lee Masters]
Spring. [John Gould Fletcher]
Spring in Carmel. [George Sterling]
Spring Song. [William Griffith]
Students. [Florence Wilkinson]
Symbol. [David Morton]

Tampico. [Grace Hazard Conkling]
"There will come Soft Rain". [Sara Teasdale]
The Three Sisters. [Arthur Davison Ficke]
A Thrush in the Moonlight. [Witter Bynner]
To a Portrait of Whistler in the Brooklyn Art Museum. [Eleanor Rogers Cox]
To Any one. [Witter Bynner]
Trees. [Joyce Kilmer]

The Unknown Beloved. [John Hall Wheelock]

Valley Song. [Carl Sandburg]
Venus Transiens. [Amy Lowell]
Voyage a l'Infini. [Walter Conrad Arensberg]

The Wanderer. [Zoe Akins]
The Water Ouzel. [Harriet Monroe]
When the Year grows Old. [Edna St. Vincent Millay]
Where Love is. [Amelia Josephine Burr]
Where Love once was. [James Oppenheim]
Which. [Corinne Roosevelt Robinson]
The White Comrade. [Robert Haven Schauffler]
Wide Haven. [Clement Wood]
"A Wind Rose in the Night". [Aline Kilmer]

Yellow Warblers. [Katharine Lee Bates]
You. [Ruth Guthrie Harding]

Biographical Notes

The Second Book of Modern Verse

The Road not taken. [Robert Frost]

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Symbol. [David Morton]

My faith is all a doubtful thing,
Wove on a doubtful loom, --
Until there comes, each showery spring,
A cherry-tree in bloom;
And Christ who died upon a tree
That death had stricken bare,
Comes beautifully back to me,
In blossoms, everywhere.

Spring. [John Gould Fletcher]

At the first hour, it was as if one said, "Arise."
At the second hour, it was as if one said, "Go forth."
And the winter constellations that are like patient ox-eyes
Sank below the white horizon at the north.

At the third hour, it was as if one said, "I thirst";
At the fourth hour, all the earth was still:
Then the clouds suddenly swung over, stooped, and burst;
And the rain flooded valley, plain and hill.

At the fifth hour, darkness took the throne;
At the sixth hour, the earth shook and the wind cried;
At the seventh hour, the hidden seed was sown;
At the eighth hour, it gave up the ghost and died.

At the ninth hour, they sealed up the tomb;
And the earth was then silent for the space of three hours.
But at the twelfth hour, a single lily from the gloom
Shot forth, and was followed by a whole host of flowers.

"There will come Soft Rain". [Sara Teasdale]

There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire.

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly.

And Spring herself when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Spring Song. [William Griffith]

Softly at dawn a whisper stole
Down from the Green House on the Hill,
Enchanting many a ghostly bole
And wood-song with the ancient thrill.

Gossiping on the country-side,
Spring and the wandering breezes say,
God has thrown Heaven open wide
And let the thrushes out to-day.

The Day before April. [Mary Carolyn Davies]

The day before April
Alone, alone,
I walked in the woods
And I sat on a stone.

I sat on a broad stone
And sang to the birds.
The tune was God's making
But I made the words.

Berkshires in April. [Clement Wood]

It is not Spring -- not yet --
But at East Schaghticoke I saw an ivory birch
Lifting a filmy red mantle of knotted buds
Above the rain-washed whiteness of her arms.

It is not Spring -- not yet --
But at Hoosick Falls I saw a robin strutting,
Thin, still, and fidgety,
Not like the puffed, complacent ball of feathers
That dawdles over the cidery Autumn loam.

It is not Spring -- not yet --
But up the stocky Pownal hills
Some springy shrub, a scarlet gash on the grayness,
Climbs, flaming, over the melting snows.

It is not Spring -- not yet --
But at Williamstown the willows are young and golden,
Their tall tips flinging the sun's rays back at him;
And as the sun drags over the Berkshire crests,
The willows glow, the scarlet bushes burn,
The high hill birches shine like purple plumes,
A royal headdress for the brow of Spring.
It is the doubtful, unquiet end of Winter,
And Spring is pulsing out of the wakening soil.

In Excelsis. [Thomas S. Jones, Jr.]

And all our valleys turning into green,
Remembering --
As I remember! So my heart turns glad
For so much youth and joy -- this to have had
When in my veins the tide of living fire
Was at its flow;
This to know,
When now the miracle of young desire
Burns on the hills, and Spring's sweet choristers again
Chant from each tree and every bush aflame
Love's wondrous name;
This under youth's glad reign,
With all the valleys turning into green --
This to have heard and seen!

And Song!
Once to have known what every wakened bird
Has heard;
Once to have entered into that great harmony
Of love's creation, and to feel
The pulsing waves of wonder steal
Through all my being; once to be
In that same sea
Of wakened joy that stirs in every tree
And every bird; and then to sing --
To sing aloud the endless Song of Spring!

Waiting, I turn to Thee,
Expectant, humble, and on bended knee;
Youth's radiant fire
Only to burn at Thy unknown desire --
For this alone has Song been granted me.
Upon Thy altar burn me at Thy will;
All wonders fill
My cup, and it is Thine;
Life's precious wine
For this alone: for Thee.
Yet never can be paid
The debt long laid
Upon my heart, because my lips did press
In youth's glad Spring the Cup of Loveliness!

Blue Squills. [Sara Teasdale]

How many million Aprils came
Before I ever knew
How white a cherry bough could be,
A bed of squills, how blue.

And many a dancing April
When life is done with me,
Will lift the blue flame of the flower
And the white flame of the tree.

Oh, burn me with your beauty, then,
Oh, hurt me, tree and flower,
Lest in the end death try to take
Even this glistening hour.

O shaken flowers, O shimmering trees,
O sunlit white and blue,
Wound me, that I through endless sleep
May bear the scar of you.

Earth. [John Hall Wheelock]

Grasshopper, your fairy song
And my poem alike belong
To the dark and silent earth
From which all poetry has birth;
All we say and all we sing
Is but as the murmuring
Of that drowsy heart of hers
When from her deep dream she stirs:
If we sorrow, or rejoice,
You and I are but her voice.

Deftly does the dust express
In mind her hidden loveliness,
And from her cool silence stream
The cricket's cry and Dante's dream;
For the earth that breeds the trees
Breeds cities too, and symphonies.
Equally her beauty flows
Into a savior, or a rose --
Looks down in dream, and from above
Smiles at herself in Jesus' love.
Christ's love and Homer's art
Are but the workings of her heart;
Through Leonardo's hand she seeks
Herself, and through Beethoven speaks
In holy thunderings around
The awful message of the ground.

The serene and humble mold
Does in herself all selves enfold --
Kingdoms, destinies, and creeds,
Great dreams, and dauntless deeds,
Science that metes the firmament,
The high, inflexible intent
Of one for many sacrificed --
Plato's brain, the heart of Christ:
All love, all legend, and all lore
Are in the dust forevermore.

Even as the growing grass
Up from the soil religions pass,
And the field that bears the rye
Bears parables and prophecy.
Out of the earth the poem grows
Like the lily, or the rose;
And all man is, or yet may be,
Is but herself in agony
Toiling up the steep ascent
Toward the complete accomplishment
When all dust shall be, the whole
Universe, one conscious soul.
Yea, the quiet and cool sod
Bears in her breast the dream of God.

If you would know what earth is, scan
The intricate, proud heart of man,
Which is the earth articulate,
And learn how holy and how great,
How limitless and how profound
Is the nature of the ground --
How without terror or demur
We may entrust ourselves to her
When we are wearied out, and lay
Our faces in the common clay.

For she is pity, she is love,
All wisdom she, all thoughts that move
About her everlasting breast
Till she gathers them to rest:
All tenderness of all the ages,
Seraphic secrets of the sages,
Vision and hope of all the seers,
All prayer, all anguish, and all tears
Are but the dust, that from her dream
Awakes, and knows herself supreme --
Are but earth when she reveals
All that her secret heart conceals
Down in the dark and silent loam,
Which is ourselves, asleep, at home.

Yea, and this, my poem, too,
Is part of her as dust and dew,
Wherein herself she doth declare
Through my lips, and say her prayer.

Trees. [Joyce Kilmer]

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Idealists. [Alfred Kreymborg]

Brother Tree:
Why do you reach and reach?
Do you dream some day to touch the sky?
Brother Stream:
Why do you run and run?
Do you dream some day to fill the sea?
Brother Bird:
Why do you sing and sing?
Do you dream --
~Young Man:
Why do you talk and talk and talk?~

Blind. [Harry Kemp]

The Spring blew trumpets of color;
Her Green sang in my brain --
I heard a blind man groping
"Tap -- tap" with his cane;

I pitied him in his blindness;
But can I boast, "I see"?
Perhaps there walks a spirit
Close by, who pities me, --

A spirit who hears me tapping
The five-sensed cane of mind
Amid such unguessed glories --
That I am worse than blind.

Yellow Warblers. [Katharine Lee Bates]

The first faint dawn was flushing up the skies
When, dreamland still bewildering mine eyes,
I looked out to the oak that, winter-long,
-- a winter wild with war and woe and wrong --
Beyond my casement had been void of song.

And lo! with golden buds the twigs were set,
Live buds that warbled like a rivulet
Beneath a veil of willows. Then I knew
Those tiny voices, clear as drops of dew,
Those flying daffodils that fleck the blue,

Those sparkling visitants from myrtle isles,
Wee pilgrims of the sun, that measure miles
Innumerable over land and sea
With wings of shining inches. Flakes of glee,
They filled that dark old oak with jubilee,

Foretelling in delicious roundelays
Their dainty courtships on the dipping sprays,
How they should fashion nests, mate helping mate,
Of milkweed flax and fern-down delicate
To keep sky-tinted eggs inviolate.

Listening to those blithe notes, I slipped once more
From lyric dawn through dreamland's open door,
And there was God, Eternal Life that sings,
Eternal joy, brooding all mortal things,
A nest of stars, beneath untroubled wings.

April -- North Carolina. [Harriet Monroe]

Would you not be in Tryon
Now that the spring is here,
When mocking-birds are praising
The fresh, the blossomy year?

Look -- on the leafy carpet
Woven of winter's browns
Iris and pink azaleas
Flutter their gaudy gowns.

The dogwood spreads white meshes --
So white and light and high --
To catch the drifting sunlight
Out of the cobalt sky.

The pointed beech and maple,
The pines, dark-tufted, tall,
Pattern with many colors
The mountain's purple wall.

Hark -- what a rushing torrent
Of crystal song falls sheer!
Would you not be in Tryon
Now that the spring is here?

Path Flower. [Olive Tilford Dargan]

A red-cap sang in Bishop's wood,
A lark o'er Golder's lane,
As I the April pathway trod
Bound west for Willesden.

At foot each tiny blade grew big
And taller stood to hear,
And every leaf on every twig
Was like a little ear.

As I too paused, and both ways tried
To catch the rippling rain, --
So still, a hare kept at my side
His tussock of disdain, --

Behind me close I heard a step,
A soft pit-pat surprise,
And looking round my eyes fell deep
Into sweet other eyes;

The eyes like wells, where sun lies too,
So clear and trustful brown,
Without a bubble warning you
That here's a place to drown.

"How many miles?" Her broken shoes
Had told of more than one.
She answered like a dreaming Muse,
"I came from Islington."

"So long a tramp?" Two gentle nods,
Then seemed to lift a wing,
And words fell soft as willow-buds,
"I came to find the Spring."

A timid voice, yet not afraid
In ways so sweet to roam,
As it with honey bees had played
And could no more go home.

Her home! I saw the human lair,
I heard the huckster's bawl,
I stifled with the thickened air
Of bickering mart and stall.

Without a tuppence for a ride,
Her feet had set her free.
Her rags, that decency defied,
Seemed new with liberty.

But she was frail. Who would might note
The trail of hungering
That for an hour she had forgot
In wonder of the Spring.

So shriven by her joy she glowed
It seemed a sin to chat.
(A tea-shop snuggled off the road;
Why did I think of that?)

Oh, frail, so frail! I could have wept, --
But she was passing on,
And I but muddled, "You'll accept
A penny for a bun?"

Then up her little throat a spray
Of rose climbed for it must;
A wilding lost till safe it lay
Hid by her curls of rust;

And I saw modesties at fence
With pride that bore no name;
So old it was she knew not whence
It sudden woke and came;

But that which shone of all most clear
Was startled, sadder thought
That I should give her back the fear
Of life she had forgot.

And I blushed for the world we'd made,
Putting God's hand aside,
Till for the want of sun and shade
His little children died;

And blushed that I who every year
With Spring went up and down,
Must greet a soul that ached for her
With "penny for a bun!"

Struck as a thief in holy place
Whose sin upon him cries,
I watched the flowers leave her face,
The song go from her eyes.

Then she, sweet heart, she saw my rout,
And of her charity
A hand of grace put softly out
And took the coin from me.

A red-cap sang in Bishop's wood,
A lark o'er Golder's lane;
But I, alone, still glooming stood,
And April plucked in vain;

Till living words rang in my ears
And sudden music played:
~Out of such sacred thirst as hers
The world shall be remade.~

Afar she turned her head and smiled
As might have smiled the Spring,
And humble as a wondering child
I watched her vanishing.

Little Things. [Orrick Johns]

There's nothing very beautiful and nothing very gay
About the rush of faces in the town by day,
But a light tan cow in a pale green mead,
That is very beautiful, beautiful indeed . . .
And the soft March wind and the low March mist
Are better than kisses in a dark street kissed . . .
The fragrance of the forest when it wakes at dawn,
The fragrance of a trim green village lawn,
The hearing of the murmur of the rain at play --
These things are beautiful, beautiful as day!
And I shan't stand waiting for love or scorn
When the feast is laid for a day new-born . . .
Oh, better let the little things I loved when little
Return when the heart finds the great things brittle;
And better is a temple made of bark and thong
Than a tall stone temple that may stand too long.

New Dreams for Old. [Cale Young Rice]

Is there no voice in the world to come crying,
"New dreams for old!
New for old!"?
Many have long in my heart been lying,
Faded, weary, and cold.
All of them, all, would I give for a new one.
(Is there no seeker
Of dreams that were?)
Nor would I ask if the new were a true one:
Only for new dreams!
New for old!

For I am here, half way of my journey,
Here with the old!
All so old!
And the best heart with death is at tourney,
If naught new it is told.
Will there no voice, then, come -- or a vision --
Come with the beauty
That ever blows
Out of the lands that are called Elysian?
I must have new dreams!
New for old!

Invocation. [Clara Shanafelt]

O Glass-Blower of time,
Hast blown all shapes at thy fire?
Canst thou no lovelier bell,
No clearer bubble, clear as delight, inflate me --
Worthy to hold such wine
As was never yet trod from the grape,
Since the stars shed their light, since the moon
Troubled the night with her beauty?

Dream. [Anna Hempstead Branch]

But now the Dream has come again, the world is as of old.
Once more I feel about my breast the heartening splendors fold.
Now I am back in that good place from which my footsteps came,
And I am hushed of any grief and have laid by my shame.

I know not by what road I came -- oh wonderful and fair!
Only I know I ailed for thee and that thou wert not there.
Then suddenly Time's stalwart wall before thee did divide,
Its solid bastions dreamed and swayed and there was I inside.

It is thy nearness makes thee seem so wonderful and far.
In that deep sky thou art obscured as in the noon, a star.
But when the darkness of my grief swings up the mid-day sky,
My need begets a shining world. Lo, in thy light am I.

All that I used to be is there and all I yet shall be.
My laughter deepens in the air, my quiet in the tree.
My utter tremblings of delight are manna from the sky,
And shining flower-like in the grass my innocencies lie.

And here I run and sleep and laugh and have no name at all.
Only if God should speak to me then I would heed the call.
And I forget the curious ways, the alien looks of men,
For even as it was of old, so is it now again.

Still every angel looks the same and all the folks are there
That are so bounteous and mild and have not any care.
But kindest to me is the one I would most choose to be.
She is so beautiful and sheds such loving looks on me.

She is so beautiful -- and lays her cheek against my own.
Back -- in the world -- they all will say, "How happy you have grown."
Her breath is sweet about my eyes and she has healed me now,
Though I be scarred with grief, I keep her kiss upon my brow.

All day, sweet land, I fight for thee outside the goodly wall,
And 'twixt my breathless wounds I have no sight of thee at all!
And sometimes I forget thy looks and what thy ways may be!
I have denied thou wert at all -- yet still I fight for thee.

Four Sonnets. [Thomas S. Jones, Jr.]



How may one hold these days of wonderment
And bind them into stillness with a thong,
Ere as a fleeting dream they pass along
Into the waste of lovely things forspent;
How may one keep what the Great Powers have sent,
The prayers fulfilled more beautiful and strong
Than any thought could fashion into song
Of all the rarest harmonies inblent?

There is an Altar where they may be laid
And sealed in Faith within Its sacred care, --
Here they are safe unto the very end;
For these are of the things that never fade,
Brought from the City that is built four-square,
The gifts of Him who is the Perfect Friend.


The Last Spring

The first glad token of the Spring is here
That bears each time one miracle the more,
For in the sunlight is the golden ore,
The joyous promise of a waking year;
And in that promise all clouds disappear
And youth itself comes back as once before,
For only dreams are real in April's store
When buds are bursting and the skies are clear.

Fair Season! at your touch the sleeping land
Quickens to rapture, and a rosy flame
Is the old signal of awakening;
Thus in a mystery I understand
The deepest meaning of your lovely name --
How it will be in that perpetual Spring!


The Garden

Behind the pinions of the Seraphim,
Whose wings flame out upon the swinging spheres,
There is a Voice that speaks the numbered years
Until that Day when all comes back to Him;
Behind the faces of the Cherubim,
Whose smiles of love are seen through broken tears,
There is a Face that every creature fears,
The Face of Love no veil may ever dim.

O Angels of Glad Laughter and of Song,
Your voices sound so near, the little wall
Can scarcely hide the trees that bend and nod;
Unbar the gate, for you have waited long
To show the Garden that was made for all, --
Where all is safe beneath the Smile of God.


The Path of the Stars

Down through the spheres that chant the Name of One
Who is the Law of Beauty and of Light
He came, and as He came the waiting Night
Shook with the gladness of a Day begun;
And as He came, He said: Thy Will Be Done
On Earth; and all His vibrant Words were white
And glistering with silver, and their might
Was of the glory of a rising sun.

Unto the Stars sang out His Living Words
White and with silver, and their rhythmic sound
Was as a mighty symphony unfurled;
And back from out the Stars like homing birds
They fell in love upon the sleeping ground
And were forever in a wakened world.

Chanson of the Bells of Oseney. [Cale Young Rice]

Thirteenth Century

The bells of Oseney
(Hautclere, Doucement, Austyn)
Chant sweetly every day,
And sadly, for our sin.
The bells of Oseney
(John, Gabriel, Marie)
Chant lowly,
Chant slowly,
Chant wistfully and holy
Of Christ, our Paladin.

Hautclere chants to the East
(His tongue is silvery high),
And Austyn like a priest
Sends west a weighty cry.
But Doucement set between
(Like an appeasive nun)
Chants cheerly,
Chants clearly,
As if Christ heard her nearly,
A plea to every sky.

A plea that John takes up
(He is the evangelist)
Till Gabriel's angel cup
Pours sound to sun or mist.
And last of all Marie
(The virgin-voice of God)
Peals purely,
And with a tone so surely
Divine, that all must hear.

The bells of Oseney
(Doucement, Austyn, Hautclere)
Pour ever day by day
Their peals on the rapt air;
And with their mellow mates
(John, Gabriel, Marie)
Tell slowly,
Tell lowly,
Of Christ the High and Holy,
Who makes the whole world fair.

Poets. [Joyce Kilmer]

Vain is the chiming of forgotten bells
That the wind sways above a ruined shrine.
Vainer his voice in whom no longer dwells
Hunger that craves immortal Bread and Wine.

Light songs we breathe that perish with our breath
Out of our lips that have not kissed the rod.
They shall not live who have not tasted death.
They only sing who are struck dumb by God.

Acceptance. [Willard Wattles]

I cannot think nor reason,
I only know he came
With hands and feet of healing
And wild heart all aflame.

With eyes that dimmed and softened
At all the things he saw,
And in his pillared singing
I read the marching Law.

I only know he loves me,
Enfolds and understands --
And oh, his heart that holds me,
And oh, his certain hands!

In the Hospital. [Arthur Guiterman]

Because on the branch that is tapping my pane
A sun-wakened leaf-bud, uncurled,
Is bursting its rusty brown sheathing in twain,
I know there is Spring in the world.

Because through the sky-patch whose azure and white
My window frames all the day long,
A yellow-bird dips for an instant of flight,
I know there is Song.

Because even here in this Mansion of Woe
Where creep the dull hours, leaden-shod,
Compassion and Tenderness aid me, I know
There is God.

Overnight, a Rose. [Caroline Giltinan]

That overnight a rose could come
I one time did believe,
For when the fairies live with one,
They wilfully deceive.
But now I know this perfect thing
Under the frozen sod
In cold and storm grew patiently
Obedient to God.
My wonder grows, since knowledge came
Old fancies to dismiss;
And courage comes. Was not the rose
A winter doing this?
Nor did it know, the weary while,
What color and perfume
With this completed loveliness
Lay in that earthly tomb.
So maybe I, who cannot see
What God wills not to show,
May, some day, bear a rose for Him
It took my life to grow.

The Idol-Maker prays. [Arthur Guiterman]

Great god whom I shall carve from this gray stone
Wherein thou liest, hid to all but me,
Grant thou that when my art hath made thee known
And others bow, I shall not worship thee.
But, as I pray thee now, then let me pray
Some greater god, -- like thee to be conceived
Within my soul, -- for strength to turn away
From his new altar, when, that task achieved,
He, too, stands manifest. Yea, let me yearn
From dream to grander dream! Let me not rest
Content at any goal! Still bid me spurn
Each transient triumph on the Eternal Quest,
Abjuring godlings whom my hand hath made
For Deity, revealed, but unportrayed!

Reveille. [Louis Untermeyer]

What sudden bugle calls us in the night
And wakes us from a dream that we had shaped;
Flinging us sharply up against a fight
We thought we had escaped.

It is no easy waking, and we win
No final peace; our victories are few.
But still imperative forces pull us in
And sweep us somehow through.

Summoned by a supreme and confident power
That wakes our sleeping courage like a blow,
We rise, half-shaken, to the challenging hour,
And answer it -- and go.

The Breaking. [Margaret Steele Anderson]

(The Lord God speaks to a youth)

Bend now thy body to the common weight!
(But oh, that vine-clad head, those limbs of morn!
Those proud young shoulders I myself made straight!
How shall ye wear the yoke that must be worn?)

Look thou, my son, what wisdom comes to thee!
(But oh, that singing mouth, those radiant eyes!
Those dancing feet -- that I myself made free!
How shall I sadden them to make them wise?)

Nay then, thou shalt! Resist not, have a care!
(Yea, I must work my plans who sovereign sit!
Yet do not tremble so! I cannot bear --
Though I am God -- to see thee so submit!)

The Falconer of God. [William Rose Benet]

I flung my soul to the air like a falcon flying.
I said, "Wait on, wait on, while I ride below!
I shall start a heron soon
In the marsh beneath the moon --
A strange white heron rising with silver on its wings,
Rising and crying
Wordless, wondrous things;
The secret of the stars, of the world's heart-strings,
The answer to their woe.
Then stoop thou upon him, and grip and hold him so!"

My wild soul waited on as falcons hover.
I beat the reedy fens as I trampled past.
I heard the mournful loon
In the marsh beneath the moon.
And then -- with feathery thunder -- the bird of my desire
Broke from the cover
Flashing silver fire.
High up among the stars I saw his pinions spire.
The pale clouds gazed aghast
As my falcon stoopt upon him, and gript and held him fast.

My soul dropt through the air -- with heavenly plunder? --
Gripping the dazzling bird my dreaming knew?
Nay! but a piteous freight,
A dark and heavy weight
Despoiled of silver plumage, its voice forever stilled, --
All of the wonder
Gone that ever filled
Its guise with glory. Oh, bird that I have killed,
How brilliantly you flew
Across my rapturous vision when first I dreamed of you!

Yet I fling my soul on high with new endeavor,
And I ride the world below with a joyful mind.
~I shall start a heron soon
In the marsh beneath the moon --
A wondrous silver heron its inner darkness fledges!~
I beat forever
The fens and the sedges.
The pledge is still the same -- for all disastrous pledges,
All hopes resigned!
My soul still flies above me for the quarry it shall find.

Dilemma. [Orrick Johns]

What though the moon should come
With a blinding glow,
And the stars have a game
On the wood's edge,
A man would have to still
Cut and weed and sow,
And lay a white line
When he plants a hedge.

What though God
With a great sound of rain
Came to talk of violets
And things people do,
I would have to labor
And dig with my brain
Still to get a truth
Out of all words new.

To a Portrait of Whistler in the Brooklyn Art Museum. [Eleanor Rogers Cox]

What waspish whim of Fate
Was this that bade you here
Hold dim, unhonored state,
No single courtier near?

Is there, of all who pass,
No choice, discerning few
To poise the ribboned glass
And gaze enwrapt on you?

Sword-soul that from its sheath
Laughed leaping to the fray,
How calmly underneath
Goes Brooklyn on her way!

Quite heedless of that smile --
Half-devil and half-god,
Your quite unequalled style,
The airy heights you trod.

Ah, could you from earth's breast
Come back to take the air,
What matter here for jest
Most exquisite and rare!

But since you may not come,
Since silence holds you fast,
Since all your quips are dumb
And all your laughter past --

I give you mine instead,
And something with it too
That Brooklyn leaves unsaid --
The world's fine homage due.

Ah, Prince, you smile again --
"My faith, the court is small!"
I know, dear James -- but then
It's I or none at all!

Flammonde. [Edwin Arlington Robinson]

The man Flammonde, from God knows where,
With firm address and foreign air,
With news of nations in his talk
And something royal in his walk,
With glint of iron in his eyes,
But never doubt, nor yet surprise,
Appeared, and stayed, and held his head
As one by kings accredited.

Erect, with his alert repose
About him, and about his clothes,
He pictured all tradition hears
Of what we owe to fifty years.
His cleansing heritage of taste
Paraded neither want nor waste;
And what he needed for his fee
To live, he borrowed graciously.

He never told us what he was,
Or what mischance, or other cause,
Had banished him from better days
To play the Prince of Castaways.
Meanwhile he played surpassing well
A part, for most, unplayable;
In fine, one pauses, half afraid
To say for certain that he played.

For that, one may as well forego
Conviction as to yes or no;
Nor can I say just how intense
Would then have been the difference
To several, who, having striven
In vain to get what he was given,
Would see the stranger taken on
By friends not easy to be won.

Moreover, many a malcontent
He soothed and found munificent;
His courtesy beguiled and foiled
Suspicion that his years were soiled;
His mien distinguished any crowd,
His credit strengthened when he bowed;
And women, young and old, were fond
Of looking at the man Flammonde.

There was a woman in our town
On whom the fashion was to frown;
But while our talk renewed the tinge
Of a long-faded scarlet fringe,
The man Flammonde saw none of that,
And what he saw we wondered at --
That none of us, in her distress,
Could hide or find our littleness.

There was a boy that all agreed
Had shut within him the rare seed
Of learning. We could understand,
But none of us could lift a hand.
The man Flammonde appraised the youth,
And told a few of us the truth;
And thereby, for a little gold,
A flowered future was unrolled.

There were two citizens who fought
For years and years, and over nought;
They made life awkward for their friends,
And shortened their own dividends.
The man Flammonde said what was wrong
Should be made right, nor was it long
Before they were again in line,
And had each other in to dine.

And these I mention are but four
Of many out of many more.
So much for them. But what of him --
So firm in every look and limb?
What small satanic sort of kink
Was in his brain? What broken link
Withheld him from the destinies
That came so near to being his?

What was he, when we came to sift
His meaning, and to note the drift
Of incommunicable ways
That make us ponder while we praise?
Why was it that his charm revealed
Somehow the surface of a shield?
What was it that we never caught?
What was he, and what was he not?

How much it was of him we met
We cannot ever know; nor yet
Shall all he gave us quite atone
For what was his, and his alone;
Nor need we now, since he knew best,
Nourish an ethical unrest:
Rarely at once will nature give
The power to be Flammonde and live.

We cannot know how much we learn
From those who never will return,
Until a flash of unforeseen
Remembrance falls on what has been.
We've each a darkening hill to climb;
And this is why, from time to time
In Tilbury Town, we look beyond
Horizons for the man Flammonde.

The Chinese Nightingale. [Vachel Lindsay]

"How, how," he said. "Friend Chang," I said,
"San Francisco sleeps as the dead --
Ended license, lust and play:
Why do you iron the night away?
Your big clock speaks with a deadly sound,
With a tick and a wail till dawn comes round.
While the monster shadows glower and creep,
What can be better for man than sleep?"

"I will tell you a secret," Chang replied;
"My breast with vision is satisfied,
And I see green trees and fluttering wings,
And my deathless bird from Shanghai sings."
Then he lit five fire-crackers in a pan.
"Pop, pop," said the fire-crackers, "cra-cra-crack."
He lit a joss stick long and black.
Then the proud gray joss in the corner stirred;
On his wrist appeared a gray small bird,
And this was the song of the gray small bird:
"Where is the princess, loved forever,
Who made Chang first of the kings of men?"

And the joss in the corner stirred again;
And the carved dog, curled in his arms, awoke,
Barked forth a smoke-cloud that whirled and broke.
It piled in a maze round the ironing-place,
And there on the snowy table wide
Stood a Chinese lady of high degree,
With a scornful, witching, tea-rose face . . .
Yet she put away all form and pride,
And laid her glimmering veil aside
With a childlike smile for Chang and for me.

The walls fell back, night was aflower,
The table gleamed in a moonlit bower,
While Chang, with a countenance carved of stone,
Ironed and ironed, all alone.
And thus she sang to the busy man Chang:
"Have you forgotten . . .
Deep in the ages, long, long ago,
I was your sweetheart, there on the sand --
Storm-worn beach of the Chinese land?
We sold our grain in the peacock town
Built on the edge of the sea-sands brown --
Built on the edge of the sea-sands brown . . .

"When all the world was drinking blood
From the skulls of men and bulls
And all the world had swords and clubs of stone,
We drank our tea in China beneath the sacred spice-trees,
And heard the curled waves of the harbor moan.
And this gray bird, in Love's first spring,
With a bright-bronze breast and a bronze-brown wing,
Captured the world with his carolling.
Do you remember, ages after,
At last the world we were born to own?
You were the heir of the yellow throne --
The world was the field of the Chinese man
And we were the pride of the Sons of Han?
We copied deep books and we carved in jade,
And wove blue silks in the mulberry shade . . ."

"I remember, I remember
That Spring came on forever,
That Spring came on forever,"
Said the Chinese nightingale.

My heart was filled with marvel and dream,
Though I saw the western street-lamps gleam,
Though dawn was bringing the western day,
Though Chang was a laundryman ironing away . . .
Mingled there with the streets and alleys,
The railroad-yard and the clock-tower bright,
Demon clouds crossed ancient valleys;
Across wide lotus-ponds of light
I marked a giant firefly's flight.

And the lady, rosy-red,
Flourished her fan, her shimmering fan,
Stretched her hand toward Chang, and said:
"Do you remember,
Ages after,
Our palace of heart-red stone?
Do you remember
The little doll-faced children
With their lanterns full of moon-fire,
That came from all the empire
Honoring the throne? --
The loveliest fete and carnival
Our world had ever known?
The sages sat about us
With their heads bowed in their beards,
With proper meditation on the sight.
Confucius was not born;
We lived in those great days
Confucius later said were lived aright . . .
And this gray bird, on that day of spring,
With a bright-bronze breast, and a bronze-brown wing,
Captured the world with his carolling.
Late at night his tune was spent.
Homeward went,
And then the bronze bird sang for you and me.
We walked alone. Our hearts were high and free.
I had a silvery name, I had a silvery name,
I had a silvery name -- do you remember
The name you cried beside the tumbling sea?"

Chang turned not to the lady slim --
He bent to his work, ironing away;
But she was arch, and knowing and glowing,
And the bird on his shoulder spoke for him.

"Darling . . . darling . . . darling . . . darling . . ."
Said the Chinese nightingale.

The great gray joss on a rustic shelf,
Rakish and shrewd, with his collar awry,
Sang impolitely, as though by himself,
Drowning with his bellowing the nightingale's cry:
"Back through a hundred, hundred years
Hear the waves as they climb the piers,
Hear the howl of the silver seas,
Hear the thunder.
Hear the gongs of holy China
How the waves and tunes combine
In a rhythmic clashing wonder,
Incantation old and fine:
`Dragons, dragons, Chinese dragons,
Red fire-crackers, and green fire-crackers,
And dragons, dragons, Chinese dragons.'"

Then the lady, rosy-red,
Turned to her lover Chang and said:
"Dare you forget that turquoise dawn,
When we stood in our mist-hung velvet lawn,
And worked a spell this great joss taught
Till a God of the Dragons was charmed and caught?
From the flag high over our palace home
He flew to our feet in rainbow-foam --
A king of beauty and tempest and thunder
Panting to tear our sorrows asunder:
A dragon of fair adventure and wonder.
We mounted the back of that royal slave
With thoughts of desire that were noble and grave.
We swam down the shore to the dragon-mountains,
We whirled to the peaks and the fiery fountains.
To our secret ivory house we were borne.
We looked down the wonderful wing-filled regions
Where the dragons darted in glimmering legions.
Right by my breast the nightingale sang;
The old rhymes rang in the sunlit mist
That we this hour regain --
Song-fire for the brain.
When my hands and my hair and my feet you kissed,
When you cried for your heart's new pain,
What was my name in the dragon-mist,
In the rings of rainbowed rain?"

"Sorrow and love, glory and love,"
Said the Chinese nightingale.
"Sorrow and love, glory and love,"
Said the Chinese nightingale.

And now the joss broke in with his song:
"Dying ember, bird of Chang,
Soul of Chang, do you remember? --
Ere you returned to the shining harbor
There were pirates by ten thousand
Descended on the town
In vessels mountain-high and red and brown,
Moon-ships that climbed the storms and cut the skies.
On their prows were painted terrible bright eyes.
But I was then a wizard and a scholar and a priest;
I stood upon the sand;
With lifted hand I looked upon them
And sunk their vessels with my wizard eyes,
And the stately lacquer-gate made safe again.
Deep, deep below the bay, the sea-weed and the spray,
Embalmed in amber every pirate lies,
Embalmed in amber every pirate lies."

Then this did the noble lady say:
"Bird, do you dream of our home-coming day
When you flew like a courier on before
From the dragon-peak to our palace-door,
And we drove the steed in your singing path --
The ramping dragon of laughter and wrath:
And found our city all aglow,
And knighted this joss that decked it so?
There were golden fishes in the purple river
And silver fishes and rainbow fishes.
There were golden junks in the laughing river,
And silver junks and rainbow junks:
There were golden lilies by the bay and river,
And silver lilies and tiger-lilies,
And tinkling wind-bells in the gardens of the town
By the black-lacquer gate
Where walked in state
The kind king Chang
And his sweetheart mate . . .
With his flag-born dragon
And his crown of pearl . . . and . . . jade,
And his nightingale reigning in the mulberry shade,
And sailors and soldiers on the sea-sands brown,
And priests who bowed them down to your song --
By the city called Han, the peacock town,
By the city called Han, the nightingale town,
The nightingale town."

Then sang the bird, so strangely gay,
Fluttering, fluttering, ghostly and gray,
A vague, unravelling, final tune,
Like a long unwinding silk cocoon;
Sang as though for the soul of him
Who ironed away in that bower dim: --
"I have forgotten
Your dragons great,
Merry and mad and friendly and bold.
Dim is your proud lost palace-gate.
I vaguely know
There were heroes of old,
Troubles more than the heart could hold,
There were wolves in the woods
Yet lambs in the fold,
Nests in the top of the almond tree . . .
The evergreen tree . . . and the mulberry tree . . .
Life and hurry and joy forgotten,
Years on years I but half-remember . . .
Man is a torch, then ashes soon,
May and June, then dead December,
Dead December, then again June.
Who shall end my dream's confusion?
Life is a loom, weaving illusion . . .
I remember, I remember
There were ghostly veils and laces . . .
In the shadowy bowery places . . .
With lovers' ardent faces
Bending to one another,
Speaking each his part.
They infinitely echo
In the red cave of my heart.
`Sweetheart, sweetheart, sweetheart,'
They said to one another.
They spoke, I think, of perils past.
They spoke, I think, of peace at last.
One thing I remember:
Spring came on forever,
Spring came on forever,"
Said the Chinese nightingale.

Love Songs. [Sara Teasdale]


Come, when the pale moon like a petal
Floats in the pearly dusk of Spring,
Come with arms outstretched to take me,
Come with lips that long to cling.

Come, for life is a frail moth flying,
Caught in the web of the years that pass,
And soon we two, so warm and eager,
Will be as the gray stones in the grass.


I heard a cry in the night,
A thousand miles it came,
Sharp as a flash of light,
My name, my name!

It was your voice I heard,
You waked and loved me so --
I send you back this word,
I know, I know!


I am the still rain falling,
Too tired for singing mirth --
Oh, be the green fields calling,
Oh, be for me the earth!

I am the brown bird pining
To leave the nest and fly --
Oh, be the fresh cloud shining,
Oh, be for me the sky!

Night Song at Amalfi

I asked the heaven of stars
What I should give my love --
It answered me with silence,
Silence above.

I asked the darkened sea
Down where the fishers go --
It answered me with silence,
Silence below.

Oh, I could give him weeping,
Or I could give him song --
But how can I give silence
My whole life long?


Let it be forgotten as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold,
Let it be forgotten forever and ever,
Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.

If any one asks, say it was forgotten
Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall
In a long forgotten snow.

Love is a Terrible Thing. [Grace Fallow Norton]

I went out to the farthest meadow,
I lay down in the deepest shadow;

And I said unto the earth, "Hold me,"
And unto the night, "O enfold me,"

And unto the wind petulantly
I cried, "You know not for you are free!"

And I begged the little leaves to lean
Low and together for a safe screen;

Then to the stars I told my tale:
"That is my home-light, there in the vale,

"And O, I know that I shall return,
But let me lie first mid the unfeeling fern.

"For there is a flame that has blown too near,
And there is a name that has grown too dear,
And there is a fear . . ."

And to the still hills and cool earth and far sky I made moan,
"The heart in my bosom is not my own!

"O would I were free as the wind on wing;
Love is a terrible thing!"

Valley Song. [Carl Sandburg]

Your eyes and the valley are memories.
Your eyes fire and the valley a bowl.
It was here a moonrise crept over the timberline.
It was here we turned the coffee cups upside down.
And your eyes and the moon swept the valley.

I will see you again to-morrow.
I will see you again in a million years.
I will never know your dark eyes again.
These are three ghosts I keep.
These are three sumach-red dogs I run with.

All of it wraps and knots to a riddle:
I have the moon, the timberline, and you.
All three are gone -- and I keep all three.

Spring in Carmel. [George Sterling]

O'er Carmel fields in the springtime the sea-gulls follow the plow.
White, white wings on the blue above!
White were your brow and breast, O Love!
But I cannot see you now.
Tireless ever the Mission swallow
Dips to meadow and poppied hollow;
Well for her mate that he can follow,
As the buds are on the bough.

By the woods and waters of Carmel the lark is glad in the sun.
Harrow! Harrow! Music of God!
Near to your nest her feet have trod
Whose journeyings are done.
Sing, O lover! I cannot sing.
Wild and sad are the thoughts you bring.
Well for you are the skies of spring,
And to me all skies are one.

In the beautiful woods of Carmel an iris bends to the wind.
O thou far-off and sorrowful flower!
Rose that I found in a tragic hour!
Rose that I shall not find!


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