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    Morning Glories

      Distant as a dream's flight,
      Lay an eerie plain,
      Where the weary moonlight
      Swooned into a moan;
      Wailing after dead seed
      Came the ghost of rain.
      There was I, a wild weed,
      Growing all alone.

      Like a doubted story,
      Came the thought of day;
      God and all His glory
      Lingered otherwhere,
      Busy with the spring thrill
      Many dreams away.
      Could a little weed's will
      Fling so far a prayer?

      Lo, the sudden wonder!
      (Is a prayer so fleet?)
      From the desert under,
      Morning glories grew;
      Twined me, bound me
      With caressing feet;
      Wove song'round me --
      Pink, white blue!

      As a fog is rifted
      By the eager breeze,
      Darkness broke and lifted,
      Tossing like a sea!
      Lo, the dawn was flowering
      Through the maple trees!
      Oh, and you were showering
      Kisses over me!

      Smart Set          John G. Neihardt


    Lest I Learn

      Lest I learn, with clearer sight,
      Such beauty cannot be --
      Tie a bandage, pull it tight,
      Blind me, I would not see!

      Lest I learn, with clearer will,
      Such a wonder cannot be --
      Oh, kiss me nearer, nearer still,
      And make a fool of me!

      Smart Set                 Witter Bynner


    Later

      I went to the place where my youth took birth
      In the slow, round kiss of an amorous girl,
      When sonnets and lace were the measure of earth,
      When death was forgotten and life was a whirl.

      I addled my brain with the memories flown
      Of Heatherby Kaiser and Muriel Moore;
      I thought of the women and men I had known, --
      The glittering eyes and the bolt on the door --

      The warm, gray walls and the odor of must,
      The wine, the piano, the glistening feet,
      The eyes grown hazy like shadows at dusk,
      The minstreling music that rose from the street.

      I though of Elise with her soft, gold hair;
      And the buttonhook hung from the chandelier.
      The spirit of passionate youth had been here --
      But somehow the dream of it wasn't quite clear,

      For the place had been altered; the walls were red,
      And the woodword was stained with a desolate brown;
      And they told me a woman had lain in the bed
      For a year and a half with the curtains down.

      Smart Set                 William Huntington Wright


    The Old Maid

      I saw her in a Broadway car,
      The woman I might grow to be;
      I felt my lover look at her
      And then turn suddenly to me.

      Her hair was dull and drew no light,
      And yet its color was as mine;
      Her eyes were strangely like my eyes,
      Tho' love had never made them shine.

      Her body was a thing grown thin,
      Hungry for love that never came;
      Her soul was frozen in the dark,
      Unwarmed forever by love's flame.

      I felt my lover look at her
      And then turn suddenly to me --
      His eyes were magic to defy
      The woman I shall never be.

      The Forum                 Sara Teasdale


    Departure

      The twilight is starred,
      The dawn has arisen;
      Light breaks from the east
      And Song from her prison.

      Faint odors and sounds
      The west-wind discloses
      Of laughter and birds,
      Of singing and roses.

      It is time to be gone --
      Day scatters the gloom;
      But here at my side,
      But still in the room,

      Like the angel of life,
      Too kind to depart,
      You hang at my lips,
      You hang at my heart!

      The Forum
               John Hall Wheelock


    An Adieu

      Sorrow, quit me for a while!
      Wintry days are over;
      Hope again, with April smile,
      Violets sows and clover.

      Pleasure follows in her path,
      Love itself flies after,
      And the brook a music hath
      Sweet as childhood's laughter.

      Not a bird upon the bough
      Can repress its rapture,
      Not a bud that blossoms now
      But doth beauty capture.

      Sorrow, thou art Winter's mate,
      Spring cannot regret thee;
      Yet, ah, yet -- my friend of late --
      I shall not forget thee!

      Harper's
             Florence Earle Coates


    Heart's Tide

      I thought I had forgotten you,
      So far apart our lives were thrust!
      'Twas only as the earth forgets
      The seed the sower left in trust.

      'Twas only as the creeks forget
      The tides that left their hollows dry;
      Or as the home-bound ship forgets
      Streamers of seaweed drifting by.

      My heart is earth that keeps untold
      The secret of the seeds that sleep.
      My thoughts are chalices of sand;
      Your memory floods them and I weep.

      Harper's                              Ethel M. Hewitt


    Waiting

      I thought my heart would break
      Because the Spring was slow.
      I said, "How long young April sleeps
      Beneath the snow!"

      But when at last she came
      And buds broke in the dew,
      I dreamed of my lost love,
      And my heart broke, too!

      Harper's       Charles Hanson Towne


    Desiderium

      Face in the tomb, that lies so still,
      May I draw near,
      And watch you sleep and love you,
      Without word or tear?

      You smile, your eyelids flicker;
      Shall I tell
      How the world goes that lost you?
      Shall I tell?

      Ah, love, lift not your eyelids;
      'Tis the same
      Old story that we laughed at,
      Still the same.

      We knew it, you and I,
      We knew it all:
      Still is the small the great,
      The great the small;

      Still the cold lie quenches
      The flaming truth,
      And still embattled age
      Wars against youth.

      Yet I believe still in the ever-living God
      That fills your grave with perfume,
      Writing your name in violets across the sod,
      Shielding your holy face from hail and snow;
      And, though the withered stay, the lovely go.
      No transitory wrong or wrath of things
      Shatters the faith -- that each slow minute brings
      That meadow nearer to us where your feet
      Shall flutter near me like white butterfilies --
      That meadow where immortal lovers meet,
      Gazing forever in immortal eyes.

      Smart Set                         Richard Le Gallienne


    Human

      Weighed down by grief, o'erborne by deep despair,
      She lifted up white arms to heaven and prayed
      That day for death; she made a mighty prayer
      Beside her dear one gently to be laid.

      And standing thus, it flashed across her mind
      How she must make a seemly silhouette
      Against the sky, her figure sharply lined
      Upon the westering sunlight, black as jet.

      Smart Set                                     Richard Burton


    The Ghost

      One whom I loved and never can forget
      Returned to me in dream, and spoke with me,
      As audibly, as sweet familiarly
      As though warm fingers twined warm fingers yet.
      Her eyes were bright and with great wonder wet
      As in old days when some strange, swift decree
      Brought touch-close love or death; and sorrow-free
      She spoke as one long purged of all regret.

      I heard, oh, glad beyond all speech, I heard,
      Till to my lips the flaming query flashed:
             How is it -- over there? Then, quite undone,
      She trembled; in her deep eyes like a bird
      The gladness fluttered, and as one abashed
             She shook her head bewildered, and was gone.

      Scribner's                                     Hermann Hagedorn


    A Mountain Gateway

      I know a vale where I would go one day,
      When June comes back and all the world once more
      Is glad with summer. Deep with shade it lies,
      A mighty cleft in the green bosoming hills,
      A cool, dim gateway to the mountain's heart.

      On either side the wooded slopes come down,
      Hemlock and beech and chestnut; here and there
      Through the deep forest laurel spreads and gleams,
      Pink-white as Daphne in her loveliness --
      That still perfection from the world withdrawn,
      As if the wood gods had arrested there
      Immortal beauty in her breathless flight.

      Far overhead against the arching blue
      Gray ledges overhang from dizzy heights,
      Scarred by a thousand winters and untamed.
      The road winds in from the broad riverlands,
      Luring the happy traveler turn by turn,
      Up to the lofty mountains of the sky.

      And where the road runs in the valley's foot,
      Through the dark woods the mountain stream comes down,
      Singing and dancing all its youth away
      Among the boulders and the shallow runs,
      Where sunbeams pierce and mossy tree trunks hang,
      Drenched all day long with murmuring sound and spray.

      There, light of heart and footfree, I would go
      Up to my home among the lasting hills,
      And in my cabin doorway sit me down,
      Companioned in that leafy solitude
      By the wood ghosts of twilight and of peace.

      And in that sweet seclusion I should hear,
      Among the cool-leafed beeches in the dusk,
      The calm-voiced thrushes at their evening hymn --
      So undistraught, so rapturous, so pure,
      It well might be, in wisdom and in joy,
      The seraphs singing at the birth of time
      The unworn ritual of eternal things.

      Smart Set                                           Bliss Carman


    Perugia

      For the sake of a weathered gray city set high on a hill
      To the northward I go,
      Where Umbria's valley lies mile upon emerald mile
      Outspread like a chart.
      The wind in her steep, narrow streets is eternally chill
      From the neighboring snow,
      But linger who will in the lure of a southerly smile,
      Here is my heart.

      Wrought to a mutual blueness are mountains and sky,
      Intermingling they meet;
      Little gray breathings of olive arise from the plain
      Like sighs that are seen,
      For man and his Maker harmonious toil, and the sigh
      Of such labor is sweet,
      And the fruits of their patience are vistas of vineyards and grain
      In a glory of green.

      No wind from the valley that passes the casement but flings
      Invisible flowers.
      The carol of birds is a gossamer tissue of gold
      On tha background of bells.
      Sweetest of all, in the silence the nightingale sings
      Through the silver-pure hours,
      Till the stars disappear like a dream that may never be told,
      Which the dawning dispels.

      Never so darkling the alley but opens at last
      On unlimited space;
      Each gate is the frame of a vision that stretches away
      To the rims of the sky.
      Never a scar that was left by the pitiless past
      But has taken a grace,
      Like the mark of a smile that was turned upon children at play
      In a summer gone by.

      Many the tyrants, my city, who held thee in thrall.
      What remains of them now?
      Names whispered back from the dark through a portal ajar,
      They come not again.
      By men thou wert made and wert marred, but, outlasting them all,
      Is the soul that is thou --
      A soul that shall speak to my soul till I, too, pass afar,
      And perchance even then.

      Century                                           Amelia Josephine Burr


    Ghosts

      They call you cold New England,
      But underneath your snow
      Is blood as red as roses
      That in your gardens blow.

      The God that lights your forest
      With torch of cardinal flower,
      Forbids that ever the Puritan
      Escape his crimson hour.

      The flame that skims brown furrows --
      The scarlet tanager's breast,
      Is sign to preacher and ploughman
      Of dreams that haunt their rest.

      When witch and warlock perished
      By fagot, scaffold and tree,
      Their tortures slew their bodies
      But set their spirits free!

      In freedom gliding, gloating,
      Through the haunts their children claim
      The swollen ghosts of the wicked
      Grow fat on new-wrought shame.

      The old, sweet evil lingers,
      The demon of uncontrol,
      And madness creeps and crouches
      In every haggard soul.

      And he who held moon revels
      In Salem forest deep,
      Well loves his hypocrite servants
      Nor seeks to spoil their sleep.

      They call you cold New England --
      But surely even your snow
      Is drift not of ice but of ashes,
      To guard the flames below!

      Smart Set       Marguerite Mooers Marshall


    St. John and the Faun

                          I
      O blest Imagination!
      Bright power beneath man's lid,
      That in apparent beauty
      Unveils the beauty hid!
      In the gleaming of the instant
      Abides the immortal thing;
      Our souls that voyage unspeaking
      Press forward, wing and wing;
      From every passing object
      A brighter radiance pours;
      The Lethe of our daily lives
      Sweeps by eternal shores.

                          II
      On the deep below Amalfi,
      Where the long roll of the wave
      Slowly breathed, and slipped beneath me
      To gray cliff and sounding cave,
      Came a boat-load of dark fishers,
      Passed, and on the bright sea shone;
      There, the vision of a moment,
      I beheld the young St. John.

      At the stern the boy stood bending
      Full his dreaming gaze on me;
      Inexorably spread between us
      Flashed the blue strait of the sea;
      Slow receding, -- distant, -- distant, --
      While my bosom scarce drew breath, --
      Dreaming eyes on my eyes dreaming
      Holy beauty without death.

                          III
      In the cloudland o'er Amalfi,
      Where with mists the deep ravine
      Like a cauldron smoked, and, clearing,
      Showed, far down, the pictured scene,
      Capes and bays and peaks and ocean,
      And the city, like a gem,
      Set in circlets of pale azure
      That her beauty ring and hem, --
      Once, returning from the chasm
      By the mountain's woodland way,
      Underneath the oak and chestnut
      Where I loved to make delay,
      (And dark boys and girls with faggots
      Would pass near on that wild lawn,
      And at times they brought me rosebuds),
      There one day I saw a faun.

      The wood was still with noontide,
      The very trees seemed lone,
      When, from a neighboring thicket
      His moon-eyes on me shone,
      Motionless, and bright, and staring,
      And with a startled grace;
      As nature, wildly magical
      Was the beauty of his face;

      And as some gentle creature
      That, curious, has fear,
      Dumb he stood and gazed upon me,
      But did not venture near;
      And I moved not, nor motioned,
      Nor gave him any sign,
      Nor broke the momentary spell
      Of the old world divine.

                          IV
      Love, with no other agent
      Save communion by the eye,
      Evoked from those bright creatures
      Our secret unity;
      There, flowering from old ages,
      Hung on time's blossoming stem
      All that fairest was in me
      Or loveliest in them;
      And truly it was happiness
      Unto a poet's heart
      To find that living in his breast
      Which is immortal art.

      The Forum       George Edward Woodberry


    School

                          I
      Old Hezekiah leaned hard on his hoe
      And squinted long at Eben, his lank son.
      The silence shrilled with crickets. Day was done,
      And, row on dusky row,
      Tall bean poles ribbed with dark the gold-bright afterglow.
      Eben stood staring: ever, one by one,
      The tendril tops turned ashen as they flared.
      Still Eben stared.

      O, there is wonder on New Hampshire hills,
      Hoeing the warm, bright furrows of brown earth,
      And there is grandeur in the stone wall's birth,
      And in the sweat that spills
      From rugged toil its sweetness; yet for wild young wills
      There is no dew of wonder, but start dearth,
      In one old man who hoes his long bean rows,
      And only hoes.

      Old Hezekiah turned slow on his heel.
      He touched his son. Thro' all the carking day
      There are so many littlish cares to weigh
      Large natures down, and steel
      The heart of understanding. "Son, how is't ye feel?
      What are ye starin' on -- a gal?" A ray
      Flushed Eben from the fading afterflow:
      He dropped his hoe.

      He dropped his hoe, but sudden stooped again
      And raised it where it fell. Nothing he spoke,
      But bent his knee and -- crack! the handle broke,
      Splintering. With glare of pain,
      He flung the pieces down, and stamped upon them; then --
      Like one who leaps out naked from his cloak --
      Ran. "Here, come back! Where are ye bound -- you fool?"
      He cried -- "To school!"

                          II
      Now on the mountain morning laughed with light --
      With light and all the future in her face,
      For there she looked on many a far-off place
      And wild adventurous sight,
      For which the mad young autumn wind hallooed with might
      And dared the roaring mill-brook to the race,
      Where blue-jays screamed beyond the pine-dark pool --
      "To school! -- To school!"

      Blackcoated, Eben took the barefoot trail,
      Holding with wary hand his Sunday boots;
      Harsh catbirds mocked his whistling with their hoots;
      Under his swallowtail
      Against his hip-strap bumping, clinked his dinner pail;
      Frost maples flamed, lone thrushes touched their lutes;
      Gray squirrels bobbed, with tails stiff curved to backs,
      To eye his tracks.

      Soon at the lonely crossroads he passed by
      The little one-room schoolhouse. He peered in.
      There stood the bench where he had often been
      Admonished flagrantly
      To drone his numbers: now to this he said good-bye
      For mightier lure of more romantic scene:
      Good-bye to childish rule and homely chore
      Forevermore!

      All day he hastened like the flying cloud
      Breathless above him, big with dreams, yet dumb.
      With tightened jaw he chewed the tart spruce gum,
      And muttered half aloud
      Huge oracles. At last, where thro' the pine-tops bowed
      The sun, it rose! -- His heart beat like a drum.
      There, there it rose -- his tower of prophecy:
      The Acadamy!

                          III
      They learn to live who learn to contemplate,
      For contemplation is the unconfined
      God who creates us. To the growing mind
      Freedom to think is fate,
      And all that age and after-knowledge augurate
      Lies in a little dream of youth enshrined:
      That dream to nourish with the skilful rule
      Of love -- is school.

      Eben, in mystic tumult of his teens,
      Stood bursting -- like a ripe seed -- into soul.
      All his life long he had watched the great hills roll
      Their shadows, tints and sheens
      By sun- and moonrise; yet the bane of hoeing beans,
      And round of joyless chores, his father's toll,
      Blotted their beauty; nature was as naught:
      He had never thought.

      But now he climbed his boyhood's castle tower
      And knocked. Ah, well then for his after-fate
      That one of nature's masters opened the gate,
      Where like an April shower
      Live influence quickened all his earth-blind seed to power.
      Strangely his sense of truth grew passionate,
      And like a young bull, led in yoke to drink,
      He bowed to think.

      There also bowed their heads with him to quaff --
      The snorting herd! And many a wholesome grip
      He had of rivalry and fellowship.
      Often the game was rough,
      But Eben tossed his horns and never balked the cuff;
      For still through play and task his Dream would slip --
      A radiant Herdsman, guiding destiny
      To his degree.

                          IV
      Once more old Hezekiah stayed his hoe
      To squint at Eben. Silent, Eben scanned
      A little roll of sheepskin in his hand,
      While, row on dusky row,
      Tall bean poles ribbed with dar the gold-pale afterglow.
      The boy looked up: here was another land!
      Mountain and farm with mystic beauty flared
      Where Eben stared.

      Stooping, he lifted with a furtive smile
      Two splintered sticks, and spiced them. Nevermore
      His spirit would go beastwise to his chore
      Blinded, for even while
      He stooped to the old task, sudden in the sunset's pile
      His radiant Herdsman swung a fiery door,
      Thro' which came forth with far-borne trumpetings
      Poets and kings,

      His fellow conquerors: there Virgil dreamed,
      There Cæsar fought and won the barbarous tribes,
      There Darwin, pensive, bore the ignorant gibes,
      And One with thorns redeemed
      From malice the wild hearts of men: there surged and streamed
      With chemic fire the forges of old scribes
      Testing anew the crucibles of toil
      To save God's soil.

      So Eben turned again to hoe his beans,
      But now, to ballads which his Herdsman sung,
      Henceforth he hoed the dream in with the dung,
      And for his ancient spleens
      Planting new joys, imagination found him means.
      At last old Hezekiah loosed his tongue:
      "Well, boy, this school -- what has it learned ye to know?"
      He said: "To hoe."

      The Forum                                     Percy MacKaye


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