Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950

By David Cecil; Allen Tate | Go to book overview

I watched them leap and run,
Their bodies hollowed in the sun
To thin transparency,
That I could clearly see
The shallow colour of their blood
Joyous in love's full flood.

I was content enough,
Watching that serious game of love,
That happy hunting in the wood
Where the pursuer was the more pursued,
To stand in breathless hush
With no more life myself than tree or bush.


Walking in Beech Leaves

I tread on many autumns here
But with no pride,
For at the leaf-fall of each year
I also died.

This is last autumn, crisp and brown,
That my knees feel;
But through how many years sinks down
My sullen heel.


Elinor Wylie (Am. 1885-1929)

Hymn to Earth

Farewell, incomparable element,
Whence man arose, where he shall not return;
And hail, imperfect urn
Of his last ashes, and his firstborn fruit;
Farewell, the long pursuit,
And all the adventures of his discontent;
The voyages which sent
His heart averse from home:
Metal of clay, permit him that he come
To thy slow-burning fire as to a hearth;
Accept him as a particle of earth.

-238-

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