Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950

By David Cecil; Allen Tate | Go to book overview

In his patio by the sea he lounges now,
Aged and weathered, wrinkled and worn, and saddled
With one of those Ardens that younger and wiser he knew
To be best left to his lovers lost and addled.

His shiny old head heaven's sun, like a patron, caresses.
His sightless old eyes heaven's ocean swells to in praise.
But none of the grace of that landscape his darkness blesses.
He is beyond that, and back in his salad days.

There where a few old players saw the air,
And the rest is a summer silence of sun and sand,
He has come in his dotage to live a life free from care
In a fool's pastoral setting getting tanned.


Howard Nemerov (Am. b. 1920)

The Winter Lightning
for Paul

Over the snow at night,
And while the snow still fell,
A sky torn to the bone
Shattered the ghostly world with light;
As though this were the moon's hell,
A world hard as a stone,
Cold, and blue-white.

As if the storming sea
Should sunder to its floor,
And all things hidden there
Gleam in the moment silently,
So does the meadow at the door
To split and sudden air
Show stone and tree.

-622-

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