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We hear the great earth sigh and turn,
And the seas sighing;

And the angry sunsets flame and burn
With old dreams dying.

But earlier than the early dawn,
So chill, so grayly,

Comes that which never is withdrawn,
Comes to us daily,

Comes to us, after every mood
Of pain or passion—

The certitude, the certitude
Of what we fashion |

Are you so devout, who never trod
'Neath spire or steeple?

But we have spoken with our God,
The God of the People.

Our blood the dye, his robe the sod
That we lie under;

We have heard the still voice of our God
Through flame and thunder.

What are these wild words of some change
You bring to being?

We only know it shall be strange
Beyond foreseeing!

We have lain down, we have stood up
(Past all dissembling!)

With Death, with Death. We have quaffed the cup,
The cup of trembling. .

So we but whisper brokenly,
As dead men do,

The great strange things that are to be,
That shall come true. .

For we are blinded, and we see;
Deaf, and have ears;

Despoiled, and co-heirs perfectly
Of coming years.

Life higher than we ever thought,
Deeper than death—

This with our life-blood we have bought,
With our vain breath.

Over fire-curtained slime of the fen,
Through insensate clamor,

We have heard the building thoughts of men
Hammer and hammer.

We have heard the splitting of codes apart,
The ripping of glamour

Like colored curtains, and Man's strong heart
Hammer and hammer. -

We have heard the sledges of a state
Beyond our hoping

Thunder and thunder. We are great
Who once were groping.

Out of the slag and fume of the pit
We have seen uprearing

A blinding witness; because of it
We are done with fearing.

Out of the bowels of Hell-on-earth
We have seen upstraining

A winged archangel of rebirth
Too strong for chaining.

Now ours is the strength, ours is the might—
Yea, by these powers,

Ours is the earth for light and right,
And the future ours,

Who have rent our hearts, our blood outpoured,
Who have drunk all sorrow, -
Who have found our strength, walked with our Lord,
And bought Tomorrow! /
William Rose Benét


Leaves whirl about my feet;
Leaves, leaves dance over my head—

Brown leaves.
And their madness and love of death blow through my heart.
(Oh, the perfume of these drifting golden leaves!)

What wine can stain the soul with redder glory
Than this wild, sudden thirst for sudden death?

They rise like clouds of incense
From swift-swinging golden censers—
Clouds and clouds!
And the western sky is a glow of light
As yellow and white as the face of a Christian saint.

Autumn, autumn !
I will not live!
I'll go now, now, with all my memories and my joys.

I will not live

To have them blown
Like ashes from an altar by capricious winds.



The earth smells old and warm and mellow, and all things lie at peace. I too serenely lie here under the white-oak tree, and know the splendid flight of hours all blue and gay, sundrenched and still. The dogs chase rabbits through the hazel-brush; I hear now close at hand their eager cries, now swift receding into the distance, leaving a-trail behind them in the clear sweet air shrill bursts of joy. There's something almost drowsy in that waning clamor; It brings the stillness nearer and a sense of being bodily at one with the old warm earth, Blessedly at one with the fragrant laughing sun-baked earth, At one with its sly delightful wicked old laughter.


Can this be all?
Can this unfinished thing be called complete,
And I be left to face it thus forever,
Forever to twist and turn, remould and tint anew 2


Bird, whose eyes I cannot see,
Whose flight is beautiful,
From your wings in passing
Bright plumage is drifting down to us.

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