Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1590. Prairie
 
By Herbert Bates
 
 
ACROSS the sombre prairie sea
The dark swells billow heavily.
Are the looming ridges near of far
That heave to the smooth horizon-bar?
 
The russet reach of grassy roll        5
Sickens the heart and numbs the soul;
The thin wind gives no air for breath;
The stillness is the pause of death.
 
This width was never shaped to be
The home of man’s mortality,        10
A breathless vacuum of peace,
Where life’s spent ripples spread and cease.
 
No end, no source, its spaces know;
Wide as the sea’s perpetual flow
Is its dead stand—dull wall on wall        15
Of sullen waves unspiritual.
 
God give me but in dream to come
Back to the pine-clad hills of home,
Back to the old eternity
Of placid, all-consoling sea.        20
 

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