Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
 
189. Her Going
 
By Agnes Lee
 
 
The Wife
    CHILD, why do you linger beside her portal?
    None shall hear you now if you knock or clamor.
    All is dark, hidden in heaviest leafage.
    None shall behold you.
 
Truth
    Gone, gone, the dear, the beautiful lady!
        5
    I, her comrade, tarry but to lament her.
    Ah, the day of her vanishing all things lovely
    Shared in her fleetness!
    Tell me her going.
 
The Wife
    You are a child. How tell you?
        10
 
Truth
    I am a child, yet old as the earliest sorrow.
    Talk to me as you would to an old, old woman.
    I own the ages.
 
The Wife
    Voices, they say, gossipped around her dwelling.
    She awoke, departing, they say, in silence.        15
    I am glad she is gone. The old hurt fastens.
    Hate is upon me.
 
    It was hard to live down the day, and wonder,
    Wonder why the tears were forever welling,
    Wonder if on his lips her kiss I tasted        20
    Turning to claim him.
 
Truth
    Jealousy, mad, brooding blind and unfettered,
    Takes its terrible leap over lie and malice.
    Who shall question her now in the land of shadow?
    Who shall uphold her?        25
 
The Wife
    It was hard to know that peace had forsaken
    All my house, to greet with a dull endeavor
    Babe or book, so to forget a moment
    I was forgotten.
 
Truth
    Who shall question her now in the land of shadow,
        30
    Question the mute pale lips, and the marble fingers,
    Eyelids fallen on eyes grown dim as the autumn?
    Ah, the beloved!
 
The Wife
    Go, go, bringer of ache and discord!
 
Truth
    Go I may not. Some, they think to inter me.
        35
    Out of the mold and clay my visible raiment
    Rises forever.
 
The Wife
    Hers the sin that lured the light from our threshold,
    Hers the sin that I lost his love and grew bitter.
 
Truth
    Lost his love? You never possessed it, woman.
        40
 
The Wife
    Sharp tongue, have pity!…
 
    Yes, I knew. But I loved him, hoping for all.
    I said in my heart: “Time shall bring buds to blossom.”
    I almost saw the flower of the flame descending.
    Then—she came toying.        45
 
    He is mine, mine, by the laws of the ages!
    Mine, mine, mine—yes, body and spirit!
    I am glad she has gone her way to the shadow.
    Hate is upon me.
 
    Oh, the bar over which my soul would see        50
    All that eludes my soul, while he remembers!
    You, dispel if you can my avenging passion—
    Clouds are before me!
 

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