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.
 
3. Dancing Adairs
 
By Conrad Aiken
 
 
BEHOLD me, in my chiffon, gauze and tinsel,
Flitting out of the shadow into the spotlight,
And into the shadow again, without a whisper!—
Firefly’s my name, I am evanescent.
 
  Firefly’s your name. You are evanescent.        5
  But I follow you as remorselessly as darkness,
  And shut you in and enclose you, at last, and always,
  Till you are lost, as a voice is lost in silence.
 
Till I am lost, as a voice is lost in silence….
Are you the one who would close so cool about me?        10
My fire sheds into and through you and beyond you:
How can your fingers hold me? I am elusive.
 
  How can my fingers hold you? You are elusive?
  Yes, you are flame; but I surround and love you,
  Always extend beyond you, cool, eternal,        15
  To take you into my heart’s great void of silence.
 
You shut me into your heart’s great void of silence….
O sweet and soothing end for a life of whirling!
Now I am still, whose life was mazed with motion.
Now I sink into you, for love of sleep.        20
 

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