Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Second Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Second Book of Modern Verse.  1922.
 
Madonna of the Evening Flowers
 
Amy Lowell (1874–1925)
 
 
ALL 1 day long I have been working,
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind.
The house is very quiet,        5
The sun shines in on your books,
On your scissors and thimble just put down,
But you are not there.
Suddenly I am lonely:
Where are you?        10
I go about searching.
 
Then I see you,
Standing under a spire of pale blue larkspur,
With a basket of roses on your arm.
You are cool, like silver,        15
And you smile.
I think the Canterbury bells are playing little tunes.
 
You tell me that the peonies need spraying,
That the columbines have overrun all bounds,
That the pyrus japonica should be cut back and rounded.        20
You tell me these things.
But I look at you, heart of silver,
White heart-flame of polished silver,
Burning beneath the blue steeples of the larkspur.
And I long to kneel instantly at your feet,        25
While all about us peal the loud, sweet Te Deums of the Canterbury bells.
 
Note 1. Reprinted by permission of the publishers, from Pictures of the Floating World, by Amy Lowell. Copyright, 1919, by The Macmillan Company. [back]
 

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