Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Autumn Communion
By Gladys Cromwell
 
From “Songs of the Dust”

THIS autumn afternoon
My fancy need invent
No untried sacrament.
Man can still commune
With Beauty as of old:        5
The tree, the wind’s lyre,
The whirling dust, the fire—
In these my faith is told.
 
Beauty warms us all;
When horizons crimson burn,        10
We hold heaven’s cup in turn.
The dry leaves gleaming fall,
Crumbs of mystical bread;
My dole of Beauty I break,
Love to my lips I take,        15
And fear is quieted.
 
The symbols of old are made new:
I watch the reeds and the rushes,
The spruce trees dip their brushes
In the mountain’s dusky blue;        20
The sky is deep like a pool;
A fragrance the wind brings over
Is warm like hidden clover,
Though the wind itself is cool.
 
Across the air, between        25
The stems and the grey things,
Sunlight a trellis flings.
In quietude I lean:
I hear the lifting zephyr
Soft and shy and wild;        30
And I feel earth gentle and mild
Like the eyes of a velvet heifer.
 
Love scatters and love disperses.
Lightly the orchards dance
In a lovely radiance.        35
Down sloping terraces
They toss their mellow fruits.
The rhythmic wind is sowing,
Softly the floods are flowing
Between the twisted roots.        40
 
What Beauty need I own
When the symbol satisfies?
I follow services
Of tree and cloud and stone.
Color floods the world;        45
I am swayed by sympathy;
Love is a litany
In leaf and cloud unfurled.
 
 
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