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.
 
When Singing April Came
By Isabel McKinney
 
WHEN singing April came, the land awoke,
And love-of-liberty, perennial,
Pushed up its costly crimson through the sod
In every sheltered garden. April sang,
As ever, matings of unnumbered birds,        5
And all the shy and sweet imaginings
Of woods and fields, the beauty and the hope
Of the live world; but piercing clear and sad
In the swift wind, and in the vibrant light,
Even in the throbbing notes of orioles,        10
She sang of death, and rang a challenge out;
And the red flower flamed high beneath her words:
 
“Oh, sorrow for the shining, wind-swept highways of the sea!—
They are made foul with blood.
Oh, sorrow for the beauty of earth,        15
For glowing orchards and quivering fields,
For jeweled cities humming in the sun!—
They are laid waste and desolate.
Oh, sorrow for the beauty of young souls
Hiding their vessels of fire beneath their cloaks!        20
The great wind has torn their mantles away,
And filled the heaven with burning,
And wrapped them in a winding-sheet of flame.”
 
 
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