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.
 
The Gypsy Girl
By H. L. Davis
 
From “Primapara”

ONE cherry tree beside the house in this low field
Is yellow and bright-colored now. Several weeds
Are full of brown seed, and the ground is drying out hard.
What is not picked, now, in the garden, will never be picked.
In this fall, by this garden of gray stems and seeds        5
I sit in what dusty grass is left, and words
Come in groups, like floss upon the pale green water.
They concern the gypsy girl, fat with child, and sickly
Complexioned, who, I think, made me offers.
                                Her long black hair
And yellow face above the pale green water at nightfall.        10
 
The gypsy girl was sallow, as if with nightfall,
Paler looking because of the necklace of red beads,
And because of her rings and bracelets of heavy silver.
There was a silk scarf, green and yellow, upon her hair,
Her most dark and heavy hair, bound at the back in small        15
Silver bands, all heavy; and light-colored and green silk
Was her bright dress, which was stretched with her young one
So that its pattern shaped into big ungodly flowers.
She came through the short willows; she came beside me
Smiling as if a crowd were watching her from the weeds.        20
“What is not picked, now, in the garden, will never be picked,”
I say, before this garden.
                    I felt her child’s heart beating,
And, for thinking of that heart and of her lover,
The “Come, there is some good place near,” and the feel of her hand,
I would not answer. This which might have dispersed        25
The many girls who have appeared to me sleeping,
I would not consent to.
                It was that. I say to the sand,
Nevertheless, as if to one person: “Dear love, departed,
Can some season not freshen us? I am disheartened;
Are there many like the dark girl? are there many like me?”        30
 
But what is not picked now in the garden will never be picked.
 
 
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