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 Old Are Sleepy
By H. L. Davis
 
From “Primapara”

A SLOW spring between two wheat-fields. High on the hill
In the straight weeds the men walk sizing the wheat,
Sweating through dry soft ground where wild sunflowers are.
The wind blows dust in the faces of these old men,
And dust is all over their faces as they ride down,        5
As they ride toward the poplars about the distant house.
 
Do I not know? They will watch the green willows between
These very fields; rest a day or two, mend roads
Against the harvesting of this high grain; and sleep.
The old men have seen it and are content with it,        10
Content among the women, and all content—
Women who lie uneasy at night against them.
 
I know of this, and of the mouth of music which said,
“A small spring between the wheat-fields.” I know the low hair
And the beauty in which music is, as slow rain        15
Is in the willows when they dip over like hands.
I know her of whom you are proud, that before their sleep
They also behold her proudly—a distant spring’s beauty.
 
Is this the distant spring’s beauty? For in the rain
It shall all be changed, and the willows about it be darkened.        20
The old men have put the hills in foal; yet past
Sundown, and until the morning the headed wheat
Finds me, and I feel her mouth and low hair.
Cry for their pride in her, when you lie by them at night!
 
 
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