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.
 
Songs to a Woman
By Maxwell Bodenheim
 
I
YOU are like startled song-wings against my heart
Which flutters like a harp-string wounded
By too much quivering music.
You cover me with a blue dream-robe
Whose silk ripples out like imaged water….        5
And when, for a moment, you leave,
I am a black sky awaiting its moon.
 
II
If I could be moon-light scattered out
Over the blowing dark-blue hair
Of kneeling, flowing crystal breezes        10
Breathing a litany of pale odors,
If I could be moonlight scattered out
Over the whispers meeting in your heart,
The marriage of our souls would be
No more complete than now.        15
 
III
Like a delicately absent-minded guest,
Your smile sometimes lingers after
Your lips are solemn.
And once I saw a tear in your eye
Playing hide-and-go-seek with some leaping, dimpled memory.        20
These things, to me, are like scattered perfume
Wavering down upon my heart.
 
IV
The struggle of a smile craving birth
Invades her little weeping faun’s face,
And even makes her tear-drops leap….        25
She smiles as only grief can smile:
A smile like ashes caught within
A tiny whirlwind of light;
When the light goes, the ashes drape her face
Till even her lips seem grey.        30
 
V
Wave your veils to pallid gavottes,
Blow them on with dimly-spiced laughs,
And catch them breathlessly against your breast!
You have prayed too long in your sinking temple—
Night has come, with her fumbling release,        35
Her moment in which you may play with sad thoughts.
So, wave your veils to pallid gavottes,
Blow them on with dimly-spiced laughs
And catch them breathlessly against your breast.
 
 
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