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.
 
Maura
By Marjorie Allen Seiffert
 
I
MAURA dreams unwakened:
The warm winds touch the bands
That hold her hair;
The call of a silver horn floats by;
A lover tosses flowers into her hands.        5
 
Maura dreams unwakened:
She joins the maidens in their dance,
Her limbs follow slow rhythms;
A lover leads her into the shade—
She moves as in a trance.        10
 
II
What dim confusion
Troubles her dream?
What passionate caress
Disturbs her spirit’s rapt seclusion?
 
Earth draws her close—how warm        15
Is lover-earth! Like a sleeping bird
She gives herself….. Then suddenly
She is a leaf whirled in the storm.
 
Somewhere in a quiet room
Her soul, unstirred,        20
Dead,
Or sleeping,
Through the blind tumult hears afar
The note of a horn like a silver thread.
She has given her soul to an echo’s keeping.        25
 
III
Who knows the mountain where the hunter rides
Winding his horn?
Maura, who heard it in her dream,
Wakens forlorn,
Too late to catch the tenuous thread        30
Of silver sound
Which in the intricate, troubled fugue of earth
Is drowned.
 
IV
Maura cannot follow over the hill;
Her youth is land-locked as a hidden pool        35
Where thirsty love drinks deep—
A shining pool where lingers
The color of an unseen golden sky,
A pool where echoes fall asleep:
Until small restless fingers        40
Trouble the waters cool,
Snatch at reflected beauty, and destroy
The mirrored dream….. The pool is never still
And broken echoes die.
 
V
The silver call has gone; but there is left to her
        45
The gentleness of earth,
The simple mysteries of sleep and death,
Of love and birth…..
There are faces hungry for smiles, and starving fingers
Reaching for dreams.        50
 
And like a memory are the wind-swept chords of night,
And the wide melody of evening sky
Where gleams
A color like the echo of a horn.
There is a far hill where winds die,        55
And over the hill lies music yet unborn.
 
VI
Maura lies dead at last;
The body she gave to child and lover
Now feeds flower and tree.
 
Earth’s arms are wide to her …. what breast        60
Offers such gentle sleeping?
Her limbs lie peacefully.
 
From the dark West
Comes down a note like the echoing cry
Of one who rides through the dusk alone        65
After the hunt sweeps by.
 
It fades—the night wind is forlorn—
Music is still:
But Maura has followed the silver horn
Over the distant hill,        70
Over the hill where all winds die.
 
 
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