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 Burned House
By Grace Fallow Norton
 
IN my house on a dry high hill
Strange things seemed stranger still:
When the windows opened each morning
Oceans entered without warning;
 
When the curtains closed each night,        5
Entered light, sweet sacred light.
Long I lived there with the weather—
(With the weather, close together).
 
Had no teacher save one chewink,
Scolding madly, “Make you think!”        10
Thinking made me almost ill,
It was so high on that dry hill!
 
And yet I thought three times a day
In a hilly happy harmless way:
Thought the mountains were animals,        15
Thought the clouds high safe stone walls;
 
Thought King Solomon came to call,
Climbing over the cloudy wall—
Begged him run and catch the brook
While I got my shepherd crook!        20
 
Once while I made the thick white soup,
Saint John sat upon the stoop;
Saint John pointed out to me
Lotus-buds on my oak-tree!
 
And then a partridge whirred in the wood,        25
Fluttering lame as a partridge should.
Partridge turned to a paradise-bird,
Uttering ecstasy word by word,
 
Till smoke of the chimney writhed, withdrew,
And sowed a seed, and rose and flew!        30
(I lived in that house four years and a week;
Well I know whereof I speak.)
 
Smoke-seed grew to a tree of flame!
O fire-tree! Red-flowering shame!
Devouring my dear house branch and root!        35
Now I have eaten of one more fruit….
 
Was it too happy, was it too high
My little house close to the sky?
Was it too useful, was it too good
My little house beside the wood?        40
 
 
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