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.
 
If You Were Careless
By Stella Benson
 
IF you were careless ever, if ever a thing you missed
In the forest—a serpent twist
Of shadow, ensnaring the star-lit way of a tree;
If at your wrist
The pulse rang never, never, to the slow bells of the sea;        5
If a star, quick-carven in frost and in amethyst,
Shone on the thin, thin finger of dawn, you turning away your face:
 
You shall be sorry, sorry, for when you die,
Those three
Shall follow and follow and find you        10
As you go through the Difficult Place.
The strong snake-shadows shall bind you,
The swords of the stars shall blind you,
And the terrible bells of the sea shall crash and cry;
The bells of the sea shall ring you out from under the sky,        15
In a lost grave to lie
Under the ashes of space.
Ah, never look back, run fast, you impotent passer-by!—
Those three
Run behind you.        20
 
 
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