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.
 
Old Wives’ Tale
By Arthur Davison Ficke
 
I SAW my grandmother’s shadow on the wall
In firelight; it danced with queer grimaces
As if her serious soul were making faces
At me or life or God or at us all.
And I, an urchin lying at her feet,        5
Then caught my first glimpse of the secret powers
That stir beneath this universe of ours,
Making a witches’ carnival when they meet.
Across the firelit dusk my sensitive mood
Dreamed out to mingle with the waifs of Time        10
Whose unsolved stories haunt the poets’ rhyme
And in dark streets of ancient cities brood—
Like sudden ghosts rising above the grime
With beauty and with terror that chills the blood.
 
 
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