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.
 
III: Death
By Louise Ayres Garnett
 
From “Resurgam”

INTO the valley land my feet descend, and man may not go with me;
But Thou, O God, companion me in love that I be unafraid.
The dream of death has flowered in my soul and sounds of earth fall dimly on my ears.
Slowly the sun goes westering in the hills, and the crimson pageant of my passing hour
Flames in their deeps and moves across the sky.        5
Something within me reaches back to birth and fills me with exulting.
As the waters of a river, sweep the wonders of creation through my being,
And life and death are so inseparate I know not each from each.
 
And yet a mighty fearing falls upon me.
Shadows descend and blur the crimson hills.        10
A wind flung from a womb of ice
Blows from the shores of nothingness.
The shadows shed their shoes of stealth;
They run in naked swiftness from the hills
Calling the hosts of darkness.        15
The winds sing a song of fury,
The winds arise and shout their passion down the world.
Drained in a pitiless draught
Are the splendors of the skies.
Towers of cypress touch the heights;        20
Even in a battlement of gloom
The towers of cypress overwhelm the heavens.
My peace is perished,
My dreams are fallen from me.
Into the night no planet speeds its glory;        25
The stars are drowned.
Lonely the hulk of a broken moon
Lifts its bloody sail.
Merged into rushing torrents are the shadows and the winds;
The shadows and the winds plunge high upon the shore        30
And swallow all the world.
 
Why hast Thou hidden Thyself, O God?
Why hast Thou turned Thy face aside
And burdened me with night?
Where is my dream of death,        35
And where its sanctuary?
The heat of hell assails me;
I am consumed in bitterness and pain.
Reveal Thyself, O unforgetting Spirit!
Reveal Thyself that I may be enshrined        40
In the beauty of Thy presence.
Drive forth this mocking counterfeit of Death,
For it is Thou who art my Death, O living God,
It is Thou who art my Death, and only Thou!
 
My fearing passes from me:        45
As a heavy mantle falling from tired shoulders,
My fearing slips away.
Candles are set at my feet that I be not lost forever.
Thou hast heard my cry, O Great Bestower!
Thou hast heard my cry, Thou hast lifted me up,        50
Thou hast delivered me!
 
Now does the hush of night lie purple on the hills.
The moon walks softly in a trance of sleep;
Her whiteness cools the passion of the skies.
I hang my quiet lute upon her curve        55
And let the night winds chant my requiem.
Waters of peace arise and drift me down the spaciousness of silence and of sleep;
God lights His solemn watch-fires overhead to keep the vigil of man’s mystery.
 
In the triumph of surrender I take Thy gift of sleep.
Lean low, Thou Shepherd of my dreams; lean low to meet me as I lift on high        60
The chalice of my dying.
 
 
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