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.
 
Ecclesiastes
By Morris Bishop
 
IN the smoke-blue cabaret
  She sang some comic thing:
I heeded not at all
  Till “Sing!” she cried, “Sing!”
So I sang in tune with her        5
  The only song I know:
“The doors shall be shut in the streets,
  And the daughters of music brought low.”
 
Her eyes and working lips
  Gleamed through the cruddled air—        10
I tried to sing with her
  Her song of devil-may-care.
But in the shouted chorus
  My lips would not be stilled:
“The rivers run into the sea,        15
  Yet the sea is not filled.”
 
Then one came to my table
  Who said, with a laughing glance,
“If that is the way you sing,
  Why don’t you learn to dance?”        20
But I said: “With this one song
  My heart and lips are cumbered—
‘The crooked cannot be made straight,
  Nor that which is wanting, numbered.’
 
“This song must I sing,        25
  Whatever else I covet—
Hear the end of my song,
  Hear the beginning of it:
‘More bitter than death the woman
  (Beside me still she stands)        30
Whose heart is snares and nets,
  And whose hands are bands.’”
 
 
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