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.
 
Sea Marsh
By Frances Dickenson Pinder
 
From “Marsh Sketches”

LIKE a woman who remembers
Is the marsh—
A woman who forgives, and yet
Whose every mood is dimmed
Because, forgiving,        5
She cannot ever quite forget.
 
None knows her secret heart—
One can but guess
What crying winds have stirred
To dumb distress        10
Her quietness;
What sodden rains have trampled her;
What lust of August suns.
She has no words:
Impassive, inarticulate        15
Save for the flight of birds—
Slow heron, slumbrous crane—
She keeps her counsel.
Though cities bloom and fade
And forests fall,        20
She does not change;
The slow years pause … pass,
And leave no trace—
Like snowflakes on a peasant’s face.
So long        25
The seasons have defrauded her,
There is no festival
Upon her calendar;
In spring, no hint of welcoming
For the few flowers        30
That seek her smile;
No song upon her lips …
How should she sing?
For nothing whole is hers,
No perfect gift—        35
Only the spent and broken things
That drift
In from the unrepentant sea.
 
 
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