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.
 
Night above the Tree Line
By Raymond Holden
 
YOU berries, that are full of the dark dusks
Of mountains and the moisture of chill dews,
Swell on your stems and break your ripened husks
For lips which it would wither you to lose—
If there are lips to what is wandering here        5
Feeling you underfoot in the rocky night,
Moving about like wind, blowing you clear
Of mists, hanging your leaves with drops of light.
 
Listen! There is a sound of water falling
Down the dark-shafted night into the trees.        10
Wild birds that should be quiet now are calling.
How shall I sleep tonight, troubled with these?
The cool wind through the moon’s invisible strings
Blows like a striking of clear silver bars;
The great black peak shudders and leaps and swings,        15
And I am blinded by the fall of stars.
 
I cannot rest. I cannot quiet my limbs.
A sense of climbing keeps my body burning,
And the white flame sweeps over me and dims
All that inclines within me toward returning.        20
Did I see only earth once long ago,
And only flesh in faces turned to me?
Sleep? Rest? With my senses shaken so
And the world’s valleys lost so dizzily?
 
Why have I come so near the fearful stars        25
When what is in me is so much a want
Of utter dark too thick for any wars
Of flesh and spirit dazzlingly to haunt?
I do not know. I do not want to know;
Only to make a fire of weariness        30
And fling myself upon it, and burn, and go
Thinly, like smoke, to wind-walled quietness.
 
 
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