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.
 
Utah
By Harriet Monroe
 
From “Notes of Travel”

IT was a queer country your harsh Lord gave you,
Great Brigham, whom I see coated and curled
In bronze before me in the public square!
It was a scraped and shining skeleton,
Gnawed to the bone long since at God’s first breakfast        5
And thrown away to bleach out in the sun.
Yet here He led you—
The Lord and his vicegerent Joseph Smith—
He ordered you
To take the dead earth from His niggard hand        10
And set His Throne up by the salty sea—
The little bucketful of ocean, poured
Over the desert’s feet between the hills.
 
And so you starved and prayed,
Thirsted and starved and prayed through the lean years,        15
Keeping the faith, digging your little ditches,
Making the desert blossom as the rose.
You married many wives,
And got you many children to fulfil
The special order whispered in the night        20
To His apostle by the Lord Himself—
The God of Abraham, of Saul and David,
Of Solomon and other lustful kings.
 
And here, tithe upon tithe, stone upon stone,
Your saints built up His throne unto the Lord        25
From plans the angel taught your hand to draw:
His new Solomon’s Temple, heaven-remembered,
To rise again here at the western gate,
And prove His glory in these latter days!
Great Brigham, sleeping now under the desert        30
With all your wives,
What summary vengeance have you meted out
To that ironic angel?

                He alone builds
Who builds for beauty, shrining his little truth
In stones that make it fair.        35
 
 
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