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.
 
The Musicmaker’s Child
By Miriam Allen de Ford
 
A MAIDEN, waiting for a man to take her:
Then, for the love of his blue eyes,
She wandered after Weir the musicmaker.
 
I know the burden of the tide,
I catch the cry and moan of every breaker,        5
I read the secrets of the sands—
I, the child of Weir the musicmaker.
 
In the white hush before the storm,
I hear a heavy calling from the ocean—
The souls of men who drowned at sea,        10
Aweary of its restless, flowing motion.
 
      “I am choked with sand,”
      Says Jan the fisher.
      “A pearl in each hand,”
      Says Jan the fisher.        15
 
      “One for the earth,
      My grave to be;
      One for the priest
      Will pray for me.”
 
And Michael of the Wild Rocks, his bright beard streaming,        20
“Give me Christian burial, and a stone above my head!
For I’ve a wife,” says he, “and my babe is on her knee;
And she has naught to weep on but a memory of the dead.”
 
Old Fergus lies sleeping, and calls in his sleep,
His white hair all matted with weeds of the sea:        25
“I have Shawn and Colom who watch for me—
Shall my two sons not call me from out the deep?”
 
      And the soul of Peter Day,
      That young, young lad,
      Whose quick, warm heart        30
      Was all the wealth he had,
 
      “O dear Lord God,” he prays,
      “There on the shore
      Was a girl used to walk
      Who’ll never walk there more.        35
 
      “It’s in church and holy ground
      That Janet lies:
      For my grave next hers,
      I will give up Paradise.”
 
Lord God has heeded Peter Day;        40
He has thrown his body on the white sand stretches:
And they have laid him by a grave
That’s two years overgrown with docks and vetches.
 
“Is it not strange,” they say in Culm,
“That he alone came in upon the breaker?”        45
I smile my wise smile to myself—
I, the child of Weir the musicmaker.
 
 
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