Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Summer Dawn
By Constance Lindsay Skinner
 
[Tem-Eyos-Kwi]

  SHE comes—Tem-Eyos-Kwi—
The maiden who has known love!
Last night Love touched her in the house of waiting.
Love hid the seeds of life in her garments.
In the wind of her walking they are scattered;        5
All the sod will bloom with them!
None shall be lost: because of her gladness, the gladness of love known.
 
Ah—hi-i! She sees the earth not as we see it
We who were not overtaken by Love in the house of waiting.
 
  Wake, women, maidens and wives!        10
Greet Tem-Eyos-Kwi!
Greet her with feet dancing,
With songs of the heart and lips trembling to silence,
Hands that lift their wonder to the breast
Yet touch not the flesh.        15
 
  Wake, sons, lovers, young chiefs, hunters with arrows!
Sharpen the darts, make strong, bend the bow;
Keen, keen as light, and clear as the wind be your eyes!
The women await you in secret places,
They have hidden themselves in the leafy shelters:        20
All the green leagues of the forest are ashake with invitation.
The quick beating of their hearts is the whisper along the bending grass.
The sod grows warm—O men, Summer-dawn is the spirit of the women!
 
  They have washed their hearts with prayer,
And their bodies with juices of cedar:        25
Perfumed and dried by the wind they have come up from the shore—
The great hosts of the women—
Unwrapping themselves from the mists of the morning.
They have entered the forest with the footfalls of muted music,
With light tossing steps like the spray on long beaches.        30
The swinging trees drip dew:
With lines of sparkling rain they point the way the women have gone,
Leaving all the paths to them open.
 
Harken! They follow Tem-Eyos-Kwi, singing:
 
  “Come, come, O swift and strong!        35
We are the women: seek us!
Our hearts, like little swallows, nest above the secret pools.
Oh, say, shall not the winged dart pierce,
And the shadow of the bended bow
Stir the still, deep pools?        40
Oh, the waters shall sparkle and leap and mingle,
And brim at your lips, O men!
They shall be poured out and drip upon a chief’s feet;
They shall fill the hollows of his house with children!
Flowing in laughter and whispers and little cries        45
As smoke through the smoke-hole at evening!
Ai! ah! ai! Women! Waken the soil with freshets;
Bear joy upward as a canoe with sails, swifter than paddles.
O men, hunters of life,
We are the harborers, the fosterers—the women:        50
Seek us!”
 
It was the women, the harborers, the fosterers, who rose first,
And followed Tem-Eyos-Kwi:
They called to the men.
 
  The men go forth like one!        55
Lightning and heat are their weapons, hurled crashing before them.
Their hairs, spreading wide, give black wings to the sun,
As a cloud filled with eagles blown up from the sea.
They enter the forest with the tramp of thunder and the darkness of storm;
And the song of the women is stilled.        60
The cry of offering ascends, it passes the swooping shadows;
There is a sigh through the forest of winds sinking—
Then the hush.
 
  On the leaves is a sweet whisper of rain,
Whispered sweetness of pangs past.        65
The warm soil drinks the coolness of tears—
Tears that are dropping melodies
Because cunning hands and strong have shaken the living cords.
The skies part, the black wings fold;
The Sun-chief’s canoe rides on the upper blue with furled sails:        70
Tem-Eyos-Kwi, laughing, is at the paddle.
Our village is drenched with light.
(Ai-i! Tem-Eyos-Kwi is glad because Love has overtaken us;
Because now we see the earth as she sees it.)
Two by two, they come up from the forest—the men and the women.        75
The women’s smiles are the little sun-tipped clouds
Floating across the face of the mountain:
The look in their eyes is deeper than the seas.
High in the light the men lift their heads.
On their clear brows is the mystic mark        80
Of those from whom a great dream has gone forth.
Firmly they hold the hands of the women,
Who have given peace to their strength, and a meaning.
Together, together, the race-makers enter the lodges.
 
 
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