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.
 
Bluebell Night
By Muriel Stuart
 
WHEN Earth stands trembling on the brink of June
Spring reads the writing on the sunset’s wall,
And “Farewell” on the bright page of the moon,
While one by one in heaven’s Cimmerian pall
Vague stars are lit for rites funereal.        5
She hears Night toll the hour of her farewell,
And seeks once more a breast whereon to die—
In the last wood to yield to Summer’s spell,
That still dreams on with wide and tranquil eye
When the great huntress June doth rake the sky        10
And sow the world with heat, still sees its cool
Green image mirrored in the enchanted pool.
 
Past the low track where many a groaning cart
Has lurched above the beating of Spring’s heart
She fleets, June’s arrows falling swift and bright;        15
The creening curlew-wind wails, following,
The old wheel-wounds are filled with flowers to-night.
Her reels of gold, blue skein and yellow bead
Fall from her hand as wild and white she goes,
The poppy lacking still a golden thread,        20
Her needle pricking still the unfinished rose.
 
To-night the bluebells die, already wan
With prescience of her whose death is theirs;
A sheathing wing the solemn thicket bears,
      Though heedless birds sing on,        25
Though through the listening moonlight wanders still
The wide-lipped water talking in her sleep,
      And far beyond the hill,
Across the heaven’s golden vast divide
The twilight rose nods to the lily moon        30
      Too old, too wise to weep,
They watch where Spring has fall’n, and see her swoon
With the long spear of Summer in her side.
 
The lean, swift bramble hastens o’er the stones,
A gipsy Autumn makes an emperor        35
Splendoured in purple, glorious in gold;
He heeds not April’s tale so swiftly told;
And the young trees whom she may tend no more
Forget their cradle-songs in April’s house,
And on Earth’s shoulders take colossal hold,        40
Against the sun spread vast pavilions,
And stun the great storms with huge thunderous brows.
 
Only the playthings of the year that fade
Forgotten in June’s savage, fresh desire—
The weaving-ends of April—shall be laid—        45
      Sweet slaves—upon her pyre.
 
From April’s dying hand the jewels fall,
The hawthorn folds her frail embroidery,
The drowsy hyacinth puts out her light,
Gold-throated flowers that lured the pirate bee        50
Fade like old dreams across the face of night,
Of whom stern Day forbids memorial.
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Something of Spring must die in us to-night—
Something the full-lipped Summer may not know—
The sharp, sad rapture, the impetuous flight        55
That finds all heavens too near, all heights too low;
When Dawn seems but a glittering rose to throw
To a mad world, and from Youth’s beakers flow
The keen, the sparkling Daysprings of Delight!—
 
But not for ever! All that died to-night        60
Has heard one same sweet word, and knows that Change
      Though seeming wild and strange,
Seeming to stamp its heel on all delight,
And giving Beauty only grace to die,
Shall bring a rich to-morrow; though Spring lie        65
Dead as the first faith in Youth’s sepulchre,
      She shall return, and glide—
A white swan moving on the green Spring-tide:
A snowdrop soon shall quicken in her side,
And round her lips a little sigh shall stir …        70
While loud December stamps the frozen ways
Leave her to dreamless nights and deedless days,
And strew the paling bluebells over her.
 
 
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