Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Second Book of Modern Verse
Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Second Book of Modern Verse.  1922.
Four Sonnets
Thomas S. Jones, Jr.

HOW may one hold these days of wonderment
  And bind them into stillness with a thong,
  Ere as a fleeting dream they pass along
Into the waste of lovely things forspent;
How may one keep what the Great Powers have sent,        5
  The prayers fulfilled more beautiful and strong
  Than any thought could fashion into song
Of all the rarest harmonies inblent?
There is an Altar where they may be laid
  And sealed in Faith within Its sacred care,—        10
    Here they are safe unto the very end;
For these are of the things that never fade,
  Brought from the City that is built four-square,
    The gifts of Him who is the Perfect Friend.

THE FIRST glad token of the Spring is here
  That bears each time one miracle the more,
  For in the sunlight is the golden ore,
The joyous promise of a waking year;
And in that promise all clouds disappear
  And youth itself comes back as once before,        20
  For only dreams are real in April’s store
When buds are bursting and the skies are clear.
Fair Season! at your touch the sleeping land
  Quickens to rapture, and a rosy flame
    Is the old signal of awakening;        25
Thus in a mystery I understand
  The deepest meaning of your lovely name—
    How it will be in that perpetual Spring!

BEHIND the pinions of the Seraphim,
  Whose wings flame out upon the swinging spheres,        30
  There is a Voice that speaks the numbered years
Until that Day when all comes back to Him;
Behind the faces of the Cherubim,
  Whose smiles of love are seen through broken tears,
  There is a Face that every creature fears,        35
The Face of Love no veil may ever dim.
O Angels of Glad Laughter and of Song,
  Your voices sound so near, the little wall
    Can scarcely hide the trees that bend and nod;
Unbar the gate, for you have waited long        40
  To show the Garden that was made for all,—
    Where all is safe beneath the Smile of God.

DOWN through the spheres that chant the Name of One
  Who is the Law of Beauty and of Light
  He came, and as He came the waiting Night        45
Shook with the gladness of a Day begun;
And as He came, He said: Thy Will Be Done
  On Earth; and all His vibrant Words were white
  And glistering with silver, and their might
Was of the glory of a rising sun.        50
Unto the Stars sang out His Living Words
  White and with silver, and their rhythmic sound
    Was as a mighty symphony unfurled;
And back from out the Stars like homing birds
  They fell in love upon the sleeping ground        55
    And were forever in a wakened world.


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