Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
 
Essex
 
George Cabot Lodge
 
 

THY hills are kneeling in the tardy spring,
  And wait, in supplication’s gentleness,
The certain resurrection that shall bring
  A robe of verdure for their nakedness.
Thy perfumed valleys where the twilights dwell,        5
  Thy fields within the sunlight’s living coil
Now promise, while the veins of nature swell,
  Eternal recompense to human toil.
And when the sunset’s final shades depart
  The aspiration to completed birth        10
Is sweet and silent; as the soft tears start,
  We know how wanton and how little worth
Are all the passions of our bleeding heart
  That vex the awful patience of the earth.
 
II

Thine are the large winds and the splendid sun
        15
  Glutting the spread of heaven to the floor
  Of waters rhythmic from far shore to shore,
And thine the stars, revealing one by one,
Thine the grave, lucent night’s oblivion,
  The tawny moon that waits below the skies,—        20
  Strange as the dawn that smote their blistered eyes
Who watched from Calvary when the Deed was done.
And thine the good brown earth that bares its breast
  To thy benign October, thine the trees
Lusty with fruitage in the late year’s rest;        25
And thine the men whose blood has glorified
  Thy name with Liberty Is divine decrees—
The men who loved thy soil and fought and died.
 
III

Toward thine Eastern window when the morn
  Steals through the silver mesh of silent stars,        30
  I come unlaurelled from the strenuous wars
Where men have fought and wept and died Forlorn.
But here, across the early fields of corn,
    The living silence dwelleth, and the gray
    Sweet earth-mist, while afar the lisp of spray        35
Breathes from the ocean like a Triton’s horn.
Open thy lattice, for the gage is won
    For which this earth has journeyed though the dust
Of shattered systems, cold about the sun;
And proved by sin, by mighty lives impearled,        40
    A voice cries through the sunrise: “Time is just!”—
And falls like dew God’s pity on the world
 

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