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 Painted Desert
By Emma Hawkridge
 
DELICATE land,
Fabulous land,
Clear as a bird-song afloat in the morning,
Keener than glacial air;
Exquisite gift of the slow-building sea,        5
Held like an altar up to the sky,
Circled with light, cliff-columns high
Rising aerially.
 
Dare men approach your enchantments of sand,
Land where the rainbow lies bare?—        10
Enter your sun-guarded gateways of space,
Mortals, like snails with a cheapening trail,
Fearful of mystery, wearily pale,
Out of today’s commonplace?
 
Over the wasteland a strong wind goes;        15
Like captured heat lies the cactus rose.
The desert sings:
Sand-precious flowers and quick lizards lie
In a world like the brazen bowl of the sky—
Sun-captured things.        20
Color and distance come weaving their dances,
Mystery-full the great silence advances;
Then, at your hand,
Marvelling, mortals unfold strange wings.
Delicate, fabulous land!        25
 
 
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