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.
 
A Man Walks in the Wind
By Maurice Lesemann
 
BEING so tired, it is hard to hide from you;
It is hard to walk any longer in the night and the wind.
I have gone among brown trees, I have crunched the blue
Frost-bitten grass under my feet, I have stood
In parted thickets, caught in the crackling leaves,        5
I have seen the brushpiles on the ridges fired,
I have watched the twisted smoke that weaves
Blue strands in the black branches of the wood;
And now, being tired,
Being tired now and worn enough for rest,        10
Would it not be safe, would it not be very good
Tonight, to find it in your breast,
In your wise breast where this is understood?
 
Do you remember another night of wind,
Moonlight and wind, when it was all        15
The sky could do to keep from reeling upon us in shame,
When, breathless, we held it there
From slipping down about us with your hair?
Do you remember a night last fall
When the wind whirled us and whetted us to flame,        20
And whirled the leaves and whetted us to flame,
Whipped out your dress and would not let us be,
And drove us along the prairie, two shadows clinging,
And dropped us at the foot of a tree?
 
That was September before the frost:        25
In the morning the prairie was gray with mist
And the grass was matted white where we had lain.
And the arms of the elm, the grizzled arms of the elm,
Pawed at the wind for something that was lost,
And knotted up with pain.        30
 
Fall comes to fall again,
And I walk alone, I walk alone in the wind….
I cannot master the beauty of the night.
I walk alone. The poplar fingers rise
Tall and awful among white glittering stars.        35
Surely this is the most sorrowful delight
Of any man, to walk alone with a dream.
Do you hear the ripple singing in the stream?
The beauty of the poplars strikes me down.
The wind over the grass—I had not known        40
The wind was such a lonely thing.
The wind cleaves me with beauty to the bone,
And the gray clouds that brush the fields and fling
Gray darkness on to the driven prairie, and fold
Their lonely silence around the hills, and fly        45
On to the upper night, to the upper air—
They have beat me clean, they have beat my body cold
With beauty. Do you hear the wild geese cry?
 
And now the dark is heavy in my head,
And in my heart all the sorrows have come home.        50
I am tired—you do not know how tired I come.
You would not care tonight? You would not care,
But let your hand wander through my hair?
There would be no hurt now, we are both too tired.
I would finger the soft silk of your dress the same        55
As long ago, when you were first desired,
As long ago when the wind whirled us to flame.
 
For we know the bitter tune the wind sings;
There will be silence now, there will be rest,
And eyes will heal after the wind stings,        60
And I shall hear your heart under your breast
Moving across time with a great flow.
And we shall hear no more the wind’s calling,
But only the silence of it falling and falling,
And always the room will throb quietly and slow.        65
 
 
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