Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Singer at the Gate
By Margaret Widdemer
From “Voices of Women”

MUST I always sing at the gate to hearten the men who fight
For causes changeful as wind and as brief as the summer night?
Must I always herald the wisdom of Man who is blind, blind-led,
Of kings who rule for an hour and die when the hour is dead;
Of right that is wrong tomorrow, of truths that were last year’s lies,        5
Of little strifes and upbuildings that die when a nation dies?
For all Assyria’s captains are dead with the dead they made,
Dust of the gyve and anklet with dust of the casque and blade;
But wonderful dreams blow still in the swirl of a smoke new-gone,
As they blew from a fire at dusk for my brother in Ascalon.        10
And Rome is withered, and Hellas; but leaves in the wind bow still,
As they bowed for my brother’s dreaming who sang by some dead god’s hill:
For all of the mighty walls men have built to sweep down again
Are shadows of visions spun by some poet far from men.
I am tired of praising the deeds that are brief as a wind may be,        15
That change with the mocking turn of a year or a century:
I go to spin dreams in dark, that shall last until men are hurled
Out into the space of the Timeless with ash of a burning world!

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