Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Two Songs of Conn the Fool
By Fannie Stearns Davis

I WILL go up the mountain after the Moon:
She is caught in a dead fir-tree.
Like a great pale apple of silver and pearl,
Like a great pale apple is she.
I will leap and will clasp her in quick cold hands        5
And carry her home in my sack.
I will set her down safe on the oaken bench
That stands at the chimney-back.
And then I will sit by the fire all night,
And sit by the fire all day.        10
I will gnaw at the Moon to my heart’s delight,
Till I gnaw her slowly away.
And while I grow mad with the Moon’s cold taste,
The World may beat on my door,
Crying “Come out!” and crying “Make haste!        15
And give us the Moon once more!”
But I will not answer them ever at all;
I will laugh, as I count and hide
The great black beautiful seeds of the Moon
In a flower-pot deep and wide.        20
Then I will lie down and go fast asleep,
Drunken with flame and aswoon.
But the seeds will sprout, and the seeds will leap:
The subtle swift seeds of the Moon.
And some day, all of the world that beats        25
And cries at my door, shall see
A thousand moon-leaves sprout from my thatch
On a marvellous white Moon-tree!
Then each shall have moons to his heart’s desire:
Apples of silver and pearl:        30
Apples of orange and copper fire,
Setting his five wits aswirl.
And then they will thank me, who mock me now:
“Wanting the Moon is he!”
Oh, I’m off to the mountain after the Moon,        35
Ere she falls from the dead fir-tree!

YOU must do nothing false
  Or cruel-lipped or low;
For I am Conn the Fool,
  And Conn the Fool will know.        40
I went by the door
  When Patrick Joyce looked out.
He did not wish for me
  Or any one about.
He thought I did not see        45
  The fat bag in his hand.
But Conn heard clinking gold,
  And Conn could understand.
I went by the door
  Where Michael Kane lay dead.        50
I saw his Mary tie
  A red shawl round her head.
I saw a dark man lean
  Across her garden-wall.
They did not know that Conn        55
  Walked by at late dusk-fall.
You must not scold or lie,
  Or hate or steal or kill,
For I shall tell the wind
  That leaps along the hill;        60
And he will tell the stars
  That sing and never lie;
And they will shout your sin
  In God’s face, bye and bye.
And God will not forget,        65
  For all He loves you so.—
He made me Conn the Fool,
  And bade me always know!

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