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
By Jean Starr Untermeyer
 
  OFTEN, when I would sit, a dreamy, straight-haired child,
A book held gaping on my knee,
Watering a sterile romance with my thoughts,
You would come bounding to the curb
And startle me to life.        5
You sat so straight upon your vibrant horse—
That lovely horse, all silken fire and angry grace—
And yet you seemed so merged in him,
So like! At least my thoughts
Gave you a measure of that wildness.        10
And oh, for many years you seemed to me
Something to marvel at and yet to fear.
 
  But now I know that you resemble most
That growth in nature that you most revere.
You are so like, so very like, a tree—        15
Grown straight and strong and beautiful,
With many leaves.
The years but add in richness to your boughs,
You make a noble pattern on the sky.
About your rugged trunk        20
Vines creep and lichens cling,
And children play at tag.
Upon your branches some will hang their load
And rest and cool while you must brave the sun.
But you put forth new life with every year,        25
And tower nearer to the clouds
And never bend or grow awry.
 
  I wonder what sweet water bathes your roots,
And if you gain your substance from the earth;
Or if you have a treaty with the sun,        30
Or keep some ancient promise with the heavens.
 
 
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