Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
In the Desert
By Alice Corbin
 
I
  I HAVE seen you, O king of the dead,
More beautiful than sunlight.
 
Your kiss is like quicksilver;
But I turned my face aside
Lest you should touch my lips.        5
 
In the field with the flowers
You stood darkly.
 
My knees trembled, and I knew
That no other joy would be like this.
 
But the warm field, and the sunlight,        10
And the few years of my girlhood
Came before me, and I cried,
Not yet!
Not yet, O dark lover!
 
You were patient.        15
            —I know you will come again.
 
I have seen you, O king of the dead,
More beautiful than sunlight.
 
II
  Here in the desert, under the cottonwoods
That keep up a monotonous wind-murmur of leaves,        20
I can hear the water dripping
Through the canals in Venice
From the oar of the gondola
Hugging the old palaces,
Beautiful old houses        25
Sinking quietly into decay…..
 
  O sunlight—how many things you gild
With your eternal gold!
Sunlight—and night—are everlasting.
 
III
  Once every twenty-four hours
        30
Earth has a moment of indecision:
Shall I go on?
Shall I keep turning?
Is it worth while?
Everything holds its breath.        35
The trees huddle anxiously
On the edge of the arroyo,
And then, with a tremendous heave,
Earth shoves the hours on towards dawn.
 
IV
  Four o’clock in the afternoon.
        40
A stream of money is flowing down Fifth Avenue.
 
  They speak of the fascination of New York
Climbing aboard motor-busses to look down on the endless play
From the Bay to the Bronx.
But it is forever the same:        45
There is no life there.
 
  Watching a cloud on the desert,
Endlessly watching small insects crawling in and out of the shadow of a cactus,
A herd-boy on the horizon driving goats,
Uninterrupted sky and blown sand:        50
Space—volume—silence—
Nothing but life on the desert,
Intense life.
 
V
  The hill cedars and piñons
Point upward like flames,        55
Like smoke they are drawn upward
From the face of the mountains.
Over the sunbaked slopes,
Patches of sun-dried adobes straggle;
Willows along the acequias in the valley        60
Give cool streams of green;
Beyond, on the bare hillsides,
Yellow and red gashes and bleached white paths
Give foothold to the burros,
To the black-shawled Mexican girls        65
Who go for water.
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors