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.
 
In Absence
By Moireen Fox
 
I
O THORN tree, shake thy blossoms upon the wind;
Cover with leaves thy deep snow-laden boughs
That swiftly may sweet crimson berries ripen.
 
My love has sworn when leaves and blossoms are faded,
And thy bare branches are held blood-red to the skies,        5
He will kiss grief and longing away from my heart.
 
II
The silver wings of the sea-birds flash and go;
The sea trembles unveiling itself to the day.
Why comest thou not? Why must I wait for thee?
 
Is love so gentle to thee that thou sleepest unwaking?        10
Is thy breath unhastened, thy brow dry and untortured?
Dost thou rather seek the me in dreams than here on my breast?
 
The beating of my heart has nightlong shaken my body—
So great an anguish is my longing that sight fails;
My limbs shudder with the bitterness of my desire.        15
If thou hastenest not death were easier to me than this.
 
III
Perchance I am truly dead at last, beloved,
And my body is lying still in some quiet place
And thou art weeping for me.
But I am one of the driven tormented dead        20
Whom the cold darkness sunders for ever from rest,
And this that consumes my heart is the pain of hell.
 
IV
I remember thee, O beloved, as one dead remembers the living.
Faintly the sound of thy voice and thy laughter lingers about me,
Yet ever thy face is a star burning unquenched through my darkness.        25
 
Too far I have left thee behind me to know if love be forgotten,
 
For weeping and laughter and love have mingled their voices and ceased.
Only I hear the sound of great seas long since overpassed me.
 
Lo, I would sleep, beloved, lulled by uttermost silence;
Sleep with even thy face covered away and forgotten        30
Lost in a sleep unbroken by dreams or love or awakening.
 
 
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