Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
94. The Temple
By Lee Wilson Dodd
HEAR me, brother
Boldly I stepped into the Temple,
Into the Temple where the God dwells
Veiled with Seven Veils,
Into the Temple of Unbroken Silence:        5
And my joyous feet shod with crimson sandals
Rang out on the tesselated pavement,
Rang out fearlessly
Like a challenge and a cry!
And there—in that shrouded solitude,        10
There—before the Seven Veils,
There—because of youth and youth’s madness,
Because of love and love’s unresting heart,
There did I sing three songs!
And my first song praised the eyes of a wanton;        15
And my second song praised the lips of a wanton;
And my third song praised the feet of a dancing girl!
Thus did I desecrate the Temple,
Thus did I stand before the Seven Veils,
Proudly!        20
Thus did I wait upon the God’s Voice—
And the sudden shaft of death….
But no Voice stirred the Seven Veils,
Though I stood long….        25
And my knees shook,
My bones were afraid….
Swiftly I loosed the crimson sandals,
And, tearing them from off my feet,
Crept shuddering forth!        30
Hear me, brother!
Now am I as one stricken with palsy,
Now am I sick with the close ache of terror,
Now am I as one who, having tasted poison,
Cowers, waiting for the pang!        35
For the God spake not….
And the sense of my littleness is upon me:
And I am a worm in my own sight,
Trodden and helpless;
A casual grain of sand        40
Indistinguishable amid a million grains:
And I take no pleasure now in youth
Nor in youth’s madness,
In love
Nor in love’s unresting heart;        45
And I praise no longer the eyes of a wanton,
Nor the lips of a wanton,
Nor the light feet of a dancing girl.


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