Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Poems in Prose and Verse
By Skipwith Cannéll


O PEARL in the Lotus,
O Krishna of the Jade Flute,
O Christ upon the Triple Cross,
Hear me, I pray you,
And give heed to my prayer,        5
For faintly
And in my sleep
I have heard distant singing.

For an hundred years I have soared
Under the sky,        10
Grayed is my breast by the storms
Round distant peaks;
Still gaze my golden eyes
Fiercely at the sun.

Beloved, if you would but gaze
Into those dark pools,
’Tis your own face you will see,
Your face and the far-off hills,
That you might have seen long since
By the turning of your head.        20

There is dust upon your feet,
Dust and blood,
And upon your hands there is blood;
And with dust and sweat
Matted is your hair:        25
Dark are your eyes and empty
Like the lost pools in that garden
Which is unremembered of God.

The mountains
Were sunk in the sea,        30
But now they are risen
High and more high:
I will climb my mountains,
I will rest in their winds;
At night … I will descend …        35
Wearied … to the valleys …
In the warmth of my valleys
I will sleep till the dawn.

    One face I saw shining from a sea of faces, as the brightness of a star shines from beneath dead water. One face only did I see, and the soul that looked from her eyes was veiled as with a dark veil.
    Like a strange bird in an old snare, like a strange fish in an old net, so my heart snared her beauty and holds it. She was like the shadow of a plum-blossom on a stagnant pool, like a dying pearl in the depths of the sea, like the lonely singer who sings forever beneath one casement.        40
    Therefore, in praise of her, I touch fire to delicate incense, to incense in a bowl of bronze graven with the shadow of an ancient love. The smoke of it coils upward, and my thoughts of her live in its coiling shadows: hers their fragrance and the unreality. As perfumes hover about the garments of the dead, so clings her fragrance to my cloak of dreams; as the memory of last year’s plum-blossom lives like a dream, so clings unreality to the hem of my cloak.
    I wait beneath the window of my Beloved, and the window is opened to me; I wait beneath the window of my Beloved, and it remains closed: I stand in a cloudy night asking the moon to smile. I am one who, flashed upon by a pale gleaming face, a pale star buried under dead water, seeks and waits and watches beneath a darkened sun.

    The iridescence of sunrise over the ocean gleams on the wings of a fly; and on the cheeks of a girl blooms the delicate flush of a peach: but the fly hovers above the refuse of the world, and at the heart of the peach gnaws a worm.
    The night wind is cold like the fingers of death, the sky purple like a cup of Tyrian poison, the gleam of the moon white like the flesh of a leper, and the sea dark like the wings of a bat.
    My Beloved looks at me, and her eyes are hard and cold, her slender fingers cold and limp, and her parted lips turning from mine bring forth no word.        45

Thy feet,
That are like little, silver birds,
Thou hast set upon pleasant ways.
Therefore I will follow thee,
Thou Dove o’ the Golden Eyes,        50
Upon any path will I follow thee,
For the light of thy beauty
Shines before me like a torch.
Thy feet are white
Upon the foam of the sea;        55
Hold me fast, thou bright Swan,
Lest I stumble,
And into deep waters.
Long have I been the Singer beneath thy Casement,
And now I am weary.        60
I am sick with longing,
O my Beloved;
Therefore bear me with thee
Swiftly upon—
Upon our road.        65
With the net of thy hair
Thou hast fished in the sea,
And a strange fish
Hast thou caught in thy net;
For thy hair,        70
Holdeth my heart
Within its web of gold.
I am weary with love, and thy lips
Are as night-born poppies.        75
Give me therefore thy lips
That I may know sleep.
I am weary with longing,
I am faint with love;
For upon my head the moonlight        80
Has fallen
As a sword.

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