Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Island Song
By Robert Paine Scripps
LOOK you—the flesh, how it has fallen away,
And that dear beauty of my youth! The lips
You loved to press—they are grown cold enough
With years; and this poor heart that beat so high—
God!—it is like a stone within my breast.        5
I will sit down where the old women sit
And pound the Awa with these withered hands.
I will chew beetle till my teeth are black—
That were like little pearls, you said—and spit
With them. My tongue shall be a wagging tongue        10
For old wives’ tales, and I shall learn to laugh
At the low things they whisper, leering still
Half foolishly, scratching their shrivelled thighs,
And trying to recall passion that’s dead—
Oh, many a weary day.
                        So our lives run
When that first stroke is spent that drove the barque
Against an ebbing tide. We drift, we fade
Like Kepi blossoms drooping in the sun,
That the night knew for fragrance.

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