Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Their Strange Eyes Hold No Vision
By Howard Buck
THEIR strange eyes hold no vision, as a rule;
No dizzy glory. A still look is theirs,
But rather as one subtly vacant stares,
Watching the circling magic of a pool.
Now when the morning firing becomes tame,        5
Out in the warming sun he tries to guess
Which battery they’re after. “Let me see;
Which battery is there? which battery?
I wonder which…..” Again, again, the same
Returning question, idle, meaningless.        10
Startled, he sighs—or laughs—or softly swears;
Mutteringly something of dear names declares
In the bitter cruelty of tenderness.
The planes drift low, circling monotonously,
Droning like many a drowsy bumble-bee        15
Some summer morning. Only now and then
A whining shell, the mere formality
Of stupid war, calls back his thoughts again.
Suddenly near the unseen death swoops low,
Laughing and singing; and full pitifully        20
The startled eyes stare wide, but do not see
The whirling features of the genie foe,
Safe in his summoned cloud. The quiet skies
Tell not his surest comings. With waved wands
A mist springs from the earth, and swaying stands        25
A veiling moment ….. sinks …..
And there he lies
Face down, clutching the clay with warm dead hands.

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