Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Hope
By John Cowper Powys
The leering demon-days
Deride, and reason plays,
Snug as a raven on a gallows-tree,
Its ancient game with me,        5
Flapping its wings and lewdly gibbering,
“Life is a humorous thing!”
But on I fare, clutching—
It is not gold,
The hope I hold.        10
The hope I hold,
Delicate cruelty
Snatches at, passing by;
And like a vine-leaf, fallen from its place
Upon a tortured face,        15
Offers its fragrance to betray, sighs low,
“Life is a humorous show!”
But on I fare, clutching—
It is not gold,
The hope I hold.        20
The hope I hold
Nature herself with glee
Derides. And destiny
With evil goblin laughter indicates
The adamantine gates,        25
And with a maniac-chuckle rallies me,
“That way is closed, you see!”
But I fare on, clutching—
It is not gold,
The hope I hold.        30
O hope, whose face in madness I have kissed,
O hope, that art a mirage and a mist,
Shall I destroy thee now, and laugh thereat?—
It is too late for that.

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