Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Portrait of an Old Woman
By Arthur Davison Ficke
SHE limps with halting painful pace,
  Stops, wavers, and creeps on again;
Peers up with dim and questioning face
  Void of desire or doubt or pain.
Her cheeks hang gray in waxen folds        5
  Wherein there stirs no blood at all.
A hand like bundled cornstalks holds
  The tatters of a faded shawl.
Where was a breast, sunk bones she clasps;
  A knot jerks where were woman-hips;        10
A ropy throat sends writhing gasps
  Up to the tight line of her lips.
Here strong the city’s pomp is poured …
  She stands, unhuman, bleak, aghast:
An empty temple of the Lord        15
  From which the jocund Lord has passed.
He has builded him another house,
  Whenceforth his flame, renewed and bright,
Shines stark upon these weathered brows
  Abandoned to the final night.        20

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