Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
By Muna Lee

GOD made my body slim and white
To be men’s torture and men’s delight.
God made my heart a wayside inn,
And there the guests keep merry din.
God left my soul a lamp unlit—        5
But only God ever thinks of it.

    I sowed my thought like seed.
    Up sprang a noxious weed.
I shall sow my thought again: a flower may be the meed.
    My thought is hard and cold;        10
    The soil is worn and old:
What if marybuds should rise and turn the earth to gold?
I who had sought God blindly in the skies—
  Listening for heaven to thunder forth my name,
Waiting for doves descending to my head,        15
  Looking to see the bushes burst in flame—
Went from the temple with a weary throng
  Of questions in my soul, and told my grief
To the heart of the yellow flower with the scent
  Of citrus clinging to its pointed leaf.        20
I shall not sing again of love—
  I weary of the old unrest.
(But like a hangman, love has burned
  His crimson emblem on my breast;
But, like a hangman, love has set        25
  A crimson scar my heart above.)
Yea, I am wearied with old pain—
  I shall not sing again of love.
I took my sorrow into the woods,
  Saying, “Nature will bend to me        30
And hold me close; and her quiet moods
  Shall be as physician and friend to me.”
Looking to hear her rivers sigh
  Because my heart was worn with grief,
To hark the thunders break her sky,        35
  To catch the moan of her aspen leaf,
I carried my sorrow to Nature’s breast:
  And, behold, her sky was the gladdest blue
And a laughing demon her breeze possessed!
  How did I dream that Nature knew?        40
Lips you were not anhungered for,
  And those that won your praises,
A century hence will blossom out
  In little purple daisies.
Eyes that smiled lightly into yours,        45
  And eyes that frowned on you—
Ah, soon, not Love himself might know
  The brown eyes from the blue.
Yes, even he will come to dust,
  And even beauty passes,        50
That crumbling flesh may feed the growth
  Of the hungry-rooted grasses.
Behind the house is the millet plot,
  And past the millet, the stile;
And then a hill where melilot        55
  Grows with wild camomile.
There was a youth who bade me goodby
Where the hill rises to meet the sky.
I think my heart broke; but I have forgot
All but the scent of the white melilot.        60
Though you should whisper
  Of what made her weep,
She would not hear you—
  She is asleep.
Though you should taunt her        65
  With ancient heart-break,
She would not listen—
  She is awake.
Passion would find her
  Too cold for dishonor.        70
Candles beside her,
  Roses upon her!
Now have I conquered that which made me sad—
  The bitterness and anguish and regret.
  Yea, I have conquered it. And yet—and yet—        75
The moaning of the doves will drive me mad.

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