Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Eastland Waters
By Agnes Lee
  Niels.  Now girls, now girls, cling on with all your might.
Cling steady to this plank—don’t lose your grit.
  Mary.  Niels, will they all be saved?
  Niels.                Be sure of it.
They can’t be drowned.        5
  Anna.            For everything’s in sight.
  Mary.  And we could almost touch the houses there.
See how the steamer sank upon her side,
Like a huge beast!
  Anna.          Listen—a baby cried!        10
  Niels.  Don’t turn. Don’t listen. Don’t look anywhere.
  Mary.  The human fish—see how they haul them in!
The slimy fish. Oh, this is awful, Niels!
  Anna.  They’re everywhere! How cold the water feels!
  Niels.  Keep up your nerve—be the brave girls you’ve been.        15
  Mary.  Soon we’ll be safe. Nothing can harm us here,
With all those little windows looking on.
I feel your courage, Niels—my fear has gone.
  Niels.  Steady there, steady! Now the dock is near.
  Anna.  O Niels, I wish I had your arms around me!…        20
It came, it came! I didn’t mean to tell.
Mary, you never dreamed … We kept it well.
Niels thought we mustn’t speak it out. He bound me …
  Niels.  Hush, hush!
  Anna.            He bound me not to say a word,        25
Not to let others guess it in my face.
But who could keep a secret in this place?
And Mary, I am glad at last you’ve heard.
And Mary, you shall fasten up my veil,
And hold my book for me. Why, everything        30
Seems wonderful! Even here I want to sing!
We’ll have a little flat in Carbondale …
  Niels.  Anna, don’t chatter on like this, I say.
Mary … I meant to make it clear to you …
Mary!        35
  Anna.  Oh, look; oh, look!—her lips are blue!
  Niels.  Mary!
  Anna.  Oh, look!…. Her hands have slipped away!

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