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ANTHOLOGY OF MASSACHUSETTS POETS (50)

2006-08-28 19:24

    ESSEX

    I

    THY hills are kneeling in the tardy spring, And wait, in supplication's gentleness, The certain resurrection that shall bring A robe of verdure for their nakedness. Thy perfumed valleys where the twilights dwell, Thy fields within the sunlight's living coil

    Now promise, while the veins of nature swell, Eternal recompense to human toil. And when the sunset's final shades depart The aspiration to completed birth Is sweet and silent; as the soft tears start, We know how wanton and how little worth Are all the passions of our bleeding heart That vex the awful patience of the earth.

    II

    Thine are the large winds and the splendid sun Glutting the spread of heaven to the floor Of waters rhythmic from far shore to shore, And thine the stars, revealing one by one, Thine the grave, lucent night's oblivion, The tawny moon that waits below the skies,—— Strange as the dawn that smote their blistered eyes Who watched from Calvary when the Deed was done. And thine the good brown earth that bares its breast To thy benign October, thine the trees Lusty with fruitage in the late year's rest;

    And thine the men whos@ blood has glorified Thy name with Liberty Is divine decrees- The men who loved thy soil and fought and died. III

    Toward thine Eastern window when the morn Steals through the silver mesh of silent stars, I come unlaurelled from the strenuous wars Where men have fought and wept and died Forlorn.

    But here, across the early fields of corn, The living silence dwelleth, and the gray Sweet earth-mist, while afar the lisp of spray Breathes from the ocean like a Triton's horn. Open thy lattice, for the gage is won For which this earth has journeyed though the dust Of shattered systems, cold about the sun; And proved by sin, by mighty lives impearled, A voice cries through the sunrise: "Time is Just!"

    And falls like dew God's pity on the world

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