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Monroe, Harriet

· Harriet Monroe: Titanic Requiem · Harriet Monroe: The Shadow-Child · Harriet Monroe: On The Train · Harriet Monroe: Wings

Harriet Monroe: Titanic Requiem

Titanic Requiem

Sleep softly in your ocean bed,
You who could grandly die !
Our fathers, who at Shiloh bled,
Accept your company.

O sons of warriors, lightly rest,
Daughters of pioneers!
Heroes freeborn, who chose the best,
No tears for you, but cheers!

Lovers of life, who life could give,
Sleep softly where you lie!
Ours be the vigil—help us live,
Who teach us how to die.

Harriet Monroe
(1860 – 1936)
Titanic Requiem

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Monroe, Harriet


Harriet Monroe: The Shadow-Child

The Shadow-Child

Why do the wheels go whirring round,
Mother, mother?
Oh, mother, are they giants bound,
And will they growl forever?
Yes, fiery giants underground,
Daughter, little daughter,
Forever turn the wheels around,
And rumble-grumble ever.

Why do I pick the threads all day,
Mother, mother,
While sunshine children are at play?
And must I work forever?
Yes, shadow-child; the live-long day,
Daughter, little daughter,
Your hands must pick the threads away,
And feel the sunshine never.

Why do the birds sing in the sun,
Mother, mother,
If all day long I run and run,
Run with the wheels forever?
The birds may sing till day is done,
Daughter, little daughter,
But with the- wheels your feet must run—
Run with the wheels forever.

Why do I feel so tired each night,
Mother, mother?
The wheels are always buzzing bright;
Do they grow sleepy never?
Oh, baby thing, so soft and white,
Daughter, little daughter,
The big wheels grind us in their might,
And they will grind forever.

And is the white thread never spun,
Mother, mother?
And is the white cloth never done,
For you and me done never?
Oh yes, our thread will all be spun,
Daughter, little daughter,
When we lie down out in the sun,
And work no more forever.

And when will come that happy day,
Mother, mother?
Oh, shall we laugh and sing and play
Out in the sun forever?
Nay, shadow-child, we’ll rest all day,
Daughter, little daughter,
Where green grass grows and roses gay,
There in the sun forever.

Harriet Monroe
(1860 – 1936)
The Shadow-Child

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Monroe, Harriet


Harriet Monroe: On The Train

On The Train

I

The lady in front of me in the car,
With little red coils close over her ears,
Is talking with her friend;
And the circle of ostrich foam around her hat,
Curving over like a wave,
Trembles with her little windy words.
What she is saying, I wonder,
That her feathers should tremble
And the soft fur of her coat should slip down over her shoulders?
Has her string of pearls been stolen,
Or maybe her husband?

II

He is drunk, that man —
Drunk as a lord, a lord of the bibulous past. [sic]
He shouts wittily from his end of the car to the man in the corner;
He bows to me with chivalrous apologies.
He philosophizes, plays with the wisdom of the ages,
Flings off his rags,
Displays his naked soul —
Athletic, beautiful, grotesque.
In the good time coming,
When men drink no more,
Shall we ever see a nude soul dancing
Stript and free
In the temple of his god?

III

She comes smiling into the car
With irridescent bubbles of children.
She blooms in the close plush seats
Like a narcissus in a bowl of stones.
She croons to a baby in her lap —
The trees come swinging by to listen,
And the electric lights in the ceiling are stars.

Harriet Monroe poetry
(1860 – 1936)
On The Train

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Monroe, Harriet


Harriet Monroe: Wings

Wings

Pearl-gray is the sky,
And high within it, sailing by,
Three sea-gulls fly.

Pearl-white are they
Against the sky’s obscurer gray—
Sea-foam astray.

Gulls, sea-gulls white,
Drift of the day, drift of the night,
Mine be your flight!

Out—out, with you
Beyond the noise, into the blue!
Ah—if I knew!

Harriet Monroe
(1860 – 1936)
Wings

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Monroe, Harriet


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