The Little Book of Modern Verse: A Selection from the Work of Contemporaneous American Poets

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Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
Houghton Mifflin, 1913 - American poetry - 211 pages
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Page 193 - There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood — Touch of manner, hint of mood; And my heart is like a rhyme, With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time. The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry Of bugles going by.
Page 183 - He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, And Priam's neighbors. Miniver mourned the ripe renown That made so many a name so fragrant; He mourned Romance, now on the town, And Art, a vagrant. Miniver loved the Medici, Albeit he had never seen one; He would have sinned incessantly Could he have been one.
Page 139 - He held his place — Held the long purpose like a growing tree — Held on through blame and faltered not at praise. And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down As when a kingly cedar green with boughs Goes down with a great shout upon the hills, And leaves a lonesome place against the sky.
Page 118 - How will you ever straighten up this shape; Touch it again with immortality; Give back the upward looking and the light; Rebuild in it the music and the dream; Make right the immemorial infamies, Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?
Page 138 - As to the great oak flaring to the wind — To the grave's low hill as to the Matterhorn That shoulders out the sky.
Page 117 - Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, The emptiness of ages in his face, And on his back the burden of the world. Who made him dead to rapture and despair, A thing that grieves not and that never hopes, Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox ? Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw? Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow ? Whose breath blew out the light within this brain ? The Man with the Hoe...
Page 141 - For he, to whom we had applied Our shopman's test of age and worth, Was elemental when he died, As he was ancient at his birth : The saddest among kings of earth, Bowed with a galling crown, this man Met rancor with a cryptic mirth, Laconic — and Olympian. The love, the grandeur, and the fame Are bounded by the world alone ; The calm, the smouldering, and the flame Of awful patience were his own : With him they are forever flown Past all our fond self-shadowings, Wherewith we cumber the Unknown...
Page 89 - All I could see from where I stood Was three long mountains and a wood; I turned and looked another way, And saw three islands in a bay.
Page 90 - These were the things that bounded me. And I could touch them with my hand, Almost, I thought, from where I stand! And all at once things seemed so small My breath came short, and scarce at all. But, sure, the sky is big, I said : Miles and miles above my head. So here upon my back I'll lie And look my fill into the sky. And so I looked, and after all, The sky was not so very tall. The sky, I said, must somewhere stop . . And — sure enough! — I see the top! The sky, I thought, is not so grand;...
Page 185 - ... scented grass ; A jay laughs with me as I pass. I ride on the hills, I forgive, I forget, Life's hoard of regret — All the terror and pain Of the chafing chain. Grind on, O cities, grind: I leave you a blur behind. I am lifted elate — the skies expand: Here the world's heaped gold is a pile of sand. Let them weary and work in their narrow walls : I ride with the voices of waterfalls ! I swing on as one in a dream — I swing Down the airy hollows, I shout, I sing!

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