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Eleanor Agnes Lee

Convention

The snow is lying very deep.
My house is sheltered from the blast.
I hear each muffled step outside,
I hear each voice go past.

But I'll not venture in the drift
Out of this bright security,
Till enough footsteps come and go
To make a path for me.

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Peace

Suddenly bells and flags!
Suddenly -- door to door --
Tidings! Can we believe,
We, who were used to war?

Yet we have dreamed her face,
Knowing her light must be,
Knowing that she must come.
Look -- she comes, it is she!

Tattered her raiment floats,
Blood is upon her wings.
Ah, but her eyes are clear!
Ah, but her voice outrings!

Soon where the shrapnel fell
Petals shall wake and stir.
Look -- she is here, she lives!
Beauty has died for her.

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On The Jail Steps

I've won the race.
Young man, I'm new!
Old Sallow-face
Good luck to you!

I've turned about,
And paid for sin.
And you come out,
As I go in.

Ten years! but mark,
I am free, free!
Ten years of dark
Shall gather me.

My wife long-while
She wept her pain.
She cannot smile;
She weeps again.

[...] Read more

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A Statue In The Garden

I was a goddess ere the marble found me.
Wind, wind, delay not!
Waft my spirit where the laurel crowned me!
Will the wind stay not?

Then tarry, tarry, listen, little swallow!
An old glory feeds me
I lay upon the bosom of Apollo!
Not a bird heeds me.

For here the days are alien. Oh, to waken
Mine, mine, with calling!
But on my shoulders bare, like hopes forsaken,
The dead leaves are falling.

The sky is gray and full of unshed weeping
As dim down the garden
I wait and watch the early autumn sweeping.
The stalks fade and harden.

[...] Read more

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A Roman Doll

(In a Museum)
How an image of paint and wood
Leaped to her life with a love's control,
Struck the chords of her motherhood,
Passionate little mother-soul!
Fair to her sight were the stolid eyes,
Dear to her toil the robes empearled.
She crooned it the ancient lullabies,
She gathered it close from the outer world.
They watched together, as Nero's pyres
Fed the haze of a hundred fires.

Me in her fresh young arms she bore.
See, I am small,
Only a doll.
But I keep her kiss forevermore.

Long and lonely the toy has lain.
One by one into time's abyss
Years have dropped as the drops of rain.

[...] Read more

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Motherhood

Mary,the Christ long slain,passed silently,
Following the children joyous astir
Under the cedrus and the olive tree,
Pausing to let their laughter float to her--
Each voice an echo of a voice more dear,
She saw a little Christ in every face.

Then came another woman gliding near
To watch the tender life which filled the place.
And Mary sought the woman's hand and spoke:
' I know thee not, yet know thy memory tossed
With all a thousand dreams their eyes evoke
Who bring to thee a child beloved and lost.

' I ,too, have rocked my Little One.
And He was fair !
Oh, fairer than the fairest sun
And , like its rays through amber spun,
His sun-bright hair.
Still I can see it shine and shine.'

[...] Read more

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Her Going

The Wife
Child, why do you linger beside her portal?
None shall hear you now if you knock or clamor*
All is dark, hidden in heaviest leafage.
None shall behold you.

Truth
Gone, gone, the dear, the beautiful lady!
I, her comrade, tarry but to lament her.
Ah, the day of her vanishing all things lovely
Shared in her fleetness!
Tell me her going.

The Wife
You are a child. How tell you?

Truth
I am a child, yet old as the earliest sorrow.
Talk to me as you would to an old, old woman.
I own the ages.

[...] Read more

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