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Premonition Post by :thisbiz Category :Poems Author :William Rose Benet Date :October 2011 Read :2578

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(Written in absence and unaware of her
desperate condition, a few days before her death

This is the song I shall make.
Love with white wing bids it wake.
Love with dark wing bids it die.
Trailing to dimness, the flood of my passion,
Glittering to darkness, the necklace I fashion
To loop on the breast of the sky!

I have climbed high, even I,
Following a light through a rift in the blue,
Following a silence that pierced like a cry,
Following the image of you.

This is the song I will fashion for you.

Oh ragged-jawed, jagged-toothed Dragon of Time,
What will you do with the weft of my rhyme,
You who have pawed every jewel in slime--

No, in this space between darkness and light,
Holiness gleams like a rift in the night
Here where I stand and command the full height,
All of the glory and gall ...
Wrestle and struggle and surge for the height--
And fall....

Pain, your pale hands are clenched loose in my hair.
My heaving breast to your bleakness is bare.
Each of the other as brothers aware,
Backward and forward we strain.
What is this struggle, why my despair,

God is somewhere in the night.
Listen! The night is so still
God could be heard if he walked on the height
As a man at night will walk on a hill
Lulled by the darkness and dim.
Heaven is the hill under Him.
Is there not glimmer of light at its rim?

Pain? Ah the struggle again.
Drive then your darts in me, drive!
Pang after pang of it, Pain.
Wounds that will wake me alive.
Listen! The night is a hive
Of sound like a swarming of myriad bees.
Drive the gold darts in me, whet them and drive,
Pain! But his shadow flees.
What is this plain, whose these shapes that connive

Peace? But your garment is smirched
With grime and the stain of blood!
Peace! When I struggled and searched,
Ah, when have I understood?
I who was broken and spent,
I who was baffled, and meant
Only to wrench my release!

Who are Those crouching behind you, so still and intent,

Memories? Why do they haunt?
Lust and vainglory and pride?
What is it now of my victory they want?
What of you, Peace, the crucified?
This is the height. Can they scan it?
This is no space-festering planet.
This is no rack of vain tears!
Even a dream, can they cloud it and ban it,--

Years go over me, cloud me and cover me,
Years--haunted years.

Only one thing I say over and over
Under that catafalque glooming to cover
My shame and disaster and wraith of faith.
Only one thing I say over and over,
Your name, said under my breath.

There, like a storm on the sea line, you hover,

Ripples and eddies and whirlpools of light
Swirling like veils on the face of the night.
Down from the infinite, down from the height
Stricken and whirled,
Swept like a leaf on the blast of the night
Back to the world!

Breathing beside me--your breath!
Listen! The night is so still
God could be heard if he talked with Death
As a man at night might talk on a hill
Gently and sad to a friend
Of the things we always intend ...
Night without end for Him--night without end...!

This is the song I have made
Of the night when I was afraid,
Of the night too breathless, too still,
When I lay like stone--alone--alone,
However near me the love we kill.
What of the love we kill?

Pride that died and darkness that grew!
This is the song I began to wreathe ...
Ah, but God remembered,--it is not true!
And you--you live, you breathe!

(The end)
William Rose Benet's poem: Premonition

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After (introductory Poem) After (introductory Poem)

After (introductory Poem)
IOn Sunday in the sunlightWith brightness round her strownAnd murmuring beauty of the skyAt last her very own,She who had loved all childrenAnd all high things and cleanTurned away to silentnessAnd bliss unseen.Rending, blinding anguish,Is all a man can know;Yet still I kneel beside herFor she would have it so,Kneel and pray beside herIn light she left behind--Light and love in silentness,Sight to the blind.Oh living light burn through me!Oh speak, as spoke to meHer deep sweet eyes and faithful,Voice on Calvary!Oh light be near and shining,Nearer than I guess,And teach me that true languageOf silentness!IIIf now I fall awayFrom faith,

The Pale Dancer The Pale Dancer

The Pale Dancer
My heart's a still shore; all the golden sails are gone.A pale, silver floor in the hugeness of dawnMy heart lies once more, and the little ripples beatThis small, idle tune, like the fall of elves' feet,"Oh, come, airy dancer--come dance on us, Sweet!"She comes like a breeze in the midnight of May.The tumbling of the seas makes a tune far away.She comes with closed eyes, with light footsteps she nears,And she sings the low song that each lipping ripple hears."In love there is laughter, and after--come tears!"She dances like the moonlight--light, languorous, aswoon.Her face floats uplifted, a flower to the