by Ruth Stone

Page 2

A pause, and then immediately:

When I hoped, I recollect
Just the place I stood -
At a Window facing West -
Roughest Air - was good -

Not a Sleet could bite me -
Not a frost could cool -
Hope it was that kept me warm -
Not Merino shawl -

When I feared - I recollect
Just the Day it was -
Worlds were lying out to Sun -
Yet how Nature froze -

Icicles upon my soul
Prickled Blue and Cool -
Bird went praising everywhere -
Only Me - was still -

And the Day that I despaired -
This - if I forget
Nature will - that it be Night
After Sun has set -
Darkness intersect her face -
And put out her eye -
Nature hesitate - before
Memory and I -

(JP 768)

And another:

One Anguish - in a Crowd -
A Minor thing - it sounds -
And yet, unto the single Doe
Attempted of the Hounds

'Tis Terror as consummate
As Legions of Alarm
Did leap, full flanked, upon the Host -
'Tis Units - make the Swarm -

A Small Leech - on the Vitals -
The sliver, in the Lung -
The Bung out - of an Artery -
Are scarce accounted - Harms -

Yet mighty - by relation
To that Repealless thing -
A Being - impotent to end -
When once it has begun -

(JP 565)

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