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Poem by Amy Lowell
The Last Quarter of the Moon
How long shall I tarnish the mirror of life, A spatter of rust on its polished steel! The seasons reel Like a goaded wheel. Half-numb, half-maddened, my days are strife. The night is sliding towards the dawn, And upturned hills crouch at autumn’s knees. A torn moon flees Through the hemlock trees, The hours have gnawed it to feed their spawn. Pursuing and jeering the misshapen thing A rabble of clouds flares out of the east. Like dogs unleashed After a beast, They stream on the sky, an outflung string. A desolate wind, through the unpeopled dark, Shakes the bushes and whistles through empty nests, And the fierce unrests I keep as guests Crowd my brain with corpses, pallid and stark. Leave me in peace, O Spectres, who haunt My labouring mind, I have fought and failed. I have not quailed, I was all unmailed And naked I strove, ’tis my only vaunt. The moon drops into the silver day As waking out of her swoon she comes. I hear the drums Of millenniums Beating the mornings I still must stay. The years I must watch go in and out, While I build with water, and dig in air, And the trumpets blare Hollow despair, The shuddering trumpets of utter rout. An atom tossed in a chaos made Of yeasting worlds, which bubble and foam. Whence have I come? What would be home? I hear no answer. I am afraid! I crave to be lost like a wind-blown flame. Pushed into nothingness by a breath, And quench in a wreath Of engulfing death This fight for a God, or this devil’s game.
Amy Lowell's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org