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ISSUE:  Winter 1932

At the night’s end, when the high pools in the mountains hold
Inverted boughs of shadow, and water follows
Forever the underwinds between the blossoming rocks,
We arise to morning, we arise from the strong dark hollows
Of sleep to stride upon the summer earth
With bodies of gladness, wherein the brief heart moves
Stubbornly, wherein the clean air washes
The bronzed blood thundering down its narrow veins.
At the night’s end, at the tall rising of the young and violent day,
We, too, arise, who are the relentless, slow
Harvesters of beauty, who cut away
Those grasses where the mountains meet the sky.
Before the afternoon shall cloud to rains,
We shall swing through the scorch of gold light steadily,—
Reapers of wildness who lay the mountains low.
Dark upon a mountain, into his blood
A man receives the passion of the sky.
Dark on the sun, a man receives the flood
Of heat and wind, and his heart’s sharp hunger turns
Crying for space, that cried before to earth.
O wild and dangerous is the day that burns
Into a man who, on a mountain-top,
Mows grasses between the sweet earth and the sun!
Risen against the morning, we watch winds run
Over the grasses and our long scythes sweep
After the wind; but what man will not come,
With storm or sundown, home . . . with evening, back
To the hollows of sleep, to the low, quick words of love?
Leaving the vast sky curving remote and far,
What man will not lay down his scythe and his hunger,
Content with his own small, darkened and grassy star?


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