• Silent_GOS/Getty Images Plus
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it
  • May Morning
  • I lie stretched out upon the window-seat 
  • And doze, and read a page or two, and doze, 
  • And feel the air like water on me close, 
  • Great waves of sunny air that lip and beat 
  • With a small noise, monotonous and sweet, 
  • Against the window — and the scent of cool, 
  • Frail flowers by some brown and dew-drenched pool 
  • Possesses me from drowsy head to feet. 
  • This is the time of all-sufficing laughter 
  • At idiotic things some one has done, 
  • And there is neither past nor vague hereafter. 
  • And all your body stretches in the sun 
  • And drinks the light in like a liquid thing; 
  • Filled with the divine languor of late spring.
  • Talk
  • Tobacco smoke drifts up to the dim ceiling 
  • From half a dozen pipes and cigarettes, 
  • Curling in endless shapes, in blue rings wheeling, 
  • As formless as our talk. Phil, drawling, bets 
  • Cornell will win the relay in a walk, 
  • While Bob and Mac discuss the Giants’ chances; 
  • Deep in a morris-chair, Bill scowls at ‘Falk’, 
  • John gives large views about the last few dances. 
  • And so it goes — an idle speech and aimless, 
  • A few chance phrases; yet I see behind 
  • The empty words the gleam of a beauty tameless, 
  • Friendship and peace and fire to strike men blind, 
  • Till the whole world seems small and bright to hold — 
  • Of all our youth this hour is pure gold.
  • Nos Immortales
  • Perhaps we go with wind and cloud and sun, 
  • Into the free companionship of air; 
  • Perhaps with sunsets when the day is done, 
  • All’s one to me — I do not greatly care; 
  • So long as there are brown hills — and a tree 
  • Like a mad prophet in a land of dearth — 
  • And I can lie and hear eternally 
  • The vast monotonous breathing of the earth. 
  • I have known hours, slow and golden-glowing, 
  • Lovely with laughter and suffused with light, 
  • O Lord, in such a time appoint my going, 
  • When the hands clench, and the cold face grows white, 
  • And the spark dies within the feeble brain, 
  • Spilling its star-dust back to dust again.

Stephen Vincent Benet

Stephen Vincent Benet

Stephen Vincent Benet (1898-1943) was an American poet and fiction writer best known for his long poem about the American Civil War John Brown’s Body, published in 1928. Benet’s short stories “The Devil and Daniel Webster” (1936) and “By the Waters of Babylon” have passed into the literary canon as exemplars of the short fiction form. His adaptation of the Roman account of the rape of the Sabine Women, the short story “The Sobbin’ Women” was the basis for the Academy Award-winning 1954 musical film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Comments

Sign in to comment