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Edith Wharton

A Poem by Edith Wharton: Uses

  Uses AH, from the niggard tree of Time How quickly fall the hours! It needs no touch of wind or rime To loose such facile flowers. Drift of the dead year’s harvesting, They clog to-morrow’s way, Yet serve to …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: Two Backgrounds

  Two Backgrounds I. LA VIERGE AU DONATEUR HERE by the ample river’s argent sweep, Bosomed in tilth and vintage to her walls, A tower-crowned Cybele in armoured sleep The city lies, fat plenty in her halls, With calm parochial …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Torch-Bearer

  The Torch-Bearer GREAT cities rise and have their fall; the brass That held their glories moulders in its turn. Hard granite rots like an uprooted weed, And ever on the palimpsest of earth Impatient Time rubs out the word …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Sonnet

  The Sonnet PURE form, that like some chalice of old time Contain’st the liquid of the poet’s thought Within thy curving hollow, gem-enwrought With interwoven traceries of rhyme, While o’er thy brim the bubbling fancies climb, What thing am …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Parting Day

  The Parting Day I. SOME busy hands have brought to light, And laid beneath my eye, The dress I wore that afternoon You came to say good-by. About it still there seems to cling Some fragrance unexpressed, The ghostly …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The One Grief

  The One Grief ONE grief there is, the helpmeet of my heart, That shall not from me till my days be sped, That walks beside me in sunshine and shade, And hath in all my fortunes equal part. At …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Old Pole Star

  The Old Pole Star BEFORE the clepsydra had bound the days Man tethered Change to his fixed star, and said: ‘The elder races, that long since are dead, Marched by that light; it swerves not from its base Though …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Mortal Lease

  The Mortal Lease I Because the currents of our love are poured Through the slow welter of the primal flood From some blind source of monster-haunted mud, And flung together by random forces stored Ere the vast void with …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Last Giustianini

  The Last Giustianini O WIFE, wife, wife! As if the sacred name Could weary one with saying! Once again Laying against my brow your lips’ soft flame, Join with me, Sweetest, in love’s new refrain, Since the whole music …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Eumenides

  The Eumenides Think you we slept within the Delphic bower, What time our victim sought Apollo’s grace? Nay, drawn into ourselves, in that deep place Where good and evil meet, we bode our hour. For not inexorable is our …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: The Comrade

  The Comrade WILD winged thing, O brought I know not whence To beat your life out in my life’s low cage; You strange familiar, nearer than my flesh Yet distant as a star, that were at first A child …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: Survival

  Survival When you and I, like all things kind or cruel, The garnered days and light evasive hours, Are gone again to be a part of flowers And tears and tides, in life’s divine renewal, If some grey eve …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: Summer Afternoon

  Summer Afternoon (Bodiam Castle, Sussex) THOU couldst not look on me and live: so runs The mortal legend — thou that couldst not live Nor look on me (so the divine decree)! That sawst me in the cloud, the …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: Some Busy Hands

  Some Busy Hands… I. SOME busy hands have brought to light, And laid beneath my eye, The dress I wore that afternoon You came to say good-by. About it still there seems to cling Some fragrance unexpressed, The ghostly …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: Phaedra

  Phaedra NOT that on me the Cyprian fury fell, Last martyr of my love-ensanguined race; Not that my children drop the averted face When my name shames the silence; not that hell Holds me where nevermore his glance shall …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton: Patience

Patience Patience and I have traveled hand in hand So many days that I have grown to trace The lines of sad, sweet beauty in her face, And all its veiled depths to understand. Not beautiful is she to eyes …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton : Orpheus

Orpheus Love will make men dare to die for their beloved. . . Of this Alcestis is a monument . . . for she was willing to lay down her life for her husband . . . and so noble …

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A Poem by Edith Wharton : Ogrin The Hermit

Ogrin The Hermit Ogrin the Hermit in old age set forth This tale to them that sought him in the extreme Ancient grey wood where he and silence housed: Long years ago, when yet my sight was keen, My hearing …

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