Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AT KENNEBUNKPORT, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER



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AT KENNEBUNKPORT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We sat together at the ocean's edge
Last Line: The balm of silence and the strength of love.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Memory; Silence


WE sat together at the ocean's edge,
The night was mystical and warm.
From every rambling roadside hedge
Wild roses followed us with a swarm
Of scents; the pines and every odorous tree
Triumphed and rose above the languid sea.
The stars were dim—
The world was hushed, as though before a shrine...
We sat together at the ocean's rim,
Your hand in mine.

Then came the moon—
A calm, benignant moon,
Like some indulgent mother that has smiled
On every wayward child.
The breathing stillness, like a wordless croon,
Made the soft heart of heaven doubly mild;
And the salt air mingled with the air of June...

The vast and intimate Silence—and your lips. ...

Faintly we saw the lanterns of three ships,
Three swaying sparks of sudden red and green...
We spoke no word; we heard unseen
A night-bird wearily flapping.
And nothing murmured in that world of wonder—
Only the hushing waters' gentle lapping.

A distant trembling, as of ghostly thunder;
Then, poignantly and plain,
The lonely whistle of a weary train...
And once again the Silence—and your lips.
Oh let me never cease to thank you for that night;
That night that eased and fortified my heart.
When radiant peace, dearer than all delight,
Bathed every old and feverish smart,
Wiped out all memories of the uncleanly fight...
Cradled in that great beauty, and your arms.
The cries and mad alarms
Were lulled and all the bitter banners furled.
The tumult vanished, and the thought thereof...
In you I knew the sweet contentment of the world,
The balm of silence and the strength of love.





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