Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HEALED, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER



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HEALED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The winds like a pack of hounds
Last Line: And its face was the face of a mother, and its voice was the voice of a child.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Dust; Healing; Storms; Wind; Cures


THE winds like a pack of hounds
Snap at my dragging heels
With sudden leapings and playful bounds
They urge me out to the greener grounds
Where the butterfly sinks and the swallow reels
Giddy with Spring, with its smells and sounds—
And I go...

For of late I have fretted and sulked, and clung to my books and the house;
Lethargic with winter fancies and dulled with a torpid mood—
But now I am called by the grasses; the rumor of blossoming boughs;
The hints of a thousand singers and the ancient thrill of the wood.
For the streets run over with sunlight and spill
A glory on bricks and the dustiest sill;
And Life, like a great drum, pulses and pounds—
I follow the world and I follow my will,
And I go to see what the park reveals
When the winds, like a pack of buoyant hounds.
Snap at my dragging heels...

Once with the green again
How I am changed—
Lo, I have seen again
Friends long estranged.
Once more the lyrical
Rose-bush and river;
Once more the miracle,
Greater than ever!
Where is there dulness now—
Rich with new urges
Life in its fullness now
Surges and purges
All that is brash in me—
Sunlight and Song
These things will fashion me
Splendid and strong.

Splendid and strong I shall grow once again;
Joyful and clean as the mind of a child,
As tears after pain,
Or hearts reconciled,
As woods washed with rain,
As love in the wild,
Or that bird to whom all things but singing is vain.

"Bird, there were songs in your heart just as rapturous
As these that you bring—
Why when we longed for your magic to capture us
Did you not sing?
Now with the world making music we heed you not.
Coward, for all your fine challenge, we need you not—
We too are brave with the Spring!"

So I sang—but a something was missing; the song and the sunlight were
stale,
Though a squirrel had sat on my shoulder and sparrows had fed from my hand;
Though I heard the white laughter of ripples and the breezes' faint answering
hail,
And somewhere a bird's voice I knew not—yet hearing could half
understand...
And lo, at my doorstep I saw it; it shouted to me as I came—
It laughed in its simple revealment, a miracle common and wild;
Plainly I heard and beheld it, bright as a forest of flame—
And its face was the face of a mother, and its voice was the voice of a child.





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