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

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

INVOCATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Listen, my lute, I would turn from your / militant measures
Last Line: Stabbing and healing.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Military; War

LISTEN, my lute, I would turn from your mititant measures.
Well have you answered the touch of intransigent fingers;
Wildly your strings have vibrated—but have you forgotten
How to make love-songs?

Lute, you are hot to the hand; you are tense and exultant.
Cease crying out—let me rest from the din and the battle.
Life is not only a summoning shout and a struggle,
A blow and a silence.

Is there not vigorous peace after vigorous onslaught?
Beauty's a challenge as fierce and as stirring as conflict...
Look—how she runs through the tremulous twilight to meet me—
Do you remember?

See—it is night and she turns to my arms of a sudden;
Soft as a mother and wild with the fires of April—
Bashful and bold, with her passionate hair all about her;
Lovely and lavish.

Lute, it was she who awoke and impelled us to singing—
Ah, those first lyrics, impulsive and feeble and earnest—
She who aroused us and soothed us—our passion, our pillow—
Dare you forget her!

Only remember 'tis she keeps me rested and restless;
Only remember my heart, like a kite in strong breezes,
Leaps at the thought of her voice and her slow searching kisses,
Stabbing and healing.

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