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



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REVELATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: September-and an afternoon
Last Line: And the heavens, a jubilant chorus, are flushed with the fires of song!
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Calm; Peace; Silence; Placid; Undisturbed; Tranquility


SEPTEMBER—and an afternoon
Heavy with languid thoughts and long;
The air breathes faintly, half in swoon,
Like silence trembling after Song.
The mighty calmness seems to draw
My spirit through a painless birth—
And now, with eyes that never saw,
I see the poetry of earth.

That group of old maple-trees brooding in peace by the river,
Happy with sunlight, and an oriole singing among them—
Lo, what a marvel (what rapture for Him who first sung them)
That here, in less space than a carpenter's workshop, the Giver
Has fashioned a casual wonder
Greater than dawn or the thunder.
Here in a dozen of feet He has blended
Music and motion and color and form,
Each in itself a creation so splendid
That, were it the world's one beauty, 'twould warm
And kindle all Life till it ended.

Birds and old maple-trees—
Only to think of these,
Only to dream of them here for an hour
Is to know all the secrets of earth.
For here is the world that God sang into flower

And bloom at its birth—
Here is its magical uplift and power;
Its music and mirth.
Here the sun scarcely wakes;
Like a monarch it takes
Rest on the lordliest branches alone.
Till a glad tremor shakes
Every leaf that is blown—
While a zephyr advancing,
Breathes gently and breaks
The light into dancing
Figures, with glancing
Rhythms and rhymes of their own.

Yes, here in this spot, in this edge of an acre
All of the world is, the heart and the whole of it—
Here is a universe; daily the Maker
Shows here the sweet and extravagant soul of it.
For the arms of the maple have held in their cover
The earth and the sky and the stars, every one—
Not the tenderest twig but has known, like a lover
The silence, the night and the sun.

Not the airiest bird but has sung, all unknowing,
The joy of each minstrel that carols unheard.
And Summer, green fields and a world of things growing,
Are brought to this spot by the breath of a bird.
And there's never a wind but brings road-sides and ranches,
Forests and tales of the far-off and free—
And the rush of the breeze as it sings in the branches
Echoes and answers the rush of the sea...
A group of old maple-trees brooding in peace by the river—
That—and a bird, nothing else...But above and around it,
The spell of the infinite beauty, half-hidden forever,
Lies, like a secret of God's—and here I have found it.
The hymn of the cosmic—the anthem that has for its choir
Stars, rivers and flowers—still rises and sweeps me along;
While the cry of the oriole melts in a sunset of fire
And the heavens, a jubilant chorus, are flushed with the fires of Song!





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