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

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TANGENTIAL, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: The eyes of more than tilbury town
Last Line: In which another star had risen.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Hermits

The eyes of more than Tilbury Town,
Seeing too much to trust their ears,
Had watched him, with a ghostly frown,
Walking among his ghostly peers.
For years, they saw him dim, distraught,
Torn by himself and various labors;
But what they said or what they thought
Could not be gathered from his neighbors.

Yet there were some who told of strange
Communions at incredible hours,
In which, one heard, he would exchange
Small talk with far from heavenly powers.
Rumor, in dark and dubious tones,
Had croaked, though no one would affirm it,
He brewed new wine from old dried bones
And sang queer ballads for a hermit.

And others, still more circumspect,
Controlled themselves with his control;
Or if they chanced to recollect
The vision of a fettered soul
That burst its bonds and, unafraid,
Struck out to save itself from drowning,
Chose to consider it a shade
And crossed themselves and muttered "Browning."

Meanwhile, the rest of us who stood
Gnawing our fingers in confusion,
Busied ourselves as best we could
And hurried him to his seclusion.
We could not stop to see him rise,
We who could only see the prison,
Heedless of unsuspected skies
In which another star had risen.

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