Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HERMES OF THE WAYS, by HILDA DOOLITTLE



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HERMES OF THE WAYS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The hard sand breaks
Last Line: Shore-grass.
Alternate Author Name(s): H. D.; Aldington, Richard, Mrs.
Subject(s): Bible; Sea; Ocean


THE hard sand breaks,
and the grains of it
are clear as wine.
Far off over the leagues of it,
the wind,
playing on the wide shore,
piles little ridges,
and the great waves
break over it.
But more than the many-foamed ways
of the sea,
I know him
of the triple path-ways,
Hermes,
who awaits.
Dubious,
facing three ways,
welcoming wayfarers,
he whom the sea-orchard
shelters from the west,
from the east
weathers sea-wind;
fronts the great dunes.
Wind rushes
over the dunes,
and the coarse, salt-crusted grass
answers.
Heu,
it whips round my ankles!

II
Small is
this white stream,
flowing below ground
from the poplar-shaded hill,
but the water is sweet.
Apples on the small trees
are hard,
too small,
too late ripened
by a desperate sun
that struggles through sea-mist.
The boughs of the trees
are twisted
by many bafflings;
twisted are
the small-leafed boughs.
But the shadow of them
is not the shadow of the mast head
nor of the torn sails.
Hermes, Hermes,
the great sea foamed,
gnashed its teeth about me;
but you have waited,
were sea-grass tangles with
shore-grass.





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