Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PRAIRIE, by HERBERT BATES



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PRAIRIE, by            
First Line: Across the sombre prairie sea
Last Line: Of placid, all-consoling sea.
Subject(s): Prairies; Plains


ACROSS the sombre prairie sea
The dark swells billow heavily.
Are the looming ridges near or far
That heave to the smooth horizon-bar?

The russet reach of grassy roll
sickens the heart and numbs the soul;
The thin wind gives no air for breath;
The stillness is the pause of death.

This width was never shaped to be
The home of man's mortality,
A breathless vacuum of peace,
Where life's spent ripples spread and cease.

No end, no source, its spaces know;
Wide as the sea's perpetual flow
Is its dead stand -- dull wall on wall
Of sullen waves unspiritual.

God give me but in dream to come
Back to the pine-clad hills of home,
Back to the old eternity
Of placid, all-consoling sea.





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