Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FLAME-BRIDE, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET

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THE FLAME-BRIDE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O'er the red hearth of time
Last Line: Still slumbering till he wake her!
Subject(s): Marriage; Time; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

O'er the red hearth of Time
Leans the fire-maker.
Men's lives are fagots bound
That serve this fagot breaker,
Bowed o'er his flame-bride,
Breathing till he wake her.

His head blots out the stars.
He leans across all heaven.
Earth steams up with prayer.
Sunset pleads replevin.
Men are the fagot fuel
Bound in his bavin.

He feeds the fire of Time
Whose flames are bliss and weeping.
He leans across the world
When the world is sleeping,
Fanning with soft breath
The watch-fire he is keeping.

But still his flame-bride sleeps
Whose raiment is of wonder.
Faint flickerings show her face.
She stirs in sleep thereunder,
Until she rise in lightnings
And shake the world with thunder.

Enormous on the night,
The shadow of her lover
Bows across voids of space
And feeds the flames above her;
Men's lives his fagot fuel,
His passion strong to move her.

He kneels before the hearth
Of Time, beyond all seeing.
Each heart-beat of his heart
He breathes into her being.
The small red flames and gold
He fans, their smoke upfleeing.

In the accomplished time
Of man's long desolation,
At last her waking sigh
Shall pulse through every nation.
The flames shall soar, and roar her
Risen o'er all creation!

O'er the red hearth of Time
Leans the fire-maker,
Men's lives the fagots bound
That serve this fagot breaker,
Justice his flame-born bride,
Still slumbering till he wake her!

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