Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PACK-TRIP SUITE, by MAXWELL STRUTHERS BURT



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PACK-TRIP SUITE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Night is revery awake
Last Line: Quiet admits the dark intense.
Alternate Author Name(s): Burt, Struthers
Subject(s): Camping; Night; Camps; Summer Camps; Bedtime


NIGHT is revery awake,
Hunting under a waning moon,
Dawn is revery asleep,
But to be wakened very soon,
By a shaft of light on a distant hill,
By a creeping warmth on the white of dew,
By a meadow-lark who nods and sings,
Making the silence bright and blue:
And in the shadows, not yet black,
Where I stoop down to light a fire,
The chill still clings upon my back,
The fagots take the match and crack,
The pointed flame leaps higher.
And when the sacrifice is made,
I shall walk noiseless to the lake,
And naked plunge in endless gold,
That stirs in waves that do not break.
... Oh dawns, whose obstinate sweetness gives
One of the reasons why man lives!
... A moose leaves cover near to me,
He has no fear, nor I of him;
Our innocence has made us free,
We sniff the sun, and swim.

Bees and flies draw circles wide
Under the shadows of the firs;
And in an open place are tied
The waiting mules with panniers.
The drowsy air is filled with pine
And the warm scent of silky hair,
The conchas and the saddles shine,
The horses nod, and wake, and stare.
How many a green unknown mile
Of forest and of tangled fern,
Of meadows with an aspen isle,
Before the hills with sunset burn!
My lips are forming all the while
A little song, a riding song,
A song that has a swaying rhyme,
And hangs together like a thong
That's linked of pasture-rose and thyme.
The music does not reach to sound,
I would not break the hush around.

A rain comes up by afternoon,
My dusty Canterbury folk,
A darkness that is shortly gone,
And leaves a silver blowing smoke,
Along red cliffs where pinions cling
And coolness mkes your stirrups ring,
And you ride out toward the west,
Whose color is an oriole's breast.
But after all, and after all,
The day was made because of night,
And after all, and after all,
In any wiser angel's sight,
A string of horses glad to halt,
And tired men who clamber down,
Make up for many another fault,
And much confusion in a town.
For things are never far from God
By evening, in the haze, and dim,
Contented, and a trifle sad,
And silent, and with room for him;
And fine as any other good,
Is an earned hungriness for food.
One will invent a song some day
Of ivory and emerald mood,
And other men on pipes will play
The smell of bacon in a wood.
For thirst and hunger, sight and sound,
And charity and gentleness,
And courage, and the pregnant ground,
Are all the same in different dress:
And mind alone is never whole,
But needs the body for a soul.
... Dear night! Close night!
Rest me and hold me! Through the tops
Of the tall pines a comet drops;
The fire builds a wall of light.
Dear night ...! A score of leagues of forest stretch,
And silent creatures, shy and bright,
On their old errands pad and fetch:
They will not dare the little camp:
The horses snuff the sod and stamp,
The talk is slow and full of wit,
The shadows seem entranced with it,
A log falls down, and the immense
Quiet admits the dark intense.





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