Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TRAIN-MATES, by WITTER BYNNER



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TRAIN-MATES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Outside hove shasta, snowy height on height
Last Line: As discus-thrower and as laureate?
Alternate Author Name(s): Morgan, Emanuel
Subject(s): Athletes; Poetry & Poets


Outside hove Shasta, snowy height on height,
A glory; but a negligible sight,
For you had often seen a mountain-peak
But not my paper. So we came to speak.
A smoke, a smile, -- a good way to commence
The comfortable exchange of difference! --
You a young engineer, five feet eleven,
Forty-five chest, with football in your heaven,
Liking a road-bed newly built and clean,
Your fingers hot to cut away the green
Of brush and flowers that bring beside a track
The kind of beauty steel lines ought to lack, --
And I a poet, wistful of my betters,
Reading George Meredith's high-hearted Letters,
Joining betweenwhile in the mingled speech
Of a drummer, circus-man, and parson, each
Absorbing to himself -- as I to me
And you to you -- a glad identity!
After a while when the others went away,
A curious kinship made us want to stay,
Which I could tell you now; but at the time
You thought of baseball teams and I of rhyme,
Until we found that we were college men
And smoked more easily and smiled again;
And I from Cambridge cried, the poet still:
"I know your fine Greek Theatre on the hill
At Berkeley!" With your happy Grecian head
Upraised, "I never saw the place," you said.
"Once I was free of class, I always went
Out to the field."
Young engineer,
You meant as fair a tribute to the better part
As ever I did. Beauty of the heart
Is evident in temples. But it breathes
Alive where athletes quicken airy wreaths,
Which are the lovelier because they die.
You are a poet quite as much as I,
Though differences appear in what we do,
And I an athlete quite as much as you.
Because you half-surmised my quarter-mile
And I your quatrain, we could greet and smile.
Who knows but we shall look again and find
The circus-man and drummer, not behind
But leading in our visible estate,
As discus-thrower and as laureate?





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