Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SAY NOT ALONE, by RUTH KNOWLES

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SAY NOT ALONE, by            
First Line: Say not alone that I was sitting
Last Line: Not to be there alone.
Subject(s): Solitude; Loneliness

Say not alone that I was sitting
By a soft-breathing hemlock tenting dim hollows.
The dryads will not like to have you say alone.
The woodland deities are sad
And will not dance tonight
Until the moon has dipped
Behind the streaming willow tree
That trails her fingers now unwittingly
Below the mirror of the tiny lake.
There do the leafy hands pluck their bouquets of ripples
Like sad Ophelia's sheaves of flowers
Strewn on the waters quite as soon as gathered.
The ageless demigod within the hemlock
Is now as sad as is the willow god; forlorn she is.
The hemlock quivers, not at being old enough
And straight and strong enough to fear
Keenness of merely human eyes
Open only to materials for what they see
As buildings;
Never do these eyes see deep enough
To find the two white feet of a dryad
Hidden among gray lichens clustering heavily.
The little goddess sheltered close within the tree
Is happy only if we know her there
And sit in silence, hoping for a glimpse
Or for a gentle spiriting past us
Along the spun-glass strands of moonlight
Enshrouding what the shafts of Diana felled.
Deep must one see, and long and far
Not to be there alone.

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