Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE STORY AS I UNDERSTAND IT, by LEONORA SPEYER



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THE STORY AS I UNDERSTAND IT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I think that eve first told the callow tree of apples
Last Line: Through a divine monotony of spring on spring.
Subject(s): Adam & Eve; Bible


I think that Eve first told the callow tree of apples,
And taught the adolescent serpent how to hiss
Its first wise word;
I think the angel with the flaming sword
Followed her with hot, holy eyes,
Remembering the red curve of her farewell kiss
As she passed out of paradise.

See how the apple-boughs are twisted in their pain,
Weighed down with many a red-cheeked little Cain,
And how the serpent writhes away
From man to this far day.
An angel is a lovely, lonely thing
Of boundless wing;
They are the banished ones that grieve,
Not Eve!

Not Eve, her body quick with coming pride,
Nor Adam, walking there at her white side,
A little heavily, perhaps,
Because of things scarce known, as yet not named --
Man's first responsibility, man's primeval tenderness,
Man's unfamiliar fears;
And out beyond, the world untamed,
Of which to make
Their surer paradise of tears.

But in the garden is a hallowed emptiness
Of laws concerning fruits and flowers
That none shall ever bless
Or break;
And in the garden is the one plucked bough
That blossoms whimpering
Through a divine monotony of spring on spring.





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