Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EVE, by JAMES STEPHENS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

EVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Long ago, in ages grey
Last Line: To the work we have to do.
Subject(s): Adam & Eve; Bible

Long ago, in ages grey,
I was fashioned out of clay:
Builded with the sun and moon,
Kneaded to a holy tune;
And there came to me a breath
From the House of Life and Death.

Then the sun roared into fire!
And the moon, with swift desire,
Leaped among the starry throng,
Singing on her journey long!
And I climbed up from the sod,
Holding to the hand of God.

In a garden fair and wide,
Looking down a mountain side,
Prone I lay; and felt the press
Of Immensity's caress;
There I lived a space, and knew
What All Power meant to do.

Till upon a day there came
Down to me a voice of flame,
-- Thou the corner-stone of man,
Rise, and set about my plan,
Nothing doubting -- for a guide
I have quickened in thy side. --

From the garden wide and fair;
From the pure and holy air;
Down the mountain side I crept,
Stumbling often, ill-adept!
Feeling pangs of woeful bliss;
Rounding from the primal kiss!

Then from out my straining side
Came the son who is my guide:
Him I nursed through faithful days,
Till I faltered at his gaze,
Staring boldly, when he saw
I was woman, life and law.

Life and law and dear delight!
I the moon upon the night
All alluring! I the tree
Growing nuts of mystery!
I the tincture and the dew
That the apple reddens through!

Weaving Life and Death I go!
Building what I do not know!
Planting, though in sore distress,
Gardens in the wilderness!
Palaces too big to scan
By the little eye of man!

Still the sun roars out in fire!
And the moon with pale desire
Keeps the path appointed her
In the starry theatre!
Sun and moon and I are true
To the work we have to do.

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