as a hieroglyph carved
on the soft gray face of morning.
You asked, when I seemed far away,
what it meant but were gone
when I turned to you with an answer.
a taste for salt tides,
distance, and a gift of flight.
by Edith Matilda Thomas
I know it must be winter (though I sleep)--
I know it must be winter, for I dream
I dip my bare feet in the running stream,
And flowers are many, and the grass grows deep.
I know I must be old (how age deceives!)
I know I must be old, for, all unseen,
My heart grows young, as autumn fields grow green
When late rains patter on the falling sheaves.
I know I must be tired (and tired souls err)--
I know I must be tired, for all my soul
To deeds of daring beats a glad, faint roll,
As storms the riven pine to music stir.
I know I must be dying (Death draws near)--
I know I must be dying, for I crave
Life--life, strong life, and think not of the grave,
And turf-bound silence, in the frosty year.
Today's poem is in the public domain.
"Winter Sleep" by Edith Matilda Thomas was published in
A Winter Swallow, With Other Verse (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1896). Thomas acknowledged that her work was greatly influenced by the American poet Helen Hunt Jackson.
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