The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and New Year's Day

At End of A Holiday
By Roderic Quinn

"Leaves and brambles from hill and hollow
Come and gather!" the children cried;
"The sun goes down, and the night will follow,
A moonless night on the dark hillside."

All ways they wandered—the dry twigs snapping,
With laugh and prattle and song between;
Down on the rocks the waves were lapping,
The long swell swaying the seaweed green.

And she stood by in her white sun-bonnet,
All lace and snow on her tressy hair,
With a gold king-beetle dreaming on it
A lotus dream in the lustrous air.

Was it love, or a dove in the tall tree cooing?
Was it love, or a dove that loitered nigh?
The eventide is the hour for wooing—
But I was silent, and she was shy.

Then suddenly rose a far faint humming,
A growing noise in the evening hush,
And the prattle of children homeward coming,
Laden with spoil of the gold-brown bush.

"Leaves and brambles from hill and hollow!
The way was tangled, and tangles tire.
The sun goes down and the night will follow,—
Now down on your knees and make us a fire!"

The leaves were wet (how a storm may hinder!)
The brambles damp with a shower at noon;
She bent to help...and my heart of tinder,
Ah, why did it burst to flame so soon?

"Dry leaves, dry leaves from the twilight forest,
Or bark that is sheltered, or hidden ferns:
Dry leaves, dry leaves!" the children chorused,
"The drier the leaf the redder it burns!"

The fire leapt up with a sudden glancing,
The first flame flushing her hands of snow;
And round about went the children dancing,
Their faces lit by the rosy glow.

That fire has gone beyond all returning,
For wild winds scatter and chill rains drench:
All dust the leaves; but a fire is burning
That wind or water shall never quench.

Ah, leaves and brambles from hill and hollow!
And two together, and violet eyes...
The sun goes down, and love must follow,
A quenchless fire, and a flame that dies.


Paul, Daniel, Adam, and I are playing Forbidden Desert (where we have all died in the sand twice in a row) so I will keep this brief. We had vague plans to go downtown to the botanic garden and holiday train display at Union Station, but Daniel slept late, then got a page from work that took him an hour to deal with, so we decided to stay in and play board games while we watched football.

We all went to pick up Maddy from work (again, she was there from 9-5:30) and went to my parents' for dinner, where we ate the leftover Chinese food from last week. We also watched the end of the Washington football season, which I can't even regret. Tomorrow Daniel goes back to Seattle and Adam to College Park -- he is working in the 3D lab for the rest of winter break -- so that's it for our holidays!


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