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Three by Madeleva IV

Poems by Sister M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

Desert Sunset

Sunset stood at the edge of the world, apart in the west,
Virginal calm, aloof, in golden austerity dressed.

Soft little twilight winds and birds and clouds had flown;
Sunset stood on the lone horizon, wistful, alone,

Clad in dispassionate amber from foot to beautiful head,
Whence all the shining, shimmering glamour of life had fled.

Almost I thought her a queen, so splendidly simple she stood;
Almost I thought her a poet in the arms of an elate mood,

Until I saw the day look down at her from the blue
In vain, and the night look up in vain; then I knew

That virginal, consecrate, lone must sunset forever be,
Taking her mystic way to the heart of eternity.

Aye, and my soul stood there, too, at the utter edge of the world,
Plighted, like her, and elate, in golden wonder furled.

(from Penelope)

Reported Sunset

Who believes our report of this still event
Of sunset in casual silver spent
On the world's west wall, of silver intent
In the lake's long line, of silver lent
To the air for luster and deep content:
Who believes our report of this still event?

(from A Question of Lovers)

Suez Canal at Sunset

Two long, low, level banks of sand and a long, low sky;
On a strong, straight leash of water a thoroughbred boat goes by.
Far to the south a single cluster of palm trees lifts itself like a cry.
Across the long, low, shifting levels and hills of sand comes no reply.
The light in the west that was gold and rose is dead now. I watched it die.

(from Four Girls)

The Four Last Things: Collected Poems (1959) pp. 64f, 97, 140.

See also Three by Madeleva III: Poems by Sister M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 02/22/04 08:16:10 AM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.

   
         
         

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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”