by: Odell Shepard (1884-1967)

      O lapidary's heaven, no brazier's hell for me,
      For I am made of dust and dew and stream and plant and tree:
      I'm close akin to boulders, I am cousin to the mud,
      And all the winds of all the sky make music in my blood.
      I want a brook and pine trees; I want a storm to blow
      Loud-lunged across the looming hills, with driven sleet and snow.
      Don't put me off with diadems and thrones of chrysoprase;
      I want the winds of northern nights and wild March days.
      My blood runs red with sunset, my body is white with rain,
      And on my heart auroral skies have set their scarlet stain,
      My thoughts are green with springtime, and in the meadow-rue
      I think my very soul is growing green and gold and blue.
      What will be left I wonder, when death has washed me clean
      Of dust and dew and sundown and April's virgin green?
      If there's enough to make a ghost, I'll bring it back again
      To the little lovely earth that bore me, body, soul, and brain.

"Earth-Born" is reprinted from Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1916. Ed. William Stanley Braithwaite. New York: Laurence J. Gomme, 1916.




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