by: Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977)

      E lay together in the sultry night.
      A feeble light
      From some invisible street-lamp crept
      Into the corner where you slept;
      Fingered your cheeks, flew softly round your hair,
      Then dipped in the sweet valley of your breasts
      And fluttered, like a bird between two nests,
      Till it lay quiet there.
      My eyes were closing and I may have dreamed--
      At least it seemed
      That you and I
      Had ceased to be but were somehow
      As earth and sky....
      The night grew closer still, and now
      Heat-lightnings played between us and warm thrills
      Ran through the cool sides of the trembling hills.
      Then darkness and a tension in the black
      Hush like a breath held back;
      A rippling through the ground, a windless breeze
      That reached down to the sensitive roots of trees;
      A tremor like the pulse of muffled knocks,
      Or like the silent opening of locks ...
      There was a rising of unfettered seas
      With great tides pulling at the stars and rocks
      As though to draw them all together.
      Then in a burst of blinding weather,
      The lightnings flung
      Long, passionate arms about the earth that clung
      To her wild lover.
      Suddenly above her
      The whole sky tumbled in a sweeping blaze,
      Gathering earth in one tight-locked embrace,
      Drenching her in a flood of silver flame.
      Hot thunders came;
      And still the storm kept plunging, seeking ever
      The furthest cranny, till the faraway
      Streams felt each penetrating quiver
      And the most hidden river
      Rose and became released....
      At last the stabbings ceased,
      The thunders died.
      But still they lay
      Side by side,
      While the moonbeams crept
      Into the heavenly corner where earth slept;
      Dipping among her rosy hills, lighting above
      Her curved and sloping hollows, till
      She too was still.
      Beloved and blest,
      His cloudy head lay, seeking rest
      In the sweet-smelling valley of her breast,
      And each was huddled in each other's love;
      Or so it seemed....
      My eyes were closing and I may have dreamed.

"Summer Storm" is reprinted from The New Adam. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1920.




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