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.
POEMS BY LOUIS UNTERMEYER
"Summer Storm" is reprinted
from The New Adam. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Harcourt