The Last Quarter Moon of the Dying Year

The last quarter moon of the dying year,
Pendant behind a naked cottonwood tree
On a frosty, dawning morning
With the back of her silver head
Turned to the waking sun.
Quiet like the waters
Of Galilee
After the Lord had bid them
“Peace, be still.”
O silent beauty, indescribable!

Dead, do they say?
Would God that I shall seem
So beautiful in death.

From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.