The Plateau

It was the silver, heart-enveloping view
         Of the mysterious sea-line far away,
         Seen only on a gleaming gold-white day,
That made it dear and beautiful to you.

And Laura loved it for the little hill,
         Where the quartz sparkled fire, barren and dun,
         Whence in the shadow of the dying sun,
She contemplated Hallow's wooden mill.

While Danny liked the sheltering high grass,
         In which he lay upon a clear dry night,
         To hear and see, screened skilfully from sight,
The happy lovers of the valley pass.

But oh! I loved it for the big round moon
         That swung out of the clouds and swooned aloft,
         Burning with passion, gloriously soft,
Lighting the purple flowers of fragrant June.

From Harlem Shadows (New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1922) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain.