Like moon-dark, like brown water you escape, O laughing mouth, O sweet uplifted lips. Within the peering brain old ghosts take shape; You flame and wither as the white foam slips Back from the broken wave: sometimes a start, A gesture of the hands, a way you own Of bending that smooth head above your heart,— Then these are vanished, then the dream is gone. Oh, you are too much mine and flesh of me To seal upon the brain, who in the blood Are so intense a pulse, so swift a flood Of beauty, such unceasing instancy. Dear unimagined brow, unvisioned face, All beauty has become your dwelling place.
From Tower of Ivory (Yale University Press, 1917). This poem is in the public domain.
Born in 1892, Archibald MacLeish was a poet, critic, and playwright who fought in World War I. MacLeish was awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times, and he served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1946 to 1949. He died in 1982.
Date Published: 1917-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/soul-sight