Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


You, Andrew Marvell

And here face down beneath the sun
And here upon earth's noonward height
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night:

To feel creep up the curving east
The earthy chill of dusk and slow
Upon those under lands the vast
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange
The flooding dark about their knees
The mountains over Persia change
 
And now at Kermanshah the gate
Dark empty and the withered grass
And through the twilight now the late
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra's street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
high through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls
And loom and slowly disappear
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under and the shore
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea:

And here face downward in the sun
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on . . .

Credit


Copyright © by the Estate of Archibald MacLeish and reprinted by permission of the Estate.

Author


Archibald MacLeish

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: 1930-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/you-andrew-marvell