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


Fire and Sleet and Candlelight

For this you’ve striven
    Daring, to fail:
Your sky is riven
    Like a tearing veil.

For this, you’ve wasted
    Wings of your youth;
Divined, and tasted
    Bitter springs of truth.

From sand unslakèd
    Twisted strong cords,
And wandered naked
    Among trysted swords.

There’s a word unspoken,
    A knot untied.
Whatever is broken
    The earth may hide.

The road was jagged
    Over sharp stones:
Your body’s too ragged
    To cover your bones.

The wind scatters
    Tears upon dust;
Your soul’s in tatters
    Where the spears thrust.

Your race is ended—
    See, it is run:
Nothing is mended
    Under the sun.

Straight as an arrow
    You fall to a sleep
Not too narrow
    And not too deep.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“Fire and Sleet and Candlelight” was published in Nets to Catch the Wind (Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1921).

Author


Elinor Wylie

Elinor Wylie was born in Somerville, New Jersey, on September 7, 1885. 

Date Published: 1921-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fire-and-sleet-and-candlelight