Archibald MacLeish

(7 May 1892 – 20 April 1982 / Glencoe, Illinois)

Ancestral - Poem by Archibald MacLeish

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The star dissolved in evening—the one star
The silently
and night O soon now, soon
And still the light now
and still now the large
Relinquishing
and through the pools of blue
Still, still the swallows
and a wind now
and the tree
Gathering darkness:
I was small. I lay
Beside my mother on the grass, and sleep
Came—


slow hooves and dripping with the dark
The velvet muzzles, the white feet that move
In a dream water
and O soon now soon
Sleep and the night.


And I was not afraid.
Her hand lay over mine. Her fingers knew
Darkness,—and sleep—the silent lands, the far
Far off of morning where I should awake.


Comments about Ancestral by Archibald MacLeish

  • Rookie Noel Deyoung (6/25/2012 6:34:00 PM)

    I found this poem marked by my husband the day after his passing.He underlined the words”and I was not afraid.”We read it at his service.For me this poem is quite profound. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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