Archibald MacLeish

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

Ancestral - Poem by Archibald MacLeish

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

  • Dutendra Chamling (11/1/2015 1:49:00 AM)

    ...Far off of morning where I should awake...

    Beautiful.
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (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

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]