Archibald MacLeish

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

Unfinished History - Poem by Archibald MacLeish

WE HAVE loved each other in this time twenty years
And with such love as few men have in them even for
One or for the marriage month or the hearing of
Three nights' carts in the street but it will leave them:
We have been lovers the twentieth year now:
Our bed has been made in many houses and evenings:
The apple-tree moves at the window in this house:
There were palms rattled the night through in one:
In one there were red tiles and the sea's hours:
We have made our bed in the changes of many months and the
Light of the day is still overlong in the windows
Till night shall bring us the lamp and one another:
Those that have seen her have no thought what she is:
Her face is clear in the sun as a palmful of water:
Only by night and in love are the dark winds on it....
I wrote this poem that day when I thought
Since we have loved we two so long together
Shall we have done together all love gone?
Or how then will it change with us when the breath
Is no more able for such joy and the blood is
Thin in the throat and the time not come for death?

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 1, 2011

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