Archive for December 1st, 2019

Sunday, 1 December 2019

White Advent by Morton Dauwen Zabel

Winter is a vigil all men keep
In long and patient fortitude
Who spurn a cold untroubled sleep,
The host of snow their only food.

The stormy dream, the burning ache
Of lvoe and love’s demanding arms
Can rouse no lust in these who make
Provision for the spring’s alarms.

They know the summer’s threat of pain
And autumn’s surly sickle bent
Above the windrows. Free of stain
Are tongues that taste this sacrament.

The drums will challenge innocence
And strike the shield of pride apart,
But now an armor for the sense
Is forged, and wisdom for the heart.

Until the crystal trees are struck
By swords of sunlight, lips are proud.
The mouth is virgin till the rock
Surrenders freshets to the cloud.

From: Zabel, Morton Dauwen, “White Advent” in Poetry, Volume XXXV, Number IV, January 1930, pp. 184-185.
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/issue/70525/january-1930)

Date: 1930

Morton Dauwen Zabel (1901-1964)