American Poetry 1922/Adagio: A Duet


(For J. S. and L. U.)

Should you
lay ear to these lines—
you will not catch
a distant drum of hoofs,
cavalcade of Arabians,
passionate horde bearing down,
destroying your citadel—
but maybe you'll hear—
should you just
listen at the right place,
hold it tenaciously,
give your full blood to the effort—
maybe you'll note the start
of a single step,
always persistently faint,
wavering in its movement
between coming and going,
never quite arriving,
never quite passing—
and tell me which it is,
you or I
that you greet,
searching a mutual being—
and whether two aren't closer
for the labor of an ear?

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in 1966, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.