Robert Penn Warren: Man Coming of Age

So settles on a dying face
After the retch and spasm, grace
(A grace like that did not belong
In the room of no-love, fret, and wrong:
The watchers sat heavy, night was long.)
Now standing on his own doorsill
He views the woods that crest the hill
And asks: “Was it I who roamed to prove
My heart beneath the unwhispering grove
In season greener and of more love?”
in the mood to receive love?”
And was it he? Now let him stride
With cramped knee that slant hillside,
Pondering what paths he used to know
Seeking under the snowy bough
That frail deceitful alter ego
Wanderer in woods that bear no leaf
Climber of rocks assume your grief
And go! Lest he, before you tread
That ground once sweetly tenanted
Like mist down the glassy glooms be fled


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