Be Still. The Hanging Gardens were a Dream

By Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904 Trumbull Stickney
Be still. The Hanging Gardens were a dream
That over Persian roses flew to kiss
The curlèd lashes of Semiramis.
Troy never was, nor green Skamander stream.
Provence and Troubadour are merest lies
The glorious hair of Venice was a beam
Made within Titian’s eye. The sunsets seem,
The world is very old and nothing is.
Be still. Thou foolish thing, thou canst not wake,
Nor thy tears wedge thy soldered lids apart,
But patter in the darkness of thy heart.
Thy brain is plagued. Thou art a frighted owl
Blind with the light of life thou ’ldst not forsake,
And Error loves and nourishes thy soul.

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Poet Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904

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 Trumbull  Stickney

Biography

Trumbull Stickney is best remembered as a promising young poet and scholar who died before his work could fully mature. As William Payne described his poems in a 1906 review for Dial: "Promise rather than fulfillment is the mark of this work as a whole, for it reveals Stickney as still groping for a distinctive manner rather than as having reached a definitive expression of his powers." A brilliant scholar and enthusiastic poet, . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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