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The Grail

Text of Poem

The snow falls like flakes of light—
Wherefore we come, Lord, bearing our promises.

Let the wind-lash curl the drifts and smother
the world in flying ice.

Frost knits the road into a carpet of iron
And locks the pond against the sun’s finger.

We alone move through Death’s false harmony

If a tree drains its body of life,
Shall the root perish?
Who holds safely now the small seed?

Let it not vanish, Lord, let it seek haven
And if in the spring there remains one spark of growth,
Only enough for one pale blossom,

We shall come forward singing,
Our hands curved to the plow handles,
Our eyes raised to the light.

What greater praise canst thou have
Than that we seek the grail,
Not in the heavens, Lord, amid the stars’ cold radiance.

But in the furrow, the plowed field, the meadow,
The places where it blooms for man in his short life.

First Line
The snow falls like flakes of light-
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Poetry 47 (Nov. 1935) 68.
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Bibliographic Notes

Publishing Error: pages 19-20 and 41-42 and incorrectly printed twice, back to back, between pages 30-31

Twitter Quote
If a tree drains its body of life, / Shall the root perish?