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Vachel Lindsay - Eden in Winter

[Supposed to be chanted to some rude instrument at a modern fireplace]

Chant we the story now 
Tho' in a house we sleep; 
Tho' by a hearth of coals 
Vigil to-night we keep. 
Chant we the story now, 
Of the vague love we knew 
When I from out the sea 
Rose to the feet of you. 

Bird from the cliffs you came, 
Flew thro' the snow to me, 
Facing the icy blast 
There by the icy sea. 
How did I reach your feet? 
Why should I  at the end 
Hold out half-frozen hands 
Dumbly to you my friend? 
Ne'er had I woman seen, 
Ne'er had I seen a flame. 
There you piled fagots on, 
Heat rose  the blast to tame. 
There by the cave-door dark, 
Comforting me you cried  
Wailed o'er my wounded knee, 
Wept for my rock-torn side. 

Up from the South I trailed  
Left regions fierce and fair! 
Left all the jungle-trees, 
Left the red tiger's lair. 
Dream led, I scarce knew why, 
Into your North I trod  
Ne'er had I known the snow, 
Or the frost-blasted sod. 

O how the flakes came down! 
O how the fire burned high! 
Strange thing to see he was, 
Thro' his dry twigs would fly, 
Creep there awhile and sleep  
Then wake and bark for fight  
Biting if I too near 
Came to his eye so bright. 
Then with a will you fed 
Wood to his hungry tongue. 

Then he did leap and sing  
Dancing the clouds among, 
Turning the night to noon, 
Stinging my eyes with light, 
Making the snow retreat, 
Making the cave-house bright. 

There were dry fagots piled, 
Nuts and dry leaves and roots, 
Stores there of furs and hides, 
Sweet-barks and grains and fruits. 
There wrapped in fur we lay, 
Half-burned, half-frozen still  
Ne'er will my soul forget 
All the night's bitter chill. 
We had not learned to speak, 
I was to you a strange 
Wolfling or wounded fawn, 
Lost from his forest-range. 

Thirsting for bloody meat, 
Out at the dawn we went. 
Weighed with our prey at eve, 
Home-came we all forespent. 
Comrades and hunters tried 
Ere we were maid and man  
Not till the spring awoke 
Laughter and speech began. 

Whining like forest dogs, 
Rustling like budding trees, 
Bubbling like thawing springs, 
Humming like little bees, 
Crooning like Maytime tides, 
Chattering parrot words, 
Crying the panther's cry, 
Chirping like mating birds  
Thus, thus, we learned to speak, 
Who mid the snows were dumb, 
Nor did we learn to kiss 
Until the Spring had come. 

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Added: Jun 10 2005 | Viewed: 2509 times | Comments and analysis of Eden in Winter by Vachel Lindsay Comments (12)

Eden in Winter - Comments and Information

Poet: Vachel Lindsay
Poem: Eden in Winter
Poem of the Day: Feb 27 2010

Comment 12 of 12, added on March 4th, 2017 at 1:18 PM.

FuEfIm Thanks for writing such a interesting article, I stumbled onto your site and read a few articles. I like your style of writing

come here from Vietnam
Comment 11 of 12, added on September 3rd, 2015 at 3:05 AM.

mijWPO Im obliged for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

alex crork from Nicaragua
Comment 10 of 12, added on April 7th, 2015 at 9:02 AM.

gqxRXc I am always browsing online for ideas that can benefit me. Thx!

crorkz from Uruguay

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