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  ― 114 ―

Cicada Septemdecim

  The Seventeen Year Locust

DOES the locust remember when loud to blue heaven he sings
With his fellows, from palpitant tree-tops, the season of dearth,
Ere he rose like the phœnix, triumphant on scintillant wings. …
Does the locust remember his durance in sorrowful Earth?

Did he dream, dungeoned deep in the darkness and silence of clay,
Of a birth-star that beckoned him out of beneficent skies?
Of the beat of a song in the heart of magnificent Day?
Of a shout at the gates of the morning, Hail! Sleeper, Arise!

And, Soul, shalt thou be as a locust that leaps to the sun
Star-bright, empyreal with levin of exquisite breath,
Enraptured with bliss of beatitude barely begun—
Shalt thou in thy glory remember this body of Death?

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