The Quest by John G. Neihardt

By John G. Neihardt

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O let me drink the sweet forbidden wine Crushed out with bruising kisses I Death is near, And I shall lose thee once again, my dear I The dust of ages chokes me I Quick I The wine! Let us be drunken when the r ictor comes ! XVII CONFESSION My love is like the snarl of haughty drums And blare of trumpets, when a great one comes Down some thronged breathless city thoroughfare: And yours is like a song that fills 'the air Of evening when the dew has made it sweet And Peace walks through the dusk with quiet feet.

I did not bend the knee. I was unafraid, unashamed, careless and defiant. Z3 mE QUEST I was a laughing Ego that felt within itself the thrill of potential godhood: I stood as in the centre of the Universe and laughed I And in my temple there were songs and organ tones, And there was a silent Something holier than prayer. I heard the winds and the streams and the sounds of many birds: I heard the shouting of storms and the moaning of snows; I heard my heart, and it was lifted up in song. The Wind passing in a gust was as though an organ had been stricken by the hands of a capricious Master I There was movement in the air, motion in the leaves, a stirring in the grass, Even as of the reverent moving about of a congregation.

41 THE QUEST Kiss me again before the stars snuff out! Once more before the lyric Night be lost Amid the prosy droning of the Day r XXII TITAN-WOMAN o GREAT 1dnd Night, Ca1m Titan-Woman Night! Broad-bosomed, motherly, a comfoner of men I Reach out thy arms for me And in thy jewelled hair Hide thou my face and blind mine aching eyes I I hate the strumpet smile Of Day t No peace hath she. Draw thou me closer to thy veiled face I For thou an womanlike, A lover and a mother, And thou canst wrap me close and make me dream, As one not cursed with light.

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