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Short poem

Trumbull Stickney (1874-1904)

Be Still. The Hanging Gardens were a Dream

              1Be still. The Hanging Gardens were a dream
              2That over Persian roses flew to kiss
              3The curlèd lashes of Semiramis.
              4Troy never was, nor green Skamander stream.
              5Provence and Troubadour are merest lies
              6The glorious hair of Venice was a beam
              7Made within Titian's eye. The sunsets seem,
              8The world is very old and nothing is.
              9Be still. Thou foolish thing, thou canst not wake,
            10Nor thy tears wedge thy soldered lids apart,
            11But patter in the darkness of thy heart.
            12Thy brain is plagued. Thou art a frighted owl
            13Blind with the light of life thou 'ldst not forsake,
            14And Error loves and nourishes thy soul.


1] Hanging Gardens: those of Babylon, associated with Semiramis.

3] Semiramis: queen of Assyria and wife of Ninus, founder of Nineveh.

7] Titian: Tiziano Vecellio, Renaissance Italian painter (1477-1576).

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The Poems of Trumbull Stickney, ed. George Cabot Lodge, William Vaughn Moody, and John Ellerton Lodge (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1905): 92. PS 3537 T525 1905 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1902
Publication date note: Dramatic Verses (1902), p. 83
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/14

Composition date: 1898
Rhyme: abbabaabcddece

Other poems by Trumbull Stickney