Here you will find the Poem After The Surprising Conversions of poet Robert Lowell
September twenty-second, Sir: today I answer. In the latter part of May, Hard on our Lord?s Ascension, it began To be more sensible. A gentleman Of more than common understanding, strict In morals, pious in behavior, kicked Against our goad. A man of some renown, An useful, honored person in the town, He came of melancholy parents; prone To secret spells, for years they kept alone? His uncle, I believe, was killed of it: Good people, but of too much or little wit. I preached one Sabbath on a text from Kings; He showed concernment for his soul. Some things In his experience were hopeful. He Would sit and watch the wind knocking a tree And praise this countryside our Lord has made. Once when a poor man?s heifer died, he laid A shilling on the doorsill; though a thirst For loving shook him like a snake, he durst Not entertain much hope of his estate In heaven. Once we saw him sitting late Behind his attic window by a light That guttered on his Bible; through that night He meditated terror, and he seemed Beyond advice or reason, for he dreamed That he was called to trumpet Judgment Day To Concord. In the latter part of May He cut his throat. And though the coroner Judged him delirious, soon a noisome stir Palsied our village. At Jehovah?s nod Satan seemed more let loose amongst us: God Abandoned us to Satan, and he pressed Us hard, until we thought we could not rest Till we had done with life. Content was gone. All the good work was quashed. We were undone. The breath of God had carried out a planned And sensible withdrawal from this land; The multitude, once unconcerned with doubt, Once neither callous, curious nor devout, Jumped at broad noon, as though some peddler groaned At it in its familiar twang: ?My friend, Cut your own throat. Cut your own throat. Now! Now!? September twenty-second, Sir, the bough Cracks with the unpicked apples, and at dawn The small-mouth bass breaks water, gorged with spawn.