Here you will find the Long Poem Interlude: Songs out of Sorrow of poet Sara Teasdale
I. Spirit's House From naked stones of agony I will build a house for me; As a mason all alone I will raise it, stone by stone, And every stone where I have bled Will show a sign of dusky red. I have not gone the way in vain, For I have good of all my pain; My spirit's quiet house will be Built of naked stones I trod On roads where I lost sight of God. II. Mastery I would not have a god come in To shield me suddenly from sin, And set my house of life to rights; Nor angels with bright burning wings Ordering my earthly thoughts and things; Rather my own frail guttering lights Wind blown and nearly beaten out; Rather the terror of the nights And long, sick groping after doubt; Rather be lost than let my soul Slip vaguely from my own control -- Of my own spirit let me be In sole though feeble mastery. III. Lessons Unless I learn to ask no help From any other soul but mine, To seek no strength in waving reeds Nor shade beneath a straggling pine; Unless I learn to look at Grief Unshrinking from her tear-blind eyes, And take from Pleasure fearlessly Whatever gifts will make me wise -- Unless I learn these things on earth, Why was I ever given birth? IV. Wisdom When I have ceased to break my wings Against the faultiness of things, And learned that compromises wait Behind each hardly opened gate, When I can look Life in the eyes, Grown calm and very coldly wise, Life will have given me the Truth, And taken in exchange -- my youth. V. In a Burying Ground This is the spot where I will lie When life has had enough of me, These are the grasses that will blow Above me like a living sea. These gay old lilies will not shrink To draw their life from death of mine, And I will give my body's fire To make blue flowers on this vine. "O Soul," I said, "have you no tears? Was not the body dear to you?" I heard my soul say carelessly, "The myrtle flowers will grow more blue." VI. Wood Song I heard a wood thrush in the dusk Twirl three notes and make a star -- My heart that walked with bitterness Came back from very far. Three shining notes were all he had, And yet they made a starry call -- I caught life back against my breast And kissed it, scars and all. VII. Refuge From my spirit's gray defeat, From my pulse's flagging beat, From my hopes that turned to sand Sifting through my close-clenched hand, From my own fault's slavery, If I can sing, I still am free. For with my singing I can make A refuge for my spirit's sake, A house of shining words, to be My fragile immortality.