Elinor Wylie was born in Somerville, New Jersey, on September 7, 1885. Her collections of poetry include Black Armour (George H. Doran Company, 1923) and Angels and Earthly Creatures (Alfred A. Knopf, 1929). She died on December 16, 1928.
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I always was afraid of Somes's Pond:
Not the little pond, by which the willow stands,
Where laughing boys catch alewives in their hands
In brown, bright shallows; but the one beyond.
There, when the frost makes all the birches burn
Yellow as cow-lilies, and the pale sky shines
Like a polished shell between black spruce and pines,
Some strange thing tracks us, turning where we turn.
You'll say I dream it, being the true daughter
Of those who in old times endured this dread.
Look! Where the lily-stems are showing red
A silent paddle moves below the water,
A sliding shape has stirred them like a breath;
Tall plumes surmount a painted mask of death.