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About this Poem 

“Dust” was published in Green Leaves (James T. White, 1918).

Dust

My words are dust.
I who would build a star,
I who would touch the heel of the white sun;
Staggering up the inaccessible sky,
I look upon the dust.

The stainless clouds go mounting
In shining spires;
And a little heap of dust
Are my desires.

Yet, dwelling long upon these peaks
Unchained upon the flickering western sky,
I have beheld them at the breath of darkness
Fade slowly out and die.

What of my lineage? 
Arrogant and swift,
I bend above the dust,
Untouched of all my grief,
Untarnished of the hour,
And lo! the leaf—
The passionate climbing flower!

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 2, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 2, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Florence Ripley Mastin

Florence Ripley Mastin

Florence Ripley Mastin was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania, in 1886.

by this poet

poem

Moth Moon, a-flutter in the lilac tree,
With pollen of the white stars on thy wings,
Oh! would I shared thy flight, thy fantasy,
The aimless beauty of thy brightenings!
A worker, wed to Purpose and Things,
Earth-worn I turn from Day’s sufficiency.
One lethéd hour that duty never brings

poem

Out of the dark cup
Your voice broke like a flower.
It trembled, swaying on its taut stem.
The caress in its touch
Made my eyes close.

poem

Night fell one year ago, like this.
He had been writing steadily.
Among these dusky walls of books,
How bright he looked, intense as flame!
Suddenly he paused,
The firelight in his hair,
And said, “The time has come to go.”
I took his hand;
We watched the logs burn out;